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Meet Sydni Smiley of ShadesofSyd in The Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sydni Smiley.

Sydni, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started using cannabis for healing back when I was in college. I saw how much it helped relieve my pain and anxiety I wanted to learn more about the plant. When I moved to Los Angeles back in 2015, I immediately started looking for a job in the cannabis industry. I finally landed a job as budtender in late 2017/2018, right when cannabis became legal recreationally. During my time as a budtender, I learned so much more about the healing benefits of cannabis as well as other cannabinoids like CBD, CBN and THCV. I learned about different ways of consumption and how one differs from the other. I pretty much became a “cannaseur” after a few months of working there. I was so excited about all of the information I was learning I had to share it with the world.

So I decided to create a segment on Instagram titled “Different Strains 4 Different Pains,” which focused on product recommendations for various ailments as well as reviews. I started that back in 2018 and everything has taken off from there. Everyone received the segment well and I began to gain recognition. I started to work with different brands to create different types of promotional content and advertisements. I began speaking at and hosting cannabis events and simply making a name for myself. Now I’m currently a freelance content creator and educator in the industry. I’ve worked with countless brands and companies. I’ve watched by Instagram grow from 2,000 followers to 13.2K in a matter of 2 years. I’m so grateful for how far I’ve come, but this is only the beginning.

Has it been a smooth road?
Well as I mentioned, I started looking for a job in cannabis back in 2015 but I didn’t land one until 2017. One thing I was not expecting to experience in this industry was racism. I didn’t realize why I hadn’t been hired at any other shops until I got hired at Black-owned one. Then I started to remember not seeing anyone that looked like me at the other shops I was applying to. So just getting into the industry at first was a struggle. But once I got in, I made sure I wasn’t going to leave.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with ShadesofSyd – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
My brand is all about health and wellness. My main goal is to educate my audience on how to heal with cannabis. I create content that is educationally based. I focus on creating a cannabis experience that will work for a person’s specific needs. I don’t believe in a one size fits all solution when it comes to healing with cannabis. Everyone has what’s called an endocannabinoid system, which are neurotransmitters and receptors that are located throughout the body and has many different functions. However, the endocannabinoid system is like a fingerprint, everyone’s is different. So I help people find products based on a series of questions that will help them specifically.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the opportunities in Los Angeles. I’m from a very small town near Fresno, CA and since I was a child, I dreamed of living in a city. The people out here are great, the food is amazing and the weather is definitely top tier. I also love the cannabis community here. There is so much support and room to grow, it’s amazing. I honestly don’t dislike too much about LA except for the traffic and gentrification. I’m not from here but I have plenty of family from here and I can remember the culture being much different and more vibrant when I was younger. There’s definitely been a lot of changes to some Black and Brown areas of the city but the people will always celebrate and uplift the culture, no matter what.

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Image Credit:

FourTwenty Media Co.

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