Name: Ms. Kartier Jazzelle Devaux
Location: Northeast Portland, Oregon
Occupation: Luck Lion Process Manager
Writer, activist, artist, and Texas native Kartier Devaux has blazed a trail for herself in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon. As a drag performer and an outspoken advocate for issues she holds dear, Kartier has drawn attention, flare, and compassion to everything from the need to tackle systemic racism to self-love. Now working as the process manager for luxury cannabis dispensary Lucky Lion, Kartier is making sure to elevate the spirits and attention of all those she comes in contact with. That’s not to say that it has been easy, as her arrival in Portland coincided with the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Suddenly, I was thirty-three years old, jobless, terrified, and living on the mercy of care packages from my angelic mother and best friends,” she says.
Luckily for Kartier, one of her friends was working for Lucky Lion, and she was able to get a job as a ‘Budtender’ in spite of her lack of cannabis experience at the time. It wasn’t long until Kartier fell in love with the company, and she worked her way up to Process Manager. Her knack for business and her work ethic made this progression unsurprising.
“As a teenager, my first job was selling cell phones in our storefront next to my Dad’s barbershop. Business is in my blood,” she explains.
And working for a company like Lucky Lion allows Kartier to not only be her authentic self, but to provide people with an experience that they may not have expected from a dispensary.
“You can tell simply by walking into any one of our impeccably decorated locations, and reviewing our golden menus, that Lucky Lion is all about providing our guests with a luxury cannabis experience that meets their needs regardless of their budget. I personally love this company, because we are serious about respect for all people and diversity at every level of the cannabis industry.”
When she isn’t helping Lucky Lion operate, Kartier is creating and energizing her community beyond her job, as it’s critical for her to use her life experience to benefit others.
“As a big, tall, Texan, Black Trans Woman, I know exactly what it means to drive to the grocery store on the other side of town because less people gawk at you there than at the one by your home,” she explains. “I have been that homeless Black Queer young adult trapped in a small-minded town with nowhere to turn. I have felt the sting of being denied a job application at a pizza joint after an illustrious career in Finance simply because I showed up in a sensible heel and Black skin. The challenges that I and people like me face completely inform what it is that I would like to do for the rest of my life.”
For Kartier, this would ideally include building a form of cost-free temporary housing outside of the city, where at-risk Queer young people from across the country could live while receiving job training, rehab and therapy. It would offer career placement, housing assistance, and Kartier’s legendary homemade jambalaya.
“In short, I want to be a mother to the motherless,” she says.
Beyond her compassionate mission, Kartier also hopes to resurrect her drag career and host gigs around Portland, “once Miss Corona gets her ugly mug off my stage.” In the meantime, she’s doing some modeling, writing her powerhouse poetry and essays and keeping her Facebook following up to date with social justice issues and commentary on everyday life.
So what advice does this Sativa Diva and macrocosmic mama have for young people growing up today?
“Do the things that scare you, as the character you build from those experiences will be what shapes and defines you. Learn to love yourself so fiercely, in the face of those that hate your very existence, that just your presence at the table frees those around you to do the same. Then, when you reach the point where no one can diminish the light that only you were born to shine, reach back and show someone else the way. THAT is the blueprint of life well lived.”
For her light and veracity, we think Kartier Devaux is one very, very Cool Girl!
Follow along with Kartier at one of the links below!