ARTIST INTERVIEW: Rusty Wilenkin of Old Pal
Company: Old Pal
Artist: Rusty Wilenkin
Joining the Fair for the first time, and as the only vendor of his kind, is Rusty Wilenkin – the cannabis purveyor behind Old Pal. You can find Old Pal at the Connection at the Spring Fair.
Accessible, affordable, and abundant, Old Pal’s vision is simple: It’s just weed, man. Neighbor-grown and meant to be shared, their cannabis is all natural, sun-kissed, and rain-watered. Available in three simple varieties: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid—this is weed for the people. Old Pal is an ode to simpler times, when weed was just weed and joints were passed around to old pals and new ones. When neighbors knew each other by name and community meant something. So grab a bag of Old Pal and pass it around. It’s time we took care of each other.
Tell us about your current work and how that work has evolved since you first started your business?
Old Pal launched about a year ago and has since evolved to be one of the fastest growing cannabis lifestyle brands on the market today. Through strategic partnerships, advertising and a growing soft goods Provisions program, we’re so proud to see how well it’s been received.
Tell us a little bit about the process behind bringing your product to market.
Old Pal is all about collaborating with amazing people that do what they do best. That is why when we sought to start Old Pal, we partnered with best in class cultivators, manufacturers, and distributors in multiple states. This allowed us to focus on brand building, marketing, and state expansion, as opposed to learning how to grow and package cannabis.
How do you incorporate design and aesthetic into your business model?
We feel that good design is crucial to the success of a consumer packaged goods brand like Old Pal. That’s why we enlisted the help of LAND whose customers are most familiar with their design of the Stumptown packaging. Their team guides the look and feel of everything Old Pal.
How is collaboration important to your work?
“Shareable” is in our tagline so we not only espouse the ritualistic ways that cannabis is passed between friends but also how we grow our community. Our events build a sense of togetherness with Old Pal at the center, and we have a list of collaborators on the Provisions side that will help spread the look and feel of our brand over time.
What does it mean to you to be part of the Echo Park Craft Fair?
The Echo Park Craft Fair not only represents a great place for people to discover Old Pal but to also share the experience with other brands and makers that have similar design sensibilities.
Are there other communities that have been instrumental to the development of your creative work?
Definitely. Our programming in 2019 has grown to include some of the most talked about music, style, art and hospitality events that all reflect the ethos of the Old Pal lifestyle.
Do you have any new products or projects coming up you would like to share?
Currently, we are the lowest cost provider of flower, 510 and G-Pen cartridges on the market in California. We’re exploring how CBD fits into the mix as well as always adding to our growing Provisions program. Follow our Instagram for the expanded experience.