The Green Ceiling as a Start Up


It all started with an idea.

As most business start up’s do, The Green Ceiling started with an idea. A mere thought that popped into my head on an idle afternoon. I must have been growing bored of puffing my stash around the kitchen table, perhaps this boredom was fueled because I had just come back from a cherished visit to the cultured city of Amsterdam with their abundance of canna-friendly establishments but regardless the spark of inspiration, that was the day I started taking the steps towards opening Victoria’s first adult use cannabis vapour lounge.  The truth is that it hasn’t being easy and it has taken imagination, perseverance and flexibility to get here.

In the beginning I did a bit of brainstorming and a LOT of talking to keep the idea alive.

I had to take this little thought bubble of mine and transform it into something tangible.  Literally every person I spoke with and every conversation I had, I would bring up my idea and also would ask their opinions. I spoke with all the usual suspects; family, friends, and co-workers… but it didn’t stop there. I also chatted with people in line ups, taxi drivers, bus operators, and small business owners. I spoke with anybody who would listen, and in turn I listened to them when they shared their ideas with me. The law of attraction works and by talking about my ideas I was in fact drawing them into reality.

Perseverance, let me tell you, when they said it takes perseverance they weren’t kidding.

I can recall at one point thinking with all certainty that I would be able to start looking for a location, renovate, and be open to celebrate  4/20, 2015     ~ I was due for a wakeup call.

It has taken nearly a year to get to here and I have heard it all during that time.

I just so happened to be looking for a cannabis friendly landlord at the same time as the dispensary boom in Victoria. What this meant was that I was facing huge competition for the available commercial lease spaces against businesses that also at the time had seemingly limitless revenue sources. I was outbid on more than one location during the year and I even had a few people suggested that I change my business model and open a dispensary. This brought about many moments of frustration and also came with a huge amount of benefit (even if it was hard for me to see at the time). The challenges I was facing set my resolve and also cemented my belief that a lounge truly was what I wanted to open in Victoria, even if it took time to get there. The extra time has allowed me to develop The Green Ceiling at a more organic pace; to have a logo designed and to build on our web presence and brand recognition. I was able to tour many available lease locations and gain an idea of what structurally would work for the lounge, and also what wouldn’t. During this time I was able to build upon my network of supporters, and assemble a team of people who have helped me bring this project to fruition.

As I am sure you are beginning to imagine, I had to exercise a lot of patience and flexibility within my plan to help it to survive this previous year. 

Even though I had cemented the concept of opening a lounge, I also had to allow the plan to flex and ebb as situations required. What this meant is NOT getting to far down on myself when things didn’t go exactly the way I had envisioned. I found one of the easiest ways to keep my chin up was every time I received a rejection email or phone call, I would force myself to go online and look at other properties that might work thinking ”Ok, that space didn’t pan out, but have you checked out these warehouses over there?”  When I came across a roadblock allowing a little flexibility has meant that I could get around, over, under or between it.

To conclude I would like to share a quote that sums up the previous year perfectly.

 “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee