When Olivia Alexander went to buy her first vape pen from her local smoke shop, the choices were bland, boring and just plain ugly. The bubbly Los Angeles-based entrepreneur is the kinda gal who enjoys statement pieces in her accessories and she did not enjoy the statement these plain vapes gave: basic bitch.
Alexander purchased one of the utilitarian pens but went home and gave it her own flair–she blinged the shit out of it.
“I love Swarovski and bling,” Alexander gushes. As a child, she’d often wear costumes her mother made for her resplendent with sparkles and it’s a love that has never gone away.
“The world doesn’t acknowledge that people like me vape,” she explains. “I’m an artist. I like to stay in places that have cool design. All the things I own, my shoes, my purses–they are all a reflection of me.”
But to her surprise, the bright and shiny vape she made for herself, quickly became a hit. “I brought the vape back into the store and showed him what I did and the owner bought 10 right there.”
Olivia knew she was on to something. So Crystal Cult essentially began in her small Los Angeles kitchen in 2014, with her mother helping her bedazzle the units with authentic Swarovski crystals, just like they used to do with her costumes as a child.
Each piece is hand-decorated by them in Los Angeles. The designs are vibrant, bold and–of course–sparkly. Each style of vape is named after a gem–there’s the Diamond line that’s decked out with Swarovski crystals from tip to tip, there’s the extravagant Ruby lined that’s also exploding with crystals but has colored flowers or even tiny candy pieces rolled in. And then there’s the more subtle but equally stylish Amethyst line, which come in a rainbow of metallic, glittery colors.
Each battery has a removable tank that holds either e-liquid or a dry flower/wax combo––and yes, there’s a bling version of the tanks available.
All covered in glitter and gold and flowers and candy, the Crystal Cult is the ultimate girl power cannabis company. Her mother is still involved in the company and oversees the production of the units with her daughter. “That’s really important to me,” Alexander says. “We’re not just selling cannabis products: we’re female producers of cannabis products. We’re real behind the scenes here.”
In the world of portable smoking devices, especially for oil, most products are made for discretion and to not be noticed. Not so with the Crystal Cult. “People [may] want something discreet but not the Crystal Cult customer,” Alexander says. “I’m just super high key all the time. I never want to blend in.”
When not running the OCWeekly.com and OC Weekly’s social media sites, Taylor “Hellcat” Hamby can be found partying like it’s 1899.