If you’re going to do things, do them to the best of your abilities and, love what you do! Sasha, aka Silenced Hippie is a shining example of this in the digital age of entrepreneurship. In a short four-year span of brand development, she has already amassed over 500,000 followers between her YouTube and Instagram giving her name world-wide recognition. You may be asking how. The answer is passion and drive. A successful stoner, Silenced Hippie also works a job, makes public appearances as well as maintaining an online presence, and is also a recent college graduate. Cannabis seems to be the fuel to her fire as a person, an activist, a public figure and an entertainer. I love people with passion, as much as I love people who love good weed. In this interview with the not so Silenced Hippie, we discuss the first steps in her career, what it takes to become an internet sensation and we hear what her plans for the future may be as she progresses and pursues her different interests.
Did you come up with the name “silenced hippie” and what meaning does it have to you?
“SilencedHippie” actually started as an anonymous Twitter/Instagram account back in 2013! I was going to school for elementary education (I switched to communications in 2014) and our professors were constantly telling us how important what we put onto the internet was as future teachers. I was already a daily cannabis consumer and was looking at cannabis accounts on Twitter and Tumblr on the regular. However, I never posted any cannabis related content myself or even followed any of those accounts in fear of it being found by my professors or the school teachers I was working with. I first created SilencedHippie on Twitter so I could openly follow cannabis accounts and share my own thoughts and photos without sharing my name or face. My own actions made me realize how intense the “stoner stigma” truly was (and still is) since I was hiding a big part of my life. Being a “silenced” hippie ended up helping me find my voice and led to the creation of my YouTube channel where I strive to break that stigma every day.
I know family is important to you, do you have any suggestions for parents out there who may have children interested in pursuing careers in the cannabis industry?
My biggest word of advice would be to have an open mind and to try and educate yourself. The cannabis industry is changing and evolving every single day. It’s nothing like how it was even five years ago, never mind when my parents were my age. They were blown away when they learned that there are parts of the plant that can provide pain relief without getting you high. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and learn what drives your child’s passion behind cannabis! It can be scary and confusing with all of the different laws on state and federal levels, but this industry is thriving and there’s no doubt in my mind that it will be legal nationwide one day.
You’ve immersed yourself in a booming culture where there’s so much opportunity and almost anything is possible, how has vlogging on YouTube and using social media outlets like Instagram and Facebook benefited your career?
Honestly, social media created my career. Having those outlets helped to get my voice heard by hundreds of thousands of people; something I never expected when I started out. Being able to share not only my views on cannabis, but also my life on such a personal level has helped me create a community of people who trust what I have to say. Once that trust was built, I started connecting with people and companies who have helped me with things that generate income such as merchandise, affiliate programs, collaborations and even hosting bigger production videos like dispensary tours on websites like Leafly. It was utterly mind-blowing when I realized I wasn’t just building an online presence, but also building a sustainable career.
Consistency is key. How many videos have you released since you’ve started, do you have a favorite style vlog you like to do most?
At this moment, I have uploaded 418 videos onto my YouTube channel. I’ve also done hundreds of live streams on platforms such as Periscope, YouNow and Instagram. My favorite type of videos to create are my life vlogs. That’s when I carry around my camera with me and just record my everyday life; which I then edit into a 10-20 minute video. Some of it involves cannabis, but a lot revolves around my family, pets and other interests in life. I’ve always been a generally happy and positive person, but over the years, I’ve had viewers reach out to let me know that those positive vibes have helped them through tough times in their lives. That has honestly become one of my biggest sources of motivation. I never realize the impact that I could have on others. It’s truly an honor to know that my videos have the ability to ease someone’s anxiety, shed some light in their life, or even just give them someone to smoke along with.
You’re quickly turning into an iconic figure in your own right, what are your goals and hopes for the future?
I’m going to continue sharing my life, creating videos and putting content out on social media. I really can’t see myself ever discontinuing that. I want to keep learning more about photography, videography and editing so I can get even more creative with my content. With that being said, I do know that YouTube won’t be my main career forever. Eventually I would love to work in the communications department of some sort of cannabis related business. Whether it be something I create on my own or an already established business; I truly have a love and passion for social media that I’d love to continue exploring.
What are you working on currently and how can our readers stay up to date with Silenced Hippie and your adventures?
Right now I’m in the process of moving into my first apartment which has been extremely exciting. I delayed moving out of my parents so that I could pay my own tuition and graduate from college debt free by bartending part time. I ended up staying at home a little longer after graduating to help support my family while my dad was kicking cancer’s ass. I think having my own space is only going to help my content flourish even more! You can keep up to date with my life and adventures by subscribing to my YouTube channel at YouTube.com/SilencedHippie and following me on Instagram and Twitter @SilencedHippie !
2018 Bobby Nuggz, Releaf Media