MOTA Glass launched in November 2020 to address two major issues in the functional glass industry. First, the mass importing of functional glass which lowers quality and devalues local production. Second, the continued marginalization of an overworked and underpaid minority workforce.
We're a Los Angeles-based glass company that not only produces high-quality, locally-made functional borosilicate glass, but also provides stable jobs with livable wages and career pathways.
As minorities ourselves, we proudly celebrate and uplift the work of BIPOC and other minority artists through special projects and collaborations.
What is MOTA?
- Spanish word to describe a tiny bit or a speck of dust
- Slang for Marijuana
Harry Anslinger, the bureaucrat who supported prohibition and the criminalization of drugs during the presidencies of Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy was once credited with saying: “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”
His efforts throughout his decades-long career included advocating for the Marijuana Tax Act approved by Congress in 1937, which criminalized the possession of cannabis throughout the United States. This action negatively impacted nationwide generations of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and Asian communities thereafter.
We have reclaimed the slang term of a word that was once used to oppress minorities and are using it on vessels that deliver relief, comfort and a sense of community.
Why Made in Los Angeles?
Past experience in the glass industry brought to light that most companies are importing cheap, inferior glass and lying to their customers by passing it off as American made. All while exploiting minority workers for maximum profit.
These practices are harmful to our local economy and the livelihoods of independent glassblowers and other skilled laborers, most of whom are from minority communities.
We believe stable and empowered employees make for a safe and productive workplace. We aim to employ LA-based minorities and veterans who seek career pathways in cannabis, business, marketing and glass blowing.
When you support a brand, you support their business practices. Will your hard-earned dollars go toward empowering the work of minorities or supporting their exploitation?
We are a Minority and Veteran-owned company.
Change in the way minority employees are valued in the cannabis and functional glass industries will come through increased minority ownership.
Susie Plascencia is a Mexican American entrepreneur, journalist and cannabis advocate. Born and raised in Los Angeles, her passion for storytelling has fueled her professional career, empowering her to make a meaningful impact. As a business, culture and travel journalist, she pursues stories that provide representation for marginalized people, their culture and their communities.
She is a proud Trojan and alumna of the University of Southern California.
Bobby Lady is a veteran and serial entrepreneur born to Honduran American parents in New Orleans. His experience in the functional glass industry inspired a mission to create an honest and accountable brand that puts employees, glass artists and the cannabis community before profits. Having served in the Air Force including deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan, he believes that "taking care of your people" is essential to the success of any organization or business.
He is a graduate of Tulane University and the University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business.