Artisanal Pipe Company "My Bud Vase" Looks Back at a Year in the Bong Biz
By converting distinctive flower vases into an array of pipes, Doreen Sullivan and My Bud Vase are hoping to end old paraphernalia stereotypes and replace them with an aesthetically-minded spirit.
Published on April 17, 2017

All images courtesy of My Bud Vase

Back in January, canna-queen Miley Cyrus threw a birthday bash for her younger sister, boyfriend Liam, and Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne, who all share a birthday week. Of course, MERRY JANE was in attendance, supplying CBD-infused margaritas, as well as a generous display of weed. Even though it wasn’t Cyrus’ birthday, we gifted the ganja-loving hostess with a one-of-a-kind My Bud Vase bong made from a gorgeous vintage vase. “We knew this piece was destined for someone special,” says My Bud Vase founder Doreen Sullivan, an entrepreneur from South Carolina.

Sullivan’s on a mission to change the way the cannabis community views water pipes. Once a symbol of unambitious youth, My Bud Vase bongs reflect a culture of kitschy sophistication. By converting distinctive flower vases into a diverse array of pipes — from ceramic bubble beakers to large glass flasks — Sullivan and the My Bud Vase team are hoping to destigmatize cannabis by annihilating old stereotypes and replacing them with a progressive, aesthetically-minded spirit. Cyrus most definitely represents this new generation of cannabis consumers — motivated, proud, passionate, and attuned to quality and personalization. With My Bud Vase’s one-year anniversary quickly approaching on the highest of holidays, MERRY JANE touched base with Sullivan to reflect on the past twelve months of her blooming business.

Image via My Bud Vase

MERRY JANE: What originally inspired you to start My Bud Vase?
Doreen Sullivan: Cannabis has always been a part of my life. I’m an avid antique enthusiast who became tired of the stigma associated with smoking. I am a successful businesswoman who appreciates beautiful things and unique pieces of art, and I didn’t understand why there wasn’t an option for me [to combine that interest with smoking], so I created one. I wanted to design pipes and pieces that could be discreet or displayed, depending on your mood. This product has been embraced by a community who was also tired of the false assumptions about smokers. It was bound to happen.  

Are you involved in any local pro-cannabis organizations to help bring a better understanding of the plant to regions with a more conservative audience?
I have my eye on the local initiatives, but my energy is on a national scale. I look forward to bringing the national spotlight to Southern culture.  

Who gravitates toward your clever creations?
Sophisticated smokers. People who appreciate beauty and art. Rockstar women. 

How do you create and name each vase?
It’s vital to me to be immersed in a creative space, so that these pieces create themselves. Whether I’m visiting antique stores or estate sales, I search out pieces that speak to me and have a unique personality. I want something that inspires me. Back at our shop, I have all of the materials needed to complete these pieces and bring them to life. The details are critical for each piece. While the concept is simple, to make these pieces into works of art requires an exacting process our team has perfected. The naming process is one of my favorite steps. It can revolve around [a given vase’s] origin, who owned it in the past, or a character it reminds me of. Each piece names itself.  

Doreen Sullivan of My Bud Vase holding some artisanal pipes

You work with your daughter on My Bud Vase. What’s that like?
I’ll never forget the day I sat my children down and told them I would be making bongs. My children are an inspiration to me, and their support and input in my passion project has been invaluable. To have my children help me launch this business will always be a wonderful moment for us. I’m glad my daughter shares my passion for creativity and I know her talent will carry her wherever she chooses to go. 

Your vases have shown up in some interesting places over the past year...
My Bud Vase has been to Art Basel Miami, the Denver Cannabis Wedding Expo, the Las Vegas Cannabis Cup, the Las Vegas Cannabis Business Expo, and the The Big Show in Miami. And while the list grows weekly, we’re honored to have given a My Bud Vase to Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, Griz, The Chainsmokers, Revolution, Screaming Jays, DJ 808 Blaze and Nappy Roots. Many celebrities I have gifted a My Bud Vase to swore me to secrecy, which fuels my passion to overcome the smoking stigma.  

    #FLOWERCHILD 🌺🌻🌸🌷 @snoopdogg @merryjane
A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on Jan 15, 2017 at 12:03pm PST

What’s the reaction been from the people in your South Carolina community?
There’s tremendous local support. From local artists, to writers, vendors, hipsters, event planners, and musicians, I am lucky to have a progressive community even when our laws aren’t quite there yet. My Bud Vase is the perfect [company] to lead the way in this industry, and I look forward to the day when we can laugh about the page in history when we had to hide our art from our mothers.  

You travel quite a bit to places with legal cannabis. Which city have you enjoyed the most and why?
Denver. I am blown away by the awesome women and trailblazers in this space. Denver encapsulates the future of cannabis.  

My Bud Vase is approaching its one-year anniversary on 4/20. Congrats! Care to share any reflections from the past year?
What I'm most amazed and proud of is our reach, on so many levels… geographic, demographic, within the industry, outside of the industry, socially, spiritually, artistically. I’ve reached top celebrities who can flaunt their choices, as well as those who have to hide their choices. East Coast to West Coast, young to old, casual smoker to frequent smoker… we're reaching so many different people's cannabis lifestyles. Both far and wide, we have nothing but positive feedback and amazing opportunities. What a first year!  

What are your plans for this year’s holiday?
We’re participating in a bunch of promotions leading up to 4/20, like The Daily Leaf’s The Biggest 420 Giveaway Ever. On 4/20, we’ll be vending at Happy 420 Hour at Rutledge Cab Co. in Charleston, South Carolina. On April 21st through the 23rd, you can visit us at the High Times Cannabis Cup VIP Lounge.

Image via @MyBudVase

Where do you see My Bud Vase going in the future?
Looking forward, I want to bring cannabis-related products to the home goods market. Every day is a new opportunity for me to create something beautiful, repurpose something special, and get involved in more event activations. I love creating pieces with people and I am inspired to see the reception of this product by women. They love the pieces as much as I do, and it’s a lightning rod of creativity for me to be embraced by such a supportive community. In ten years, I see any stigma associated with smoking gone, and the industry will be a successful outlet for entrepreneurs, artists, and intellectuals to collaborate around the incredible influence of cannabis. I see myself as being a creative thought leader in the cannabis space, and my products backing up that claim.  

Visit My Bud Vase’s site for more information:  

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Zoe Wilder
Zoe Wilder is a media relations professional and business consultant orbiting cannabis, tech, wellness, music, art, wine and spirits. For 17 years, Zoe has worked with hundreds of clients across a variety of industries to develop and execute inventive promotional content and campaigns that capture the attention of tastemakers and influencers from around the globe.
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