Session Goods Designs With Beauty & Functionality In Mind
Four friends took a vacation, and rather than enjoy themselves by not talking about work they decided to talk shop. This is what happens when you go on vacation with people who have a background in design.
The legalization of recreational cannabis in California prompted a discussion about the lack of style and beauty of products and accessories in the market. More specifically, they discovered a lack of glass products in headshops that went above and beyond functionality.
Seeing that stylish cannabis accessories were lacking, Esther LeNoir, Camden Foley, Samuel Bertain and Vinh Pho founded Session Goods, a company dedicated to designing products that bring joy to your life (and your next smoke sesh’). The first product they’ve released is a modern, sleek glass bong that’s not only easy on the eyes but functional and simple.
To learn more about the birth of the company and the brilliant, eye-catching design, we spoke with co-founder Vinh-Pho.
What's the inspiration behind the Session Bong and how is it unique? What material is it made out of?
Our inspiration has come from many different places and industries; minimalist architecture, interior design, European glass, fashion, lifestyle brands, the shoes, consumer electronics - pretty much everything outside the smoking accessory market.
What makes us unique is how we want to de-stigmatize the cannabis industry and the products surrounding it. There is currently a new era of cannabis users that are emerging. We are one of the first companies to consider all of the consumer touch-points from branding, product, packaging, and customer service. We were driven to combine all of these elements to cohesively tell a story of simply designed, high-quality products that fit beautifully into a modern home or lifestyle.
As a designer and founder of Sessions Goods, how did your education in industrial design influence the fruition of the company and product?
Collectively our education in design has taught the value and meaning of designing for the human experience - how design transcends product, through business, brand and communication - how design can change mindsets and shift perceptions.
We all have a background in design, from Art Center in Los Angeles to the California College of the Arts in San Francisco to Florida State University, Tallahassee. Our combined backgrounds include Industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, and business. The education we received that ultimately led us to create this company was not discipline specific, but rather a broad understanding of how to utilize the creative process of design to solve any problem, explore all possibilities, and make anything. It was a process, not a skill, that got us here.
You aim to instill a sense of "hygge." How does your product meet that standard?
The essence of Hygge is a feeling or a state of mind that is equal parts: cozy, beautiful, hedonistic, communal, and of course, special. It describes a moment in time, be it alone or with friends. Things that are hygge are simple and aesthetically pleasing. They enhance the pleasurable aspects of the environment and activity for which they were created.
Our bong embodies these aspects in the details and simplicity of the design. Iconic, yet sleek and subtle in its form with its tapered glass body. It’s approachable in size, and ergonomic with the molded indent and tucked-away downstem. The soft silicone sleeve adds visual texture, dampens the sound when setting it down, protects the glass from damage, and indicates the amount of water for the perfect hit. The packaging feels premium and thoughtful, from the high-quality materials to the extra components for those inevitable accidents. All these design choices add up to the creation of a product that when used feels special and ultimately hygge.
Share one lesson you learned while developing the finished product.
You know you’ve designed something fresh when the world has strong opinions of your product and brand especially when it’s a stance of either loving or hating you - with the majority loving it thankfully.
When you approach a market you want to re-imagine, it's an uphill battle on two fronts, we had to come out with a strong opinion and stance about the cannabis industry, and how we could be the bridge between the industry of traditional smokers and emerging casual smokers. This ties back to our principles. We had to know the "why." Why we were doing everything we did, down to the last detail.