The Hempress was founded during March 2020, the first lockdown and worldwide pandemic in about 100 years. Jamey ‘jameson’ Ries started sewing in-demand face masks out of 100% pure hemp after her fulltime managerial job at a local restaurant had become closed its doors during lockdown. A friend of hers offered her a bundle of hemp fabric, and the rest is history. Proudly South African, lady owned and powered by hemp.
The Hempress is celebrating one year of business in the next couple of weeks. I was lucky enough to get an interview with Jamey at a pub/restaurant in Bathurst two weeks ago. She lives and runs her business from Port Alfred, the Eastern Cape and has servicing clients with custom hemp products, supplied through her online shop.
Bathurst and Port Alfred News
An Eastern Cape woman has scooped a top national award that comes with R1.3m — which she says she will use to expand her business Leafline Washable Sanitary Wear and employ more people… Source
Her business has grown from 1 sewing machine and her two hands, too 3 sewing machines, an overlocker and a heat-press. She also has a online shop through Facebook offering tote bags, sling bags, backpacks, makeup bags, wallets, wine coolers and much more. All these items are made from 100 % natural hemp, and also include colourful pieces of shwe shwe patterns and prints. Although she also uses cotton and is working with dying fabrics, she prefers working, the look and the feel of the natural colours of hemp.
Hemp is a 21st century booming business and the global industrial hemp market has been calculated to have been worth USD 5.33 billion in 2020 with huge growth expected for the future. Small mom-and-pop business like the Hempress and Homegrown are perfect for the local South African economy. Both business are lady owned and driven, that provide local jobs, much needed locally manufactured/produced products and a sustainable business models.
About Shwe Shwe
Shweshwe (/ˈʃwɛʃwɛ/) is a printed dyed cotton fabric widely used for traditional Southern African clothing. Originally dyed indigo, the fabric is manufactured in a variety of colours and printing designs characterised by intricate geometric patterns. Sauce
Jamey is all for legalization and the new developing hemp and cannabis industries in South Africa. She joins a growing number of hemp companies teaching people about the benefits of cannabis while providing a much needed service and product. The Hempress has had a warm response from the cannabis community and one of her first big orders were from a cannabis company in Joburg. Her products are suited for both activist groups and cannabis brands wanting custom branded hemp products included thier product lineup. She comes from oldschool rockstar material and stoner culture. Her dad who just pushed 60 still lives it up and enjoys a good glass of red wine and a joint.
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Jamey says her clients rave about hemp especially how it regulates temperature well even its either hot or cold. Hemp wears in well and also helps filter harmful UV’s. She also upcycles products like when a friend of hers gave her some old hairdressing capes from his hair salon. They used natural Indian hemp to make hemp planters and aprons for some clients of hers. Jamey has also been kind enough to have assisted the local Ndlambe Municipality during this pandemic by making and delivering her signature hemp masks for the community.
The Hempress tells me that her products are distributed through a couple stores including Lime Fusion and Ginger and Co in East London. The Penny Farthing Cafe & Bistro also stocks a couple custom hemp designs by the Hempress in store. So go for browse if you in the area or shop online for hemp item that suits your lifestyle.
One of her big supporters is Linda Edwards from Homegrown Nursery in Bathurst. Linda a hippie/bookworm/green-fingered tannie from Bathurst often updates her colourful lifestyle and garden with custom planters, gardening pants, aprons and masks from the Hempress. Her exotic and indigenous nursery is a playground for anyone interested in a wide variety of indigenous and exotic plants and succulents.
Situated in the heart of Bathurst (Eastern Cape, South Africa), Homegrown Nursery offers: succulents, herbs, pot plants, shrubs, etc., indigenous and exotic, as well as our home-made organic fertiliser, bug spray and potting soil. We pride ourselves on being able to offer you only established plants at reasonable prices. Come pay us a visit to view our wide selection of plants, we are open seven days a week for your convenience. Homegrown
Custom order and Contact the Hempress
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