As chief marketing officer of The Parent Company, Esther Song leads the California company’s marketing and branding initiatives at its retail stores and with its house of brands that includes Caliva and Jay-Z’s Monogram.
But Song is used to dealing with high-end brands and names, having spent 20 years in the fashion industry, including 10 years at New York City’s Tory Burch. She says the things she learned at those “purpose-driven companies” translate well to her new role.
“I’ve taken these learnings — from education to product quality and consistency — and applied them to the cannabis industry and my work at The Parent Company,” she says.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in South Korea and then Southern California, Song graduated from UCLA with a degree in chemical engineering before pursuing her dream career in fashion. Then, after decades of success, she joined MedMen as the senior vice president of marketing and communications before moving on to chief marketing officer at Canndescent and Pure Beauty before being hired at The Parent Company.
Song appreciates that The Parent Company makes diversity a cornerstone of its business model and says the company’s partnership with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation gives it the potential to “become the most culturally relevant cannabis company.”
“I was drawn to the idea of joining a nascent industry and having the opportunity to merge my interests in marketing, branding and science,” she says. “There was a tremendous learning curve in the beginning, and I love being part of an industry that constantly challenges me to grow and find new solutions.