There are moments that change a person’s life, and when we break them down we see it is our perception that changes. Our minds are the same, the smart and stupid mess of the Id, Ego and Superego. We still hate broccoli and find country music unsettling, but now there is a perception on a part of our lives that has shifted. Maybe now you suddenly understand a hated enemy, or have a deeper understanding of yourself. Whatever it is that causes this shift can be as complex as a mental break or as simple as realizing you do like blue cheese after a bite in passing. Still these are the moments that are piled up to build our characters. Odd that we should be so profoundly defined by brief almost random happenings.
Ana Izquierdo has reached such a precipice on multiple occasions for a multitude of reasons. Some are just personal discovery moments of discovering a hidden talent exposed to her because an acquaintance needs a service or lets her in on how talented she is in this instance. She has grown through adversity, from racial comment aimed at her to belittle her in the simplest way from a simple mind to full on assaults from the online community backing person X she has continued to adapt and overcome. The attacks on her character and against her ethnicity have had an impact on her, just not the debilitating hurt that was hoped for. Instead she has learned to counter the commentary and hubbub online with strong clean branding. Her evolution has changed her in a way that necessitates rebranding as she grows and her concerns shift towards new and more complicated challenges.
Her venture all started with one goal, to help where she could. Her husband had been homeless for years in the 90s and his stories inspired her to try to get the homeless help. The Stoner Couponer began gathering up supplies to feed the homeless and even give them some hygiene supplies – because her husband had told her tales of bathing in a 7-11 sink. Ana had a small following and green hair. Her venture led her to the doorstep of Women Grow, another environment applying pressure to change. She was equally inundated with cheers for her genius and jeers for her hair color – green hair was too much for these ladies. Ana created the world’s first cannabis fashion/expo fusion; CannaCatwalk. The debut show held a surprise cannabis celebrity, Charlo Greene – fresh from quitting her job on the news with a public “Fuck it” she had Ana as a guest on her YouTube channel focusing on the cannabis community. Ana’s creation had gotten Charlo’s attention before it had even lifted off – Ana took a chance and Charlo was slotted on the runway. Too late Women Grow realized the asset they had and in a failed attempt to keep her they offered her a seat as chapter co-chair. In a see it through to the end fashion Ana accepted the offer, until it simply became untenable.
Through her trials she found herself on the doorstep of Bonita Money, a woman of certain repute – ill to some, legend to others, and “who?” to most. Bonita had promise as a partner because she accepted Ana as she was outwardly, it was other facets of intrapersonal communication that these women were to reach an impasse. Yet before this destiny was to be realized Ana spent hours and hours for months forging Women Abuv Ground’s digital presence. The organization Ana helped create was the second time she utilized the skills she would come to recognize as her strongest suit – branding. All the buzz and hype she had generated with CannaCatwalk combined with the rebranding of her personal image provided the rough draft that would produce her first draft; Women Abuv Ground. Utilizing her honed skills she crafted a logo, webpage, and all the internet buzz the page could handle. Before she knew it, she had a strong hand in creating an organization that was doomed to be another place card in her rearview mirror. The fallout between Bonita and Ana was a nasty thing with Ana pulling her punches in respect to the friendship they had forged. In the end Bonita had to relent as an argument requires that the other person participates. Ana was surrounded! The world of cannabis was against her! It was all doom and gloom. Then she woke up the next day and pulled herself up by the bootstraps. Instead of allowing the overwhelming sensation of Bonita and her followers bombardment to kowtow her, Ana decided to choose to focus on the net gains and the lessons learned. Gains; while with Bonita Money Marvin Washington became a contact and occasional advisor; Ana had a one on one with Montel Williams, Montel walked in the second CannaCatwalk. Montel was a gentleman and inspires her to this day to never quit striving for her goals, she had sat across from Montel and shared her story with him and not a camera in sight. She had helped Bonita create an organization, and the end result was a body of work to be proud of. She was now confident enough in herself to begin with her own vision
This marks a new chapter in Ana’s evolution. From this point forward, she kept her nose to the grindstone and doesn’t look around for the validation of others in her vision. Instead she plays it close to the vest and carefully intentionally created an organization that she can stand next to and say, “this is what I am about.” Ever at the forefront of her mission are the downtrodden and disenfranchised. She wants everyone to have the equality of opportunity that is guaranteed by the constitution, she wants the voiceless to sing, and she wants to build bridges and empires from code and artistic talent. With a grudging decision she scraped her longest standing creation, Fusion Event Designs – the parent company of the production CannaCatwalk. Now she stands poised, new, evolved and ready to conquer any challenge she can find. She has amassed a set of skills that have shown her a path that she can leave a mark on, create a legacy, if you will. She will make her mark with online branding. She has learned skills to take online branding from the web page to the real world and back again just as she did CannaCatwalk. She has built a support system of the likes she had been searching for in her Cannabis Diversity Council. For her there is only potential realized and focus on perfection. For those waiting in the wings for her next great creation there is only anticipation.