Don Knight — Cannabis Connoisseur and Entrepreneur

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Don Knight — Cannabis Connoisseur and Entrepreneur

Sep 26, 2018

The High Society

Our interview of Don Knight for “The Creative Influencer” podcast is available today for download on iTunes. Don shared the following takeaways:

Jon: Your site is devoted to—

Don: Cannabis. The High Society.

Jon: Ok so now it was public, you went private.

Don: So yes, we were public and Instagram started deleting a lot of pages similar to ours. So I think we had 150,000 followers at that time and I was just nervous with all the hard work getting deleted by Instagram so I literally wiped out the entire page and took all the cannabis pictures down because it was just too risky to keep it up.

Jon: You’re talking pictures of plants?

Don: Yeah, actual pictures of grows and stuff like that, and I guess you would call it weed porn. It’s kind of how you would categorize it.

Jon: (laughter) I’ve never heard it called that.

A transcript of the full interview follows:


Jon: I am joined today by Don Knight. Welcome.

Don: Thank you. It’s my first podcast actually.

Jon: Is it? Oh, I get a newbie. All right. You are an influencer but not in the stereotypical fashion. And you also have an unusual way of monetizing your Instagram account.

Don: Right.

Jon: Okay. So your Instagram account has last I checked 1.4 million followers.

Don: Right.

Jon: But it's private.

Don: Yep.

Jon: Why is it private?

Don: For a few reasons, and I think we might be at 1.5 now.

Jon: Oh is it?

Don: Yeah the thing that's awful about being private is you actually have to manually let everybody in, so that makes it kind of tough. And it's when the account’s this big you can't really delegate to someone else, you can't hire services because third party services always want you to provide your credentials which is a little too risky for an account this size.

Jon: So it was public—

Don: —It was public right.

Jon: Okay. Then how long ago did it to go private?

Don: I would say two or three years ago. Instagram started deleting a lot of cannabis pages because originally we were just posting cannabis photography and it was growing really fast.

Jon: And let me—you jumped ahead to my next question and we'll come back to this—

Don: Okay.

Jon: Your site is devoted to—

Don: Cannabis. The High Society.

Jon: Ok so now it was public, you went private.

Don: So yes, we were public and Instagram started deleting a lot of pages similar to ours. So I think we have 150,000 followers at that time and I was just nervous with all the hard work getting deleted by Instagram so I literally wiped out the entire page and took all the cannabis pictures down because it was just too risky to keep it up.

Jon: You're talking pictures of plants?

Don: Yeah, actual pictures of grows and stuff like that, and I guess you would call it weed porn. It's kind of how you would categorize it.

Jon: (laughter) I’ve never heard it called that.

Don: So, yes—

Jon: So does your site have any weed porn on it now?

Don: It doesn't, no. We're going to get back there eventually because I think things are opening up more with legalization here in California and I guess spreading across the country. So I went public and pretty much shelved the brand for a while because I didn't know exactly how to transition because all we did was post this beautiful photography of cannabis. So I didn't know what to do; I had other businesses so I just shelved it for six months or something and then my background is clothing and we did a lot of humor tees and stuff like that. I saw memes were taking off and I thought hey, why not go back to where I come from – the humor aspect?

Jon: Yeah, and is that where you focus now?

Don: Yeah, so we started doing original content and sharing content from other influencers that was more humor-based, which cannabis and humor and go hand in hand. So, it started taking off and the account was private just so that we could have some protection from Instagram saying, “hey you're showing this content to underage people,” so we put “must be 18 and up” in the bio.

Jon: Have you found that it's grown faster as a private site than it did as a public site?

Don: Yeah, that's interesting actually. I’ve tested it both ways being public and private and I would say having over 200,000 followers it grows much faster private, oddly enough.

Jon: Which is just counterintuitive.

Don: Yeah, I think it's kind of the concept that everyone complains that they don't want to go to this club or this bar or this place because it's too busy, but no one ever says I want to go somewhere where it's dead. Everyone wants to go where the people are. So if they know what your content is, maybe it's basketball or shoes or cannabis, as long as they know what it is that your account’s based on, if you have a lot of followers I think it makes it more appealing than most for people that join and see what it's all about. And it also fits with our society aspect. People have told me “I like that you’re private” and I'm like why? It makes it more of a society than if you were public.

Jon: It does actually, it’s a private club.

Don: Yeah, essentially.

Jon: Imagine having a cigar lounge that’s private.

Don: Right.

Jon: So it is devoted to cannabis. How did the High Society come to be?

Don: I was actually originally working on basically creating a website— a head shop online with  higher end cannabis. I guess I’ll say head shop so people understand what I mean. But we were trying to make a high end, top shelf head shop for the Internet. And that's how it came about. Another guy and I wanted to get this store out there and we’re not working together any longer but we got the store up and it took off. The store was top 3 percent on Shopify within months. They sent me this notification saying, “Hey congratulations you're in the top 3 percent of all websites on our platform, with growth in the particular period that you joined Shopify.”

Jon: Is this, I went back and at one point you were selling High Society lighters, sweatshirts, sweatpants, hoodies, buttons—

Don: --glass—

Jon: So was it that stage of this?

Don: Yeah, we were selling all that stuff and the site was taking off and eventually what sucks is we actually did so well that Shopify goes, “hey I was just curious at what you're selling because it's selling so well.”

Jon: Oh they didn't know?

Don: They didn't know. So after they sent the certification, they looked at it and then said, “Oh, we actually can't support this.” So they didn't shut me down, but they shut down my merchant account that was in-house with Shopify. So then I was forced to find third party merchant solutions which I did, but then one by one they shut me down because their explanation to me was that if I was the Tobacco Society I would be fine because they’re saying, “for tobacco use only” in all the head shops. They want you to lie to them and say that it's a tobacco pipe.

Jon: What year was this? How long ago?

Don: This was like 2009 or 10 that all this started. So it was a rollercoaster—

Jon: Well just to put this in context, I actually did some research because I knew about the legalization but I was curious about when it was made illegal and—

Don: Like glass or?

Jon: No I'm talking just cannabis.

Don: Yeah.

Jon: The Poison Act of 1907, I love the name of that, was amended in 1913 to make the possession of hemp, abstract, or loco weed, and that's what they put in the statute was loco weed, a crime. Fast forward to the 50s the beatniks, 60s the hippies. California was the first state in 1972 to have a proposition to legalize marijuana

Don: Right.

Jon: It failed, but then in 1996 there was a Compassionate Use Act and then in 2016, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act making it legal for recreational use.

Don: Right.

Jon: So just in the context of this, you were between the Compassionate Use Act and the full California having it be legal.

Don: Exactly. And the thing that affected us is just because the state of California legalized it, all the banking is federal. So that's what one of the biggest issues was. Obama created Operation ChokePoint for certain industries, whether it be payday advance companies or firearm dealers or gambling, porn, tobacco, which we fall under tobacco. So he basically said “instead of us policing the internet and finding all of these websites everywhere we're going to just create a choke point which is the banking industry. So if you guys accept the money from these industries you lose your license as a bank.”

Jon: So that was Obama that put that in place?

Don: Yeah, he did Operation Choke Point. And then when Sessions came in, I think the banking industry just got even more afraid of what could happen. And that's when we got shut down and my funds got frozen for nine months. I had to call too. It wasn't like they sent me a notification saying your account was suspended. My wire stopped coming in. And I called them and said, “hey what's going on?” And they said, “oh we don't know. We don't know.” And I was like, “alright.” And then I was getting thousands of dollars wired everyday into a different account. After 10 days I called back and said, “Hey I still haven't heard from you guys. Where's the money at?” Because now it's become quite a bit of money. And they said, “Oh, we shut you down ten days ago.” I was like, “Well I know that—why, what’s going on?”

So then eventually someone contacted me and the way she said it is “you were kind of doing what Tommy Chong got arrested for.”

And he served six or nine months, I want to say. And she said “if you're shipping pipes across the country and it's—"

Jon: Even though you are not shipping marijuana, to be clear. Just glass.

Don: No, just glass. And this was funny because she told me, “You're the High Society so we can only assume what they’re smoking in these pipes,” and I said, “Exactly. It's an assumption.” She goes, “Well, you have a weed leaf in your logo,” and I said, “That's not a weed leaf, that’s a hemp leaf.” She said, “Oh my God. That's a good point.”

Jon: But that distinction didn't carry the day?

Don: She said, “That's a great point. Let me go talk to the executives and see what they say about this,” but they didn't like the idea.

Jon: So, at some point you transitioned to Instagram.

Don: So the Instagram was built— it fueled the website and then the website got shut down. And now, I think we were at 600,000 followers—I’m curious. The site’s going to go wild when it gets back out, eventually one day, because we took it seriously. We shipped every single order every day. Every order that came in, we ship same day. So people were emailing going, “dude you’re like the Amazon of weed, like we got our shirt or our bong next day.” So it grew really quickly.

Jon: I don't want to let Tommy Chong go by. For the uninitiated, who is Tommy Chong?

Don: Tommy Chong is an actor, comedian, and I guess a musician.

Jon: He's Cheech and Chong.

Don: Yeah Cheech and Chong. He is a little bit before my time, but I know him personally. Been to his house and been to some of his shows and he kind of does it all.

Jon: Because he is following you.

Don: Right. Right.

Jon: And in stereotypical fashion, you are following food. You’re following In-N-Out Burger, I’m Hungry, LA Food Fest, LA Foodie, LA Food Guy. I assume that was intentional.

Don: Yeah, I follow a lot—I love food, and I have the food and film festival that I started recently so that's another reason. A lot of these guys that I'm following, especially the food trucks, we partnered with and they come out to our event that we're doing downtown now.

Jon: And I want to transition to that because you have monetized your site in a very interesting way, which I kind of cut you off, but what is the Food and Film Festival?

Don: Well yeah so just to back up a tiny bit, I get DM’ed and emailed about ten times a day with people wanting me to do paid promotions on the page. But I would say 90 percent of the brands I don't even look at anymore. But I would say 90 percent of them are just gimmicky garbage stuff that I wouldn't want to promote. I want to keep things super honest. I've always been that way, and I don't want to promote products just to make money. I want to deliver something to our followers that they actually find use in and enjoyment. So yeah, we started this movie night. From my T-shirt days, I worked with all the studios doing good license t-shirts and stuff for Urban Outfitters—

Jon: --actually I’m going to interrupt myself or interrupt you to take you back. We haven't heard your personal story first.

Don: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, okay.

Jon: Let’s get the personal story, we’ll bring that up to speed because that’ll get the clothing company. Okay, so you're originally from—

Don: Florida. Fort Lauderdale, or Hollywood is where I was born, and then I came out to this Hollywood.

Jon: Hollywood to Hollywood. You left home early.

Don: Yeah, I was out of the house at 14.

Jon: What did you do?

Don: I just popped around. I was in group homes, I lived on my friend's boat for a little while in Miami, just pretty much bouncing around the country and gained a lot of experience. Actually it ended up working in my favor in a way.

Jon: And then at some point you formed a clothing company?

Don: Yeah, I was, let me think, 24? My business partner was printing some t-shirts and we got together and started building a brand together, and it went crazy. It went into every retail store you can pretty much imagine. We were in probably 4,000 stores, but actual accounts was more like 900. But we had Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Kitson back in the day here on Robertson, Urban Outfitters, Journey’s so—

Jon: And then what were the t-shirts?

Don: They were humor based but they were they had a vintage look and feel to them, so we put special washes on them to make them feel like that old favorite vintage tee that was super soft.

Jon: Who came up with the captions?

Don: Me and my business old business partner did most of them. Or pretty—yeah, I mean our department came up with some but they were I feel like they were better off executing the actual graphics and we were kind of more of the conceptual guys.

Jon: So you built this company—

Don: Right.

Jon: What happened?

Don: We built this company, I think our biggest year was like 7 million, and then we bought two other brands, so the combined we got up to our last year was 15 million. People knew us and we were in all the stores, so they would reach out to us and say, “Hey we want ‘white men can't jump,’ vintage looking,” so I called the studio or my business partner would work out a deal or try to work out a deal. We had a lot of licenses like in Living Color, Rocky, a lot of real classic licenses so that's how I met the studios. I knew I had contacts at the studio. So after I sold the brands and everything like that, fast forward to the High Society getting shut down, I was thinking what can I do around town that’s an event that we can get people to come out to and have a good time and my buddy has a 50-foot movie screen so I was like, “dang we could do a movie night.”

Jon: Now the part that's a story in and of itself. How did he get a 50-foot movie screen?

Don: His movie theater burned down.

Jon: Except the screen?

Don: No, he was in Malibu and remember when the Malibu theater burned down? I think the restaurant next door caught fire—

Jon: Yeah.

Don: And his movie theater burned down, so I asked him, “So what did you do?” and he’s like “well I didn't want to just sit idle while they were rebuilding it” and he had obviously insurance money to pay for his time down. But he built an outdoor movie screen that he could project, basically he had an outdoor movie theater. So he kind of started this movement in L.A. I I wouldn't say he started it. I can't say that because, but I don't know for sure, but he pioneered a good—

Jon: --but there aren't that many people that have outdoor movies screens.

Don: There's not many but every major city I feel like here and there, they'll do a movie night in the park or something like that and—

Jon: So your friend had this movie screen and had the idea to do movies outside.

Don: Yeah. And I wanted to bring out music, food, you know, a fun night. I feel like everyone's kind of turning away from nightclubs now—I feel like media, maybe social media is ruining it for us. Everyone wants less human interaction and more low key nights. So, I thought this could be cool, we could do a low key night. So I called the studios and I was like, “could I get the rights to all these humor comedies?”

Jon: Right.

Don: Good stoner movies and stuff like that, but not necessarily stoner movies, just good movies. I ended up getting the rights to a huge library, so I had the rights of 500 movies. I was like alright now I'm onto something.

Jon: Yeah.

Don: So we started doing these movie nights and they're starting to take off.

Jon: How long ago was your first one?

Don: We’re on our fourth or fifth one now. So—

Jon: Where do you hold them?

Don: At the L.A. State Historic Park in Downtown L.A..

Jon: So how does this work? Do people go online and buy tickets first, you buy tickets there?

Don: Yeah tickets are only $14 and it's basically like you're buying a ticket to a movie theater. But we have— Craig Conant is a friend of mine. He's a comedian. He's hosting the night. So you got some laughs, there's a DJ, my friend Jason and my friend Jack have been DJ’ing the nights so there’s great music, food trucks, we have all the best trucks in L.A. that come out for it. So you get a good bite to eat, listen to music for a couple hours, and then once the sun sets we put the movies on a 50-foot movie screen and the sound is insane.

Jon: So what time do people start coming?

Don: People show up around 6 and blankets are laid out on the park, we have a full bar too so cocktails—

Jon: You buried the lead on that.

Don: So it's a full-fledged production and it's growing we're adding retail to the next one, live art— we have some really big artists coming out to do live art. That will be projected onto the movie screen. And we're adding a cornhole competition so we're going to—

Jon: Now is it all at the same location?  

Don: Right now it is, but I'm talking to a few other people about doing events in other locations because I want to make it accessible. In L.A., if you live on the west side you don't leave—

Jon: Right.

Don: If you live downtown— no one wants to go downtown really. But we've been able to get a thousand people to come out to these nights, but it's still tough if someone lives here in Santa Monica, they’re not really—

Jon: Oh, I talked to somebody at SAG today and they said, “oh come down, we can have a meeting in our office,” and I was like, “I don't go to that side of the 405.”

Don: Yeah exactly. I mean you have no reason to leave like this view. This is crazy.

Jon: We digress. OK so you hit upon the idea of the food and film nights.

Don: Right.

Jon: And I take it, it’s growing.

Don: It's growing big time, yeah. I had a big company from Spain that attended this last event. They're kind of like an Eventbrite. I don't know if I should say their name just yet cause we're talking Thursday.

Jon: Yeah hold off on that one.

Don: But they came out on last Thursday and they were impressed. They're like, “This is your fourth event and you got all these people out here?” and I was like, “Yeah.” So they asked me if they could come in with funding and help me.

Jon: And is it all advertised through your Instagram account?

Don: Yeah, pretty much. We basically put out a post, and I keep it interactive – I let the audience pick the movies so you can do—

Jon: How do you do that?

Don: –polls now on the story. So I'll just take pictures of which movies I'm thinking, I'll narrow it down–

Jon: Right, right. You don’t want to give them all 500.

Don: So I'll give them two options and let them vote on it, and the last one I did it was between Step Brothers and Old School, and oddly enough, they voted on Step Brothers— won 59 percent. So it's pretty cool how you can find out what they want to watch and kind of let them pick it.

Jon: How much interaction do you have on the comments?

Don: So it depends on what I'm doing. Because I'm on the phone 24/7, I have arthritis in my thumb I think. I started icing my thumb lately because I'm private, that's the thing. If my niece isn't around, I have to do it myself. My niece is great when I'm with her—she's in Florida, I'll hand her my phone.

Jon: You have to ice your thumb…

Don: I’ve been icing my thumb lately. Two nights in a row.  It's helping. I'm like an athlete.


Jon: Oh man.

Don: But no, I'll communicate a lot with people. One time I was up late working, and I just decided to ask everyone where they're from. And people were checking in from South Africa—a ton of South Africans. People were in China saying they’re smoking—

Jon: (laughter) In China?

Don: I’m like be careful man, I don’t even know if I want this comment on my page. I don't want to get killed. China, South Africa, lots of people in Vegas—shout out to Vegas. But all over the world. It's awesome I love doing that and I'll comment back like as many as I can. I'll comment back just to let them know I'm seeing it because I'm fascinated at knowing where these people are from.

Jon: So how many hours a day you work on this?

Don: I've narrowed it down to very little now, because I'm more focused now on building a brand. We have a following— the followers are there and they love the page. But now I want to build it out into a brand— even in my closing days, my t-shirts were ten dollars. That's why we were so successful. This is when Ed Hardy was big and all these brands. These guys are selling t-shirts for 28 dollars retail or wholesale, and we sold a better shirt for 10. And that's what I've always been about– work really hard to get a product that sells itself. And if you're delivering good value to consumers they're going to always stay behind you and that's how our brand lasted forever is we really just put great value out there.

Jon: So what's on the future? You have the food and film night.

Don: Yup. That’s growing. I might have a partner coming in for that and then the other guy that I'm talking to right now, he's a good friend of mine, John Bernard owns ModShop. It used to be called Room Service Furniture. It’s called ModShop now and he wants to invest heavily into the High Society to take it to another level. We actually have retreats we're doing too out in Nipton, California, so we have a retreat we're doing which I'll get into in a second. So we have a retreat, a movie night, we're putting the website back up—

Jon: When will that be back up?

Don: Well the way that we're going to go now because of all the issues we had is, I bought the Glass Society because our biggest seller was glass, like artistic glass not just little crack pipes– I’m talking real art—


Don:  I was just playing, but we have lava lamps that are hand blown by artists. So we have pieces that this guy contacted me. He has a piece that's a million dollars and it's insane. I don't know how we’d ship that.

Jon: I know, I was thinking don’t drop that one.

Don: But we have really nice glass. It’s collectible glass, and there's a huge community of people that collect these pieces.

Jon: So that’s going to be through a separate website?

Don: Yeah, the Glass Society. So I changed it so it’s going to be the Glass Society. And we're going to be a platform for people, for glassblowers or for consumers, that want to sell or trade their glass because like I said, some of these guys are selling glass online for 4000 dollars and they're doing posts on their Instagram and I'm thinking they might have 5000 followers, so if I have access to all these different people that I can help them— basically the eBay of glass in a way. And we're going to curate the best glass and have it mixed up with different price points so if you can't afford a 500 dollar piece, there's a really nice piece that we saw we found because we don't have stuff that everyone else has. We really seek out unique pieces.

Jon: And will the website, now the High Society website, will you go back to merchandise in the sense of t-shirts and things?

Don: Yeah. Stuff that's not going to get us shut down. I'll do branded products and we're going to go heavy with blogs on there again. So we’re going to deliver information about the cannabis culture, whether it be legalization or music or food.

Jon: And right now, your website already has some of that information.

Don: Right. It has it, but it's my fault, I was spread too thin and let that website fizzle out for a minute knowing that I'll get it back whenever I want it. But these things that I'm doing now are more important because I'm not really monetizing that, and the good thing about that for the viewers is my philosophy is always honesty and if I don't have advertisers throwing money at me for views, I just don't want to have to create click bait articles to feed that machine. I want it to become organic where we're promoting our own events through a website and people know that I know what I'm selling. I'm not pushing some message that I don't know what's really behind it or who’s behind it. So it'll be up soon and we're also going to host our podcasts on the site.

Jon: --which this is the time to announce the podcast.

Don: Yeah, the High Society podcast. Vanessa Johnston’s the co-host. She's a comedian.

Jon: And then, interview guests?

Don: Yeah, we have a massive line up. I'll list off a few names because I can't say them all, but I'll show you some. I sent it to her last night and she has a really good list too because she's in a circle with Chris D’Elia  and Joe Rogan and Theo Von and all these really big name comedians, so she's in that world and I have friends like Mark Mahoney, legendary tattooists out here in Hollywood. Let me see who else I could say. Scott Storch, we’ll probably work with him. He's on a comeback, he’s a music producer and we spoke not too long— well, we spoke probably six months ago and I’ll probably reach back out to him. Let's see, Ally the owner of this clothing brand S E E K E R – real cool brand – a bunch of of good people, Sydney Maler who I’m having lunch with today. I want to introduce you to her too. She's like my little sister and she's got 1.1 million followers, so we're going to be hanging out today. I'll talk to her about getting her in here too.

Jon: And then what's the plan on getting that up and going?

Don: We're looking for a studio right now. We met with somebody yesterday. We've had some entries from Atlantic Records that we're going to hopefully be speaking with them about maybe hosting a podcast out of their studio. The Comedy Store—we could work out of that studio but we're going to find a studio that can house us until we build out our own. So I would say late September we’ll probably probably start and build up 20 podcasts and have them queued up.

Jon: Yeah. And then you talk about retreats. Tell me about the retreats.

Don: Retreats. I'm always up late. At nighttime, I just get super creative and I'm up working on creative things, so I was reading articles at like 3:00 in the morning about this town called Nipton, and they got bought out.

Jon: A town got bought out?

Don: By a company called American Green out near Vegas, actually by Primm, that stop right before Vegas with the roller coaster?

Jon: Yes.

Don: Right there.

Jon: I broke my ribs there on the roller coaster.

Don: No way, you fell off the roller coaster?

Jon: No. The—

Don: Oh, it smashed?

Jon: Yeah, it smashed me.

Don: Oh, how old were you?

Jon: This was about 10 years ago.

Don: No. Is that why it’s shut down now?

Jon: I don't know.

Don: Oh my god. My friend’s uncle built that. I should call her up.

Jon: Oh really?

Don: Yeah, this girl Romi Klinger. Shout out Romi.

Jon: Well, they used to sell passes.

Don: Did they really?

Jon: So we went like six or seven times in a row because we had the pass.

Don: Oh so you got banged up. Was it a good rollercoaster?

Jon: Oh, it was a great roller coaster.

Don: Yeah, I actually walked in there. I thought they had a poker room. I was in Nipton, and I was itching to play poker, and I walked in there and it's scary. There are like eight people in the whole resort and they were lost too I think.


Jon: Okay, so you had—let’s get back to the retreats.

Don: Yeah. So I was reading this article. American Green buys this town, wants to turn it into this cannabis oasis, and keep in mind, I already had the movie night in works. So, I was reading this going oh man, I could be doing an overnight movie night concept where we could go show movies and have people camp out there and it's cannabis friendly, so people could smoke in the movie. So I emailed this guy at three o'clock in the morning and he was up as well in Arizona and he forwarded the e-mail to this guy Freddy who runs the town— he and his wife Lindsay. They live in Nipton and they run the whole town and basically this guy Peter that got the email, the CEO, forwarded to them and said “Hey, contact this guy right away. Let's get something going with them.”

So I think we met two days later and we met in Vegas. I was in Vegas and they drove in to meet with me. I knew the guy's face, Freddy, when I saw him and I was thinking that I might have known him from the clothing industry. It turns out I met him 15 years prior in Miami where he used to live. He ran a nightclub in Miami, and I went to an event with my cousin and met him there, so instantly we were like let's do this, let's get this going. So I went out to Nipton, they invited me out and the town is amazing.

It's got this road, they call it Magical Nipton, and it fits the name really well. So I went out there and we were sitting there just looking out watching the sunset and they're like, “What do you want to do out here?” and I was like, “Let's just start with something,” and they go, “What do you have in mind?” and I was like, well every Friday, I go to hot yoga over here on La Brea, and I smoke before I go, and it's a spiritual experience – it's really amazing. I honestly suggest it to anyone even if someone doesn't smoke. It's worth definitely dabbling in. And I said, “Let's do a cannabis yoga retreat out here and let people come out, no hassles,” and they're like, “Alright, let's go.” So it’s called the High Desert Retreat, and we started doing that. We've had a lot of good people coming out to this retreat and now I'm actually doing the marketing for the town of Nipton. So we've got this whole incubation system going on here and—

Jon: How many people fall over?

Don: In yoga?

Jon: Yeah.

Don: None, these guys are pros. Actually they're not pros, I don't want it to be a yoga retreat. I feel like people are turning off—

Jon: It’s more of a fun thing.

Don: It's more of a fun thing. It's like we do yoga but it's—come out, there's a pond—we built a pond. We have ten teepees that have 26-foot bases fully furnished. We have five hotel rooms because it's a historic hotel. There's a bathroom at the end of the hall and everything. It was built in 1905. It's a cool hotel. And then we have eco cabins and camping available. So it's got everything going on out there.

Jon: How often are the retreats?

Don: We do one every other weekend outside of the summer months, because it was 118 degrees last time I was out there. We’re not trying to kill anyone.

Jon: Yeah, hot yoga. Natural hot yoga.

Don: Someone said you should do some hot yoga weekends, but you can’t even walk around out there at that time.

Jon: So what else haven't I asked you about that you want to share with us?

Don: Let's see. I actually want to know how you like the podcast real quick. I wanted to see—

Jon: It has been fun because I get to get a deeper dive—the superficial conversations you'll have with people, you get the story, but you get to ask the details, you get follow up where in a social situation, it would be too intrusive. We're here, it makes perfect sense. If you don't ask that follow up it's almost an insult. So it's been fun that way.

Don: Yeah. Now I listen to podcasts all the time and I feel like it's such a good way to make the most of downtime whether you're in the car, at the gym I'm always listening to podcasts, and I feel like it is going to be fun, but this is the first time I've ever done it, so it's cool, but I just haven't talked to many people that have recently started one.

Jon: So if people want to get a hold of you what's the best way?

Don: E-mail. I don't check DM's, it's just way too many and the inbox gets hit all day long.

Jon: And, e-mail on the High Society?

Don: Yeah I'd actually rather them find it, because then if they're really serious—

Jon: You have to search for it.

Don: Yeah, you have to find it because I don't want say it, because then it might get some people that didn’t really want to talk to me. But I pretty much e-mail back everybody. I definitely don't DM back everyone because it's just a lot of people trying to get shout outs and promotions and stuff, so that's the best way to reach me– on e-mail.

Jon: This has been fun. Thank you.

Don: Yeah this is great.

Jon: I appreciate it.

The Creative Influencer is a bi-weekly podcast where we discuss all things creative with an emphasis on Influencers. It is hosted by Jon Pfeiffer, an entertainment attorney in Santa Monica, California.  Jon interviews influencers, creatives and the professionals who work with them.

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