Leah Lavergne is a former commercial dancer who has channeled her creativity and affinity for movement and space into making beautiful hand-crafted ceramic pipes. Her entry to the cannabis industry has been empowering, nurturing, and unexpected.
I moved to Toronto with the plan to work as a commercial dancer. I soon found myself in a community that wasn’t feeding me — so many young dancers all reaching for so little, no one making genuine or supportive connections. It always felt like something was missing, I had to look elsewhere to find something that fulfilled me. Now, working in the cannabis community, I feel the opposite. I look left and I look right and there’s someone to help me out, there’s a built-in culture of sharing, and celebration. It feels like we’re all on the same team, doing something together.
When I started HighNoon I wasn’t expecting it to become a profitable business, and I wasn’t even trying to fill a gap in the market. I was motivated to make something I wanted to smoke through, a pretty piece that my friends wanted to smoke through. I’ve found that people feel comfortable with my pipes. They’re nice to hold, and fun to pass around. My favourite time to smoke is when I’m being social, and especially on the dance floor. When I’m out with friends and I just want to let loose and feel great, that’s when all my worlds really come together.
I am excited to see more makers popping up in this space, even if they’re so-called “competition.” People will gravitate towards the products they identify with most, that’s not something I worry about. My philosophy is, the more the merrier. We will all help move the industry forward.
In a lot of ways cannabis brought me back to dance, to doing what I love. Now, teaching is a big part of my life. I think when I was younger and craving community within the dance industry, I wasn’t yet ready to be a leader for my peers, to try to change the way things were for us. But now as a teacher of the next generation of dancers, I have influence. I am more self-assured and confident in what I want to say. If I put the work in with these kids, I can prepare them to be better for when their time comes along. I’m applying my understanding of what it means to have healthy, supportive community from what I’ve learned in the cannabis industry. Would that be surprising to the parents of the kids I teach? [Laughs.] Life is full of lessons that you can’t learn in a classroom, so yeah, this is my little secret.
Photography by Angela Lewis
Although I’m quite busy, I have mostly worked out how to balance the different parts of my life. I feel at my best when I have space. Physical space to move and dance, and space to be alone. Space within my week to be creative and work on my business. Enough space between deadlines and to-dos so I’m not stressed about how I’ll possibly fit all the little things into my day. I have learned to give myself permission to live on my own time, on my own terms. To trust that there will be enough space to fit it all in.
An airplant holder
To burn incense
A piece of sculptural art for your favourite shelf