Molly Kavanagh is owner and founder of ASCHE Industries, a company that sells not only smoking accessories but also scent-blocking pouchettes. If you’re looking for something beyond what you see at your typical pot shop, then look no further. ASCHE focuses on style, design, and authenticity. At the present time, ASCHE is gearing up to launch the Summer Safari Collection. In addition to a lovely 18K gold vermeil elephant roach clip, the line also features a ‘White Elephant’ scent-controlled pouchette. In an effort to give back, a portion of sales will go to the African Wildlife Foundation. We had the opportunity to interview Molly to learn more about her and her company’s latest collection.
Molly Kavanagh: Brains and beauty behind ASCHE Industries
ASCHE Industries debuted in 2014 to the United States market, offering products that are not only stylish but also functional.
Along with smoking accessories, including a grinder necklace, the company sells simple, yet elegant leather, odor-proof pouchettes. Ideal for both men and women, these timeless accouterments are designed in New York City and manufactured right in the USA.
Before creating ASCHE, Molly Kavanagh, owner and founder of the company, spent twelve years modeling for Ford Models. In the past, she was also a partner at Overbey & Dunn, a West Village vintage/antique installation boutique and design gallery.
The idea for ASCHE Industries came about when she identified that the modern day weed-smoker no longer desired to purchase their smoking accessories at the average smoke store.
ASCHE Industries focuses on not just craftsmanship, but also function, design, style, and authenticity. If you’re looking to elevate your smoking experience, then ASCHE is your upgrade.
What inspired you to start ASCHE Industries?
What inspired me really was kind of just out of necessity. I’ve been a cannabis smoker for a long time. As I got a little bit older, my fashion sense kind of developed and my own style. I just got tired of using little souvenir bags from Mexico and little plastic baggies, or you know, medicine bottles, or anything like that.
At the time when I was doing the research, I couldn’t find anything out there. There was like one company I remember seeing and they had a velcro kind of style wallet. The company logo looked like a C, and a B put together, it looked like a cock and balls. I was like I can’t carry this around, I’m in fashion, so I can’t carry this around and pull this out of my purse. And so, I just thought there has to be something better, and there wasn’t.
So, I talked to some designer friends and did some research. That actually took the longest part was getting down the combination of technology and fabrics. Then, the hardware and all of that and the sewing technique and everything to get it to where it is now. To where you know it works and functions well and everything. It didn’t take very long for me to come up with a necessary item that’s not out.
What do you think makes your products stand out from some of the others that are currently available in the market today?
I would say it’s all about design first, then function. And then it’s also made in the United States, so the quality of it, we take a lot of care. I know everybody that touches it, the crafters, the masters, the designers that go through the whole process of the bags and the jewelry pieces. So, I think that putting that quality into it is what separates us.
There are other bags that have come around and they’re really cute, too. I’m not trying to replace your actual handbag or anything. I want everyone to keep their own sense of style and everything and just add it to it. You can switch it out and everything like that.
I’m not here to replace any brands or other designers or regular designers or anything like that. I’m there to just kind of add some chicness to your sense of style.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I’ve been a huge antique and vintage collector, clothing, and furniture, and artwork, and even smoking accessories. So, I get a lot of inspiration from past smoking accessories and everything.
I also like fashion, so I take what’s going on in fashion and then kind of a vintage thing, too. I like the high-end and low-end, and the vintage and the new and I like to put those all together.
What inspired the Summer Safari Collection?
They are summer pieces. We want you to be able to swim with them and jump in the ocean if you want to and all of that. I think it would go great in your little bikini, by the pool, or by the beach. It’s just a fun little collection. And then I always love a little cream or white bag for the summertime. You know, adding in that accessory that kind of matches the outside of your bag.
Is there a particular reason why you chose the elephant for the Summer Safari Collection?
I’ve always just loved elephants. They bring you good luck. I’ve always been drawn towards elephants. And the emerald kind of just makes sense for the stone because it’s green and it associates with the cannabis leaf and all that. The green looks amazing with the glossy polished gold, so it just kind of made sense together.
In regards to the donation and the foundation, I have a really good friend from South Africa and he led me on to this organization, the African Wildlife Foundation. I just kind of wanted to do something to give back, too.
What are your thoughts on legalization?
I think we are taking way too long. We are really far behind compared to everyone else. I honestly believe that the cannabis industry is the next creative and industrial revolution here in the United States and also in Canada. I believe that other countries will start to loosen their laws and restrictions and everything. Everyone is definitely learning a lot.
I’ve heard that the west coast is kind of like the wild wild west out there with the cannabis industry. People are learning to be business savvy and how to be legitimate. It’s a learning process. I think mistakes will be made, but it will grow, and I think it’s pretty awesome.
It’s a slow process, though. I’m a little saddened because we are such a forward thinking city and state, you know New York City. It just kind of shocks me that we are so slow here at the game.
What’s your favorite strain and what’s your favorite way to consume cannabis?
I favor old-school. I love to roll joints, the whole kind of ritual of it and you’re surrounded by friends, and it’s such a social thing. The person has an amazing technique of joint rolling, and this person does it this way. I always think that’s just really fun and interesting to see everyone’s way of rolling.
I’m always after the super sativas. I feel for me personally I just like that creative giddiness and uplift from sativa. My actual favorite strand is a hybrid, though, it’s Girl Scout Cookies. It’s so good. It does make you a little frisky pants I think. It’s just fun and really like a flirty kind of fun strain. It’s funny because my guy here whenever he gets it he lets me know. He knows that that’s my favorite.
Who would you like to see wearing ASCHE Industries?
Obviously, Rihanna. I know she’s a fan, but I would love to see her in it. Also, I would love Susan Sarandon. I guess I’m saying, women because I think of the jewelry pieces and I think they could totally rock the elephant and the grinder.
As far as the guys, Rihanna’s stylist loves the key; he wears it all the time. He likes the gold one. I think it’s kind of fun that he has the balls to wear the gold jewelry pieces.
I would love to get involved with a designer like Rihanna to collaborate with on a bag, like a bag designing, and do like a larger size piece. Or, an actual musician, like an artist or singer, too.
What do you hope to add to your line in the future?
I’m actually in collaboration with these three different companies and working on a candle collaboration and working with a ceramic artist. We also want to offer some more approachable price points so everyone can have some ASCHE, especially the younger generation.
I have interns that want to afford it and want to rock the pieces, so I’m working with another company right now to do that.
What do you hope to accomplish in the next few years with ASCHE?
I would love to do a celebrity designer or artist collaboration on the outsize bag. So I do a nickel, a dime, and a quarter, and I’ve been waiting on this larger size that’s kind of like the size a clutch bag. I’ve been waiting to do that in hopes of finding the right designer and the right partner with that.
I just see it growing and more designs and getting in different areas and maybe getting a personalized strand of ASCHE Industries. The possibilities are kind of endless because of the industry, it’s so new and growing and changing. I love working with other people and other artists and other designers. It’s so fun and so exciting.