gorilla rx wellness co.
Over years of love, endurance training, and ceaseless iterations – we built
Gorilla Rx Wellness Co. The building sits in the heart of South Central, LA. The Crenshaw District. Because the dreamers were family, the space was informed with
the north star of legacy; a familyhood approach to inviting shoppers into not just
a flashy room, but to an understanding that we have the potential to be a peoplehood living in our highest health.
The story of construction, laced with a forever-evolving climax of renovation and satellite expansion, is only one fraction of the growth of the brand. The full story began in 2001 with Gorilla Life (inarguably thee best chlorophyll drink you'll have) and Sweet Strings. As LA's first Black Woman-owned cannabis dispensary, the final shop stands to honor the first sweats of the founders’ impact in cannabis education, compliance, and reform in California; as well as celebrating the maturation
of the original brand identity.
Inspired by our family homes, the familiar materiality crosses with a premium tonality expected from high-end cannabis retail. The constant investigation of what would feel like home to the Community – the spatial iterations, the color theory, the graphic layers - were my heart's work. Leading design for Gorilla meant discovering our creative recipe for stakeholders in this budding commercial space, while equally unearthing a haven for Us. A reportable blueprint for future reference.
Mixing became my focal point. Familiar – Premium. Inviting – Secure.
Tangible – Dimensional. Rare – Routine. Well – Healing. Now – Forever – Before.
Client: Gorilla Rx Wellness Co. - Kika Keith, Haquika Howze, Nah Nah, and more.
Role: Retail Fixture Design, Color, Exterior Storefront Mural Art Direction, Interior Environmental Graphic Design, Collateral Suite Direction, Fabrication Management,
On-site Install Lead
Considerations: Concept Development + Electrical Plans
landmarks that changed us
Periodically, we came across micro finish lines that felt like love. Each step
sculpted me -- elevating my taste and eyes, opening my heart.
Exterior Mural Painting
Mural painted by Alfonso Garcia
On the shop’s rooftop (now a promotional beacon overlooking Crenshaw Blvd.)
Refrigerated Product Wall Install
Typically dispensaries have 1-3 units, our stomp was a hero display
Concrete Floor Dyeing
Customarily producing 3M vinyls, this was my first imprint of this permanence degree
a love letter,
to the house we built
Seeing my tape measure as my boxing gloves, Gorilla invited me to provide spaces that are beyond a ‘pleasure break’ from the hard world (my typical aim), but as a vehicle for connotation evolution. To build within an industry vertical that (to this day) is muddied with hatred and a fight against Black people’s freedom, Gorilla is my redemption song. Redefining medicine. Showing our Us and our healing methods as beautiful, valuable, pure.
This divinely placed mission fueled me. Witnessing the praise dances, the Spirit cries gave me joy. Going beyond my imagination and stumbling through unknown mediums gave me pause. Growing my expertise made me a proud builder. Confused and stumped for solutions, we drafted again and again. Played. Prayed. And breathed deep while we executed. It's the midwifery of spatial dreams. And I expanded so much during this birth.
I walk with broader shoulders because of Gorilla.
The goal was to build out a shop, what happened was the shop sharpened me.