Ten Springs ago, I officially started Vital Hemp, on Earth Day, 2003.
I committed to being in business for ten years, thinking that with such a distant horizon, we could build a “GAP of hemp” and serve as a vital part of the movement to re-legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in this country. We’re not there yet, but “the times, they are a-changin’.”
Ten years have passed with fullness and speed. I honor all the people I’ve met along the way, from my homeless homies on the Venice boardwalk to the good friends in the green business community, the raw food family, the yogis and surfers, musicians and chanters, curious businesspeople, photographers, artists, tourists from places I’d love to visit, hempers and hempettes of every shape and size—all with smiles and growing appreciation for the wonders this plant brings to our world.
I thank Lucy and our original Chinese factory that made our goods for so many years, and am grateful for our current suppliers of the hemp fabric that we now make into soft hemp clothing for you, here in Los Angeles. I sometimes imagine how much hemp it takes to make all the clothes we make, and then reel a little, realizing Vital Hemp is indirectly responsible for growing literally tons of hemp each year—hemp that aerates the soil, absorbs tons of carbon emissions and cleans the air we breath.
I fell in love with the first piece of hemp clothing I ever encountered, never imagining that years later, I’d be driving around LA, from patternmaker to grader to sew house to dye house, working with exceptional people in the garment industry to produce some of the best hemp clothing on the planet. I never imagined I’d be wearing hemp clothing (and hemp underwear and socks) every day, and clothing my daughter in hemp, not because I owned the company and got the clothes for free, but because I truly found them more comfortable, superior to anything else we could find in our closets or to purchase.
I feel immensely thankful for the support you’ve shown vital hemp through the years. Whether you’re one of the shops that sold our goods, a company that printed your logo on our tees, or a patron from the boardwalk, the farmer’s market booth, the merchant’s mart, a festival, expo, online or the new store, I heartily thank you. I trust the goods are serving you well, and look forward to hemping you out again, with even more styles as we grow and evolve.
In the meantime, whether far or near, I hope you’ll celebrate the beginning of our eleventh year in business by coming to our TENTH ANNIVERSARY PARTY, this April 18th, from 7-11 at the vital hemp shop, 2305 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405. If far, we also wish to thank you. Send us a note via email or Facebook, letting us know something (anything!) about one or more of your vital hemp pieces. We’ll send you a hempy gift.
If near, come to the store April 18th!!! We’ll be celebrating with live music by Vaughn Montgomery (http://www.littlebighere.com), Chris Dupree (http://christiandupreemusic.com), & Oliver Cornell (http://ollieworks.com/projects/good-bread-music), who together will combine the sounds of guitar, moog, cello, vocals and harmonica to produce enchanting sensations for our ears, minds and spirits. Defina (http://www.delfinamusic.com) will also enchant us.
We’ll enjoy organic goodies with greens by Maggie’s Farm (SM Farmer’s market), hemp seeds and hemp oil by Nutiva (nutiva.com), Humbolt Brewing Company hemp ale (http://www.nectarales.com), tonic tea by the Shaman Shak (http://www.shamanshackherbs.com), and surprises all night, including give-aways and sales. So come raise a glass with us.
Before I forget, we’re also sponsoring our favorite local festival: the 14th annual Topanga Earth Day, this April 21st and 22nd. Come into nature for a mellow day of phenomenal live music, dancing, healthy food, hoola hooping, a cool kids area, lots of great vendors, and a vibe you can only find in Topanga. Schedule and details here:http://topangaearthday.org
Thanks again for a decade in business. We wish you health, love, peace, and happiness.
Ron and the vital hemp crew