BEYOND THE BRAND: LEIGH OLSEN FROM HEMPME

Hempme has become a staple in my bag over the last few weeks/months (who’s counting?). It’s Australian Certified Organic and is made using cold pressed hemp seed alongside a bunch of natural soothing ingredients such as Jojoba Oil, Kakadu Plum Oil, Chamomile extract and Aloe Vera. Plus their bottle is biodegradable and they don’t test on animals. A win for animals, ourselves and the planet.

I was lucky enough to the get co-founder Leigh to sit down and answer some interview questions for the Beyond the Brand series to highlight why exactly Hempme was started, where it was made, some of the challenges involved and some questions more on the personal side about Leigh herself. As like all of these, they don’t disappoint. I hope you enjoy, I sure did!


WHAT MADE YOU START HEMPME?
My partner (Alec) and I really liked the idea of working for ourselves and are both huge hemp fans!  The more we researched into hemp, the more amazing use cases and benefits we discovered. The misinformation surrounding this plant has led it to be completely underutilised – we want to help educate and straighten the story on nature’s most versatile plant. I have also been using hemp seed oil on my skin for years and knew of its amazing skin benefits, thus Hempme was born.

WHAT IS SOMETHING OTHERS WOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT HEMP THAT YOU THINK THEY SHOULD?
Hemp has widely featured throughout human history for thousands of years. Hemp’s versatility and sustainability are second to none. This amazing plant can be used to produce clothing, paper, bio-plastics, shelter, rope, canvas, food, fuels and medicine.  It also requires very little water to grow – developing from seed to harvest in less than 3 months, whilst breathing in 4x more carbon dioxide (CO2) than trees. It’s the super plant of all plants!

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING THING YOU HAVE UNCOVERED SINCE BEGINNING?
Launching into an industry both Alec and I have had no previous experience in. This is our first business and we have had to learn a lot on the go. We have learnt a lot from our mistakes and are lucky that we have such supportive family and friends!

WITHIN THE ETHICAL FASHION COMMUNITY, THERE’S A BIG QUESTION THAT WE ASK WHICH IS ‘WHO MADE MY CLOTHES?’. IN THE SCOPE OF HEMPME, WHO MADE YOUR PRODUCTS? CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT THEM?
Hempme is manufactured in Bryon Bay, Australia by Cawarra Cosmetics. Cawarra specialise in producing organic and natural products and have been in the industry for over 35 years, they became a certified organic processor over 8 years ago. In a bid to up their eco-friendly efforts Cawarra recently made their factory solar powered.

BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?
“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”- Sir Ken Robinson.

ONE TIP YOU’D GIVE TO OTHERS WHO ARE WANTING TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
Taking the first step is definitely the hardest part. There is always a lot of self-doubt and what if’s before starting out. This may sound a tad cheesy but believe in yourself! There is an abundance of quality information available online utilise this!

WHERE DO YOU ENVISION HEMPME IN THE FUTURE?
We would like to have built out our skincare range; we are currently developing our second product and are aiming to have it on the market later this year. We would also like to have a good international presence, and look at expanding into other hemp markets. It’s an exciting time for the hemp industry, hemp has recently been legalised as a food source in Australia and New Zealand.

WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU TO DO WHAT YOU DO ON A DAILY BASIS?
We are inspired by the capabilities the hemp plant can offer and doing our part to try and encourage a more sustainable future.  At a time of unprecedented climate change and population growth, the hemp plant can play a big part in helping the world move towards a more sustainable future and we want to help spread the word!

DO YOU HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE? IF SO WHAT IS IT YOU DO TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR THE DAY AHEAD?
I like to exercise first thing in the morning; I find it really sets me up for a productive day! I find myself more energised and creative after a morning workout.

ONE BOOK EVERYONE SHOULD READ? WHY?
Harry Potter, because I am a die-hard fan!

ARE THERE ANY OTHER MOVERS AND SHAKERS OUT THERE IN YOUR WORLD THAT YOU THINK PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT?
 James Balog is a photojournalist whose work looks at the relationship between people and nature. He founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) a long-term photography project that gives a visual voice to glacial melting and the planet’s changing ecosystems. The EIS setup time-lapse cameras watching over 24 glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Canada, Austria, and the Rocky Mountains. I highly recommended watching his documentary ChasingIce, the cinematography is simply stunning and he visibly shows the side effects of global warming in the most breathtaking way!

& there you go changemakers, another incredible business with an incredible natural product that has well and truly been incorporated into my daily routine. If you want your own you can check out their website here. Or follow along on their socials on Facebook and Instagram.

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