Updated: Jan 2
Cannabis came into my life through my grandmother's love of horticulture and her passion for native plant folklore across cultures and time. The bookshelves of her study were filled with indigenous artifacts, animal skulls, and books on topics ranging from witchcraft and herbalism to modern art and gender studies. Dr. Holly Love was a free-thinker and a bold feminist who defied the status quo and always challenged her four granddaughters to do what they love.
She dedicated herself to learning about indigenous cultures and earth-conscious lifestyles. In her mid 40's she returned to school to pursue a doctorate in archaeology at UCLA and traveled to Costa Rica where she studied how people's diets affected the development of their culture. While others retired, she taught archeology at Pepperdine University and inspired a generation of students until she was no longer physically able to.
At about the age of 10, she signed me up for the U.C. Berkeley Wellness Newsletter which provides the latest research in health. When legalization started to gain momentum, I was exposed to the latest scientific studies on the medical benefits of cannabis. I found it fascinating—the seed had been planted.
(Pictures of Dr. Doris Holly Love's garden in Malibu, California)
That fascination grew during high school in Palo Alto, California during the '90s as the early struggle for cannabis legalization played out before my eyes. The community was full of progressive, free-thinkers living earth-conscious lifestyles. The strong, vocal nature of advocates for medical marijuana showed a pathway for plant medicine that’s stayed with me to this day.
When the federal legalization of hemp occurred, I knew it was my time to turn my passion into action. For many years, I'd been sensing a void among the concrete avenues of NYC. When I looked at my bosses, their hectic stress-filled lives left little to aspire towards. Holly (she always insisted we call her by her first name) was now in her 90's. During the last years of her life, she questioned my choice of career in advertising, and I'm glad I listened to her.
Not long after she passed, I left behind my advertising career in NYC and moved to Austin, TX. There, my husband and I were certified in Permaculture Design through the Austin Permaculture Guild. I learned how to distill essential oils and formulate various types of plant medicine like mushroom tinctures and herbal oil infusions. It was a natural progression to incorporate cannabis into these teachings.
After completing our 6-month permaculture course, my husband and I bought a 10-acre ranch in a small town called Wimberley, just outside of Austin, TX. From 2016-2017, we transformed the property into a bohemian, hippie oasis devoted to beekeeping, permaculture, and the calming power of nature. It's become a popular event center and is the birthplace of Her Royal Hempress. Most recently, we had the honor of hosting the first Taste of Texas Hemp Cup as seen on KVUE News.
In September 2020, we obtained the license to grow hemp at LaLa Park, and we can't wait to start planting in Spring when the weather warms up. I love working with cannabis because quite frankly—I’m obsessive when something fascinates and inspires me. One of my favorite pastimes is studying plants, not just their scientific implications, but also their spiritual, cultural, and historical significance. That’s why my collection is so focused on synergistic blends that utilize specific botanicals to enhance the therapeutic benefits of CBD. It comes from a love of learning about plant relationships and how different organic compounds complement each other. When I formulate a new product, I think of my grandmother and our walks through her garden where she taught me all the names and talents of her plant friends. I'm so thankful for her influence and how those childhood memories fueled my desire to return to the garden!
Dr. Doris Holly Love, my grandmother pictured in her 20's.