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A Year To Remember: Story of our start up in 2020

In conversation with, and written by Kaveri Poonacha.

 "Hey, I've bought Hemp from you guys - and love your packaging and your digital presence across - well done! Our heart races when we hear this, every single time. It's that moment that gives us a sense of assurance of having done something right.” – says Jayanti. Who along with Shalini founded India Hemp & Co. precisely a year ago.

This story will surely be a special one for this brand was created just at the brink of a pandemic and they decided to lead by being the change, and thrive by following an authentic way of creating a close knit community, discovering business avenues, driving in organic PR and even building an extended team over the LAST ONE YEAR! A special one year anniversary indeed! 

India Hemp & Co. was created to build a better world and lifestyle through natural, sustainable and plant based produce. A plant that has recently made it to the light of the Indian media which forced all external bodies attached to do their research and take an educated and informed stand on hemp. With a market that is opening up, regulations are being further defined which is massive progress for this plant to make its way into a form of sustainable business across the country.

Sustainability has always been one of the strongest pillars on the basis of which India Hemp and Co was founded. ‘Sustainability to us is about practising care towards our environment – understanding that while we consume we’re also responsible for conserving, restoring, eco-friendly disposing’ – says Shalini.

Striving towards living a zero waste life and doing small things everyday that contribute to a larger difference is one of their strongest beliefs. Making the best use of local resources and having the right support to lead a greener, more sustainable life – is what Jayanti stands for. To read more click through to a detailed write up (blog). 

To build awareness and inspire more people into a sustainable way of living, as a month of celebration India Hemp & Co went on to run a contest called the #UrbanUpcycle challenge encouraging people to recycle/upcycle products and share images of their creation. The larger idea being to reinforce the practice of zero waste living and inspire one another and create a community that makes a difference.

On a lighter note, here’s getting up close and personal with the sister duo and their take on all things personal and professional.

1) Do you and your sister share similar ideologies?

Jay - Yes, we're in sync with where we are and where we want to be. I tend to be the more impulsive one, so it's great to have Shalini do a 'let's prioritise session' every once in a while.

Shal - Largely yes!  When it comes to: Sustainability.  Quality. Creativity! Community & Collaboration.

2) Who or what motivates you to do what you do?

Jay - My parents are my biggest motivation, I have seen them juggle so much, with such ease. Nothing was ever too big to overcome. They are also my main support system.

Shal - Having fun, creative, purpose driven approach to life keeps me motivated and energized. Constantly inspired by the people we're surrounded by. 

3) What is your message to the community of followers that you have in the digital space?

Jay - Be authentic, be creative, enjoy what you do and eat healthy to stay happy.

Shal - We're so grateful for our community. Create, stay inspired & share your light! To have significant impact, we're the ones who need to live more consciously.

4) Tell us about one super power your sister has?

Jay – Organising Skills. Everything is documented and we have excel sheets for excel sheets.

Shal - She's great with people! Understanding, uplifting and bringing the best out in people. She's also got a large heart, very generous with her time, energy and resources.

5) What else do you pursue and have a keen interest for? Tell us of your hobbies, passion, anything else that keeps you going.

Jay - I play football with my @sistersinsweat team, it's such a stress release and really a solid support system. It's been a privilege to meet these wonderful women at this stage in life and with football as a common denominator - it makes these friendships, effortless.

Shal - I love spending time in nature, art, music, writing, dancing, gardening. The ones I'm most invested in at the moment are painting & gardening. 

6) How do you balance out the personal and professional bond considering that you're siblings?

Jay - Shalini is better at this than I am, she makes sure that not every call is a work call. We're always in touch and sometimes I forget she lives in another country. If one of us needs a break, the other steps in naturally. I couldn't ask for a better person to be in business with.

Shal - Realise that we got to nurture both equally, consistently. It's like adding another layer to our relationship. Given that we're siblings, who are actually quite different, but understand each other, there's lots we've had to and are still figuring out along the way.

7) What's your idea of a 'Dream Come True' moment/phase?

Jay - When I introduce myself and the company to people and when reply -  "Hey, I've bought hemp from you guys - and love your packaging/love your videos - well done!" - my heart races and I love that rush, every single time. It's my "we did something right" moment. 

ShalPersonally & professionally: to live authentically, continuously explore/grow and thrive. Would love to continue building up this business, to be both profitable and has significant impact - social & environmental. 

To also get the Indian hemp industry on the map, we're in for the long-haul.

 Navigating their way through a very new & exciting industry, they are ready to launch a new vertical in a few months and are very excited about it! While also on the lookout to partner with cafes and organic stores across India – they now have panned across 5 cities so far and are looking to grow exponentially in the coming year.