No business card can capture the many vocations of Scott Campbell. The renowned tattoo artist opened Brooklyn’s legendary Saved Tattoo in 2005 and throughout the early 2000s experimented with fine art in different media, even dabbling in fashion through a collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton in 2011. Today Campbell has expanded his focus to include wine and, most recently, a line of naturally cultivated cannabis products called Beboe, which is available at Barneys’ curated lifestyle shop The High End.
The line — which he cofounded with fashion industry veteran Clement Kwan and includes vaporizer pens and pastilles — may seem like a deviation from permanent body art, but Campbell sees a lot of parallels between tattooing and weed. Most obvious, marijuana is finally moving — thanks to legislative changes and cultural shifts — above ground, the same way tattooing did 20 years ago (the latter wasn’t legal in New York until 1997). Last year was a historic one for marijuana policy in the United States, with numerous bills introduced and Michigan becoming the 10th state to legalize recreational use. But what most drew Scott to working with cannabis is his creative relationship to it.
“Creativity is rooted in the subconscious,” he explains. “It requires bridging the gap between the subconscious and the conscious.” Cannabis — especially high-quality varieties — has a way of fostering that connection, which Campbell likens to waking up from a lucid dream state with a great idea.
Beboe is often described as a line of luxury cannabis products, but Campbell rejects the word luxury as a term that’s “overused in marketing meetings.” Instead, he speaks about the quality of his products in more relatable terms: “Our products are for people who can afford the good shit.” He talks about growing up as a “broke stoner kid” who couldn’t afford good weed, and how that’s changed for him today. “Now I only have time to get high about once a week. I have a job and kids,” he explains. So when Campbell does indulge, he wants to do it right. “Our products were designed selfishly because we wanted to create the best possible cannabis experience.” This means all-natural ingredients and meticulous quality control.
But the creation of Beboe isn’t an entirely selfish pursuit. The line was inspired by Campbell’s grandmother, Be Boe. She acted as a caretaker for his mother, who was diagnosed with cancer when Campbell was young. Years after his grandmother passed, he learned she baked his mother “special brownies” to help with her nausea and lack of appetite. The name pays homage to everything Be Boe did to bring warmth and love into his house.
When it comes to bringing this passion project to others, Barneys New York is a natural fit as a partner for Beboe. “I have great respect for Barneys because Barneys has a great relationship with artists.” He says the store’s legacy has long been to support rather than exploit artists, and Beboe products are his art. “In trying to evolve what cannabis is in pop culture — where it’s celebrated and taken seriously — Barneys is a perfect home [to celebrate our cannabis culture]. It’s dignified and feels sincere.”
As the cultural taboo surrounding marijuana fades, more people will be inclined to try it for the first time. So it’s especially important that Beboe introduces customers to the best the industry has to offer, from the way its products are made to how they are packaged.
As a result, Beboe products are as exquisite on the outside as they are on the inside. In fact, with such beautiful packaging, it’s difficult to discern the best entry point into Beboe. Campbell suggests starting with one of his favorites: the edibles. While most are made from extracted hash oil, Beboe uses cold-water hash processing to extract cannabinoids using only ice and water to preserve the integrity of the plant. “It’s the cold-pressed juice of weed,” Campbell laughs. For someone who isn’t big on what’s said in marketing meetings, he sells Beboe well.