Unconventional: A Memoir of Entrepreneurism, Politics, and Pot
Jamie Andrea Garzot was one of the least likely people to become a cannabis entrepreneur, advocate, and industry pioneer. She had no business background. She was not involved in politics. She had only a four-figure capital investment to start with. And, surprisingly, she had very limited experience with cannabis products. So how did Garzot find herself at the forefront of California’s cannabis movement?
In this inspirational memoir, Garzot describes her trajectory from a cannabis retail rookie navigating an unregulated market to a cannabis authority. During her time in the industry, she developed a wildly successful line of artisan edibles, managed $12 million a year in all-cash sales, and became an advocate for cannabis legislation at the state capitol —all of which led to an eventual acquisition by High Times, one of the most globally recognized names in cannabis. From office intrigues, personal crises, and shifting regulations to teamwork, innovation, and community leadership, Garzot, with good-natured humor, shares how creative thinking, planning ahead, and forming connections in the most unlikely places contributed to her success in a continually shifting business landscape.
Unconventional is the story of an industry in its wild heyday, the inner workings of local and state government and cannabis’s dicey road to regulation, and the seismic changes in the way cannabis was distributed and sold. But it is also the story of one woman’s tenacious spirit and all the lessons she learned the hard way—by refusing to give power to fear, taking risks, building community in a volatile environment, and listening to what people wanted—and how staying true to her vision paid off every step of the way.
Anyone who has ever dreamed of following their gut and reinventing their life will be inspired by Garzot’s unusual and unconventional journey.
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10
Idea: Garzot's inspirational story about changing one's course, going against the odds, and proving to everyone in her life that yes, she can! is a wonderful read. From start to finish, the reader will be enthralled with her interesting insights, delightful and personable prose, and personal anecdotes. It is a breath of fresh air to see a woman taking charge like this and believing in herself - this book is feminist at its core.
Prose: As Garzot emphasizes throughout, she is excellent at customer service, and it shows. Her prose makes the reader feel comfortable, at home, and safe, while also being extremely amusing and insightful.
Originality: Although entrepreneurial memoirs are fairly commonplace, Garzot has presented the reader with a humorous look at a total career transition into a very new (not to mention taboo!) industry. Filled with fun, passion, and brilliance, Garzot is an excellent storyteller and inspiration to all others, especially women, who want to take their lives by the reins and do a complete 180.
Character/Execution: The book is clearly formatted and reads smoothly. Readers will enjoy the author's charming and engaging storytelling.
Date Submitted: October 16, 2021