In the interest of closing out a very celebratory International Woman's Day, we felt we would be remiss not to include the much loved and respected Val McCulloch on our list of amazing women we have gotten to know through the magazine. Recently it was High! Canada Magazine’s great honour to sit down with the beloved Val McCulloch from Shatterizer and speak with her about her personal experience working within the Canadian and International cannabis space. Val, it really is an honour to finally feature you in the magazine. How long have you been working in the cannabis space?
Being in the industry for only 2 years, I’m honoured to be here. I’ve met so many Women of Weed, that I’ve been lucky to connect with as colleagues, friends and as Shatterizer customers too. Women of Weed have been an ongoing source of inspiration and education for me personally. I’m listening to the ladies all the time… thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge.
My goal is to continue to be well integrated in the cannabis community as a Woman of Weed for a long time. I have so much respect for the High! Canada team. Thank You for the invitation to be a Woman of Weed and making Shatterizer an Editors’ Pick for best hardware in 2018!
Having the chance to reflect upon the questions asked, I’ve discovered the upcoming year is going to be even more perfect than I thought.
Tell us about how you got involved in the cannabis industry and what led you into a career within the Canadian cannabis industry? Essentially, what is your particular cannabis industry entry point origin story?
I’ve always really, really, really wanted to work within the cannabis industry. When I started including cannabis into my lifestyle (20 years ago) I also accomplished a lot of things educationally and health wise. With focus, ambition, drive and determination I lost over 100 pounds of weight, maintained a couple jobs while doing an MBA and just got stuff done! For most of those 20 long years, I was pretty secretive of my cannabis use … In January 2017, I started having some heartfelt conversations with my family and friends. I felt super supported and encouraged from the start, in becoming a medicinal patient and to pursue a career within the industry. Smoking cannabis just “worked” for me and I figured I had better “work” for it! As I did more and more research, what I discovered was that it worked quite well for others too.
When I met Matt, through a mutual entrepreneurial friend in May 2017 it was a done deal. Matt was in the process of prototype testing a new product called Shatterizer that blew away my expectations … both the product and the Matterizer. It was my first experience with great vaping hardware and meeting an Inventor and company founder who was doing everything I perceived to be “right.” The Shatterizer was developed from the right place, his heart. Designed by necessity to shield his family from the negative stigma associated with cannabis. It was built with the right purpose and rationale and upon the core values of “what would work best?”
For a gadget loving girl, with a business background in hardware and tech, as well as startups, I was just ready to go and get to work! Applying everything I’d learned and experienced, to something I truly believe in.
Did you encounter any challenges or adversity to adopting a full-time role in the expanding Canadian cannabis market and if so what did you do to overcome them and successfully move forward?
The industry as a whole is challenging. Everyone is navigating the market and trying to be innovative in uncharted territories. Many are doing very well, despite having to deal with the macro effects of governmental regulations and the volatility of stock markets. There’s a lot of news, change and “what-ifs” – the quick collaboration and agile responses are impressive. There is more than enough room in this industry for everyone with a good heart and business to be successful.
With all this newness we have the opportunity to start with high expectations. Expansion is challenging, and we want to do it right! We are 100% confident in the quality of our product and the product experience. Perfect Clouds are our mandate before we even think to introduce new accessories and products to our friends.
I am thankful that the recreational market now exists in some form. It’s going to allow so many more people to access and try cannabis. Many now consider it as an option, who otherwise would never have thought to incorporate it into their lifestyle previously. I hope many realize cannabis is not only for feeling good on weekends and evenings.
Technology is always changing, and our goal is to always stay relevant and innovative. We adapt constantly with feedback from our customers and our own experience with our product. Last year Shatterizer launched the black and silver aluminum globes, labeled coil caps (sativa, indica or hybrid) and a number of fun accessories like our lanyards and glow bands! Never misplace your Shatterizer again …
What are you working on now. Can you run us through an average day for you?
We’re working on several new products. We can hardly wait to share some pretty big announcements. I think they will be a big hit! We did a lot of research recently at MJBizCon in Las Vegas, and it confirmed we are on the right track for what we have in the pipeline. It was such a validation to see that Shatterizer has remained unique (especially in our globe shape design) among the top vape pens in the world. Being committed to innovative research and development, and a “best in class” and classy vaping experience means we are constantly evolving.
We’re really looking forward to the upcoming 210 celebration too. The cannabis community is always looking for great ways to come together, bring new people into the experience, network and present fun forums to share and educate.
Plans for the future - personally and professionally?
I adopted Honey from the Toronto Humane Society. She’s so sweet. I’d really like to get her “Therapy Dog” trained, to be able to share her love and sweetness everywhere we go. Let’s just say she really makes the day - the harder you laugh the harder her tail wags.
We are presently working on a revolutionary and customized customer service digital platform. It’s going to be an online service designed to be as personalized as is entertaining, for Shatterizer clients. We are always looking for an even more friendly, value enhancing, positive experience for our vape family. We’re also focusing on global markets and meeting some very cool clients from places like Brazil as well as learning more about their cannabis culture. Our clients in Brazil call vapor steam. These international market variances are fascinating. We also are building out quite the friendships with clients in the UK, where we were ranked one of the top pens for CBD and cannabis concentrates.
Last question - what are three things that you think everyone should be doing?
Following your heart: If an event, deal, person or meeting isn’t what you’d think – leave it. Do so politely and with style and grace. Trust your intuition. I genuinely like everyone we’re going to do business with. If someone or something seems wonderful, pursue it, and be patient, everything seems to take a little more time then expected. We are so lucky for each of our partnerships. Keeping a Sense of Humour: If you see a reference to HR, yes Human Resources – that’s me trying to keep Matt inline – most likely on Instagram … if you need a laugh just check out his stories. I am also the proud customer service lead. Nothing rattles my cage more than an issue. I’m sincerely sorry for any kind of frustration a client may have. We promise to take care of it quickly, sometimes with a couple swear words and hopefully a good laugh. Don’t worry we don’t tape our customer service line ever! Thankfulness everyday for clients: I love, love, love our clients and everything they do for us, we really hear you, appreciate you, you are the best! From investing in our product, to making videos and posting awesome pics of perfect clouds, it makes my day. Our client relationships are so important. It’s so rewarding. It’s an honour to provide a device that’s loved, because I just love doing it!