Conscious Cannabis Conversation with Riley Brain, Artist and Owner Of Wandering Bud!

How did you first get into pottery and making your own handmade pieces?

Since I can remember, I’ve been drawn to art and creating things with my hands. My first experience with pottery came in high school. By college, I left art to pursue my other love, music. I spent my college years delving deep into classical music and flute studies.

By my mid-twenties, I was feeling creatively stunted in my teaching job. After realizing that most of the cannabis accessories out there had a masculine or novelty quality about them, I decided I wanted to revisit pottery and make cannabis accessories for women. I found a kiln on Craigslist, built a table in my basement, and started experimenting with clay after work and on weekends. Two years later, I quit my teaching job to grow Wandering Bud full-time.

How did cannabis enter your lifestyle?

To be honest, it still is not a part of my day-to-day life since it is still illegal where I live. However, I feel passionately about legalization as I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2012. Cannabis brings symptom relief to so many with Crohn’s and other ailments, and it just seems silly not to make that relief accessible to all.

where are you located? what is the cannabis stigma like there? is medical and/or recreational use legalized there? if not, do you see this changing? if so, how did this change come about? 

I live in Kansas City, MO, which straddles the state line between Missouri and Kansas. It does seem to me like the stigma surrounding cannabis has changed for the better here in the last five years. While this is a conservative area of the country, the medicinal and financial benefits of cannabis are undeniable. Medicinal is on the ballot in Missouri this November, and I’ve felt a lot of excitement from the community about the vote. Volunteers have been canvasing and collecting signatures, and organizations like New Approach Missouri have really led that charge. I would be surprised if it doesn’t pass. I’m excited to see what legalization looks like here with dispensaries popping up and old-school smoke shops evolving into classy cannabis boutiques.

can you tell the Lady Nowe tribe more about each piece?

All of my pieces are colorful, discreet, and fun, and no two are exactly the same. I make everything with my own two hands without the use of molds. Every piece is fired three times, with the last firing being for the 22k gold or pearl luster. My best sellers are the one hitters – the triangle shape is my favorite since it won’t roll off the coffee table. My newest piece, the pyramid pipe, is the brain child of a snow day home from school in February. I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with glazes and luster designs on those larger pipes. I also offer rolling trays, ashtrays, joint holders, and stash jars.

What is your favourite one to make and to use?

The pyramid pipes are a lot of fun to make. They are my most complicated design, but because of that, it feels incredibly satisfying holding a finished pipe in my hand. I had been dreaming up larger pipe designs for months, so seeing that come to life has been so rewarding. The one hitters are probably my favorite to use since they can easily be tucked away inside a purse and travel well to legal states with me.

why is it important to you that modern woman have something classy to use?

I’ve always loved surrounding myself with beautiful things, and I believe most women feel the same. There’s just something about wearing that new purse or necklace out that makes you feel pulled together. Enter the Bob Marley-inspired pipe. Those mental images don’t fit. Smoking accessories are just that – accessories. They can make us feel powerful, beautiful, and strong if they are thoughtfully designed with a woman in mind.

what is the best way for others to contact and follow you and where do you currently sell your product?

I am most active on Instagram @wanderingbud, and I sell my product via my Etsy shop at You can also find my pieces in about 15 retail locations throughout the US and Canada.

what else can we expect from Wandering Bud in the future?

My own website, in addition to my Etsy shop, will launch at the end of this year or early next year. I also have big plans for new products in the first half of 2019 – look for larger pieces like bongs to hit my online shop in early Spring.

any final words of wisdom, tips, info, etc?

I’m not sure how much wisdom I have to offer, but I can say I never thought I’d find myself here professionally. I come from a family of teachers and thought teaching would be my life’s path. Things change. But I am lucky to have mostly supportive family and friends, and I’ve learned to grow some thick skin and brush off negative comments. I’m in a perpetual state of learning and plan to continue that path indefinitely. I’ve surprised myself with how willing I am to work late into the night and all weekend to get things done. It’s easy when it doesn’t feel like work.

Riley Brain
Artist & Owner, Wandering Bud


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