I was taught to fear and loathe a plant, but I changed my mind. The plant ended up changing my life.

 Kristen Williams, founder of Hempsley, shares her story

When I introduce people to cannabis, I want them to understand just how far I’ve come. I want them to know just how intense of a journey this has been. 

I grew up in conservative, college town Columbia, Missouri. I was raised by the church. I believed every word of D.A.R.E. was the gospel truth. 

I was a good kid, and good kids didn’t touch drugs.

Back in those days, nobody would’ve believed I’d one day have a career in cannabis. I was known for being an avid rule follower. 

Straight A’s, Valedictorian, Editor-in-chief of the yearbook, mission trips every summer, full-ride scholarship for college. I was the kind of kid who would never get in trouble. 

Kristen Williams growing up

But people often don’t realize that high-achievers face a different kind of trouble.

The stress that chips away at your smile. The anxiety that throbs in your temples. The stomach tied in tights knots of nausea and worry. The tortured perfectionism and the risk of burning out. But more on that later. 

Flash forward to college. A good friend of mine got in trouble for using cannabis, and I was fully prepared to give him a lecture on the dangers and evils of this toxic substance.

Our conversation ended with him lecturing me about how little I actually knew about cannabis. I was just repeating what I’d been taught and hadn’t done any investigating myself. 

I trusted this friend. He didn’t shame me or judge me for my ignorance. Instead he encouraged me to do my homework first. 

I always do my homework.

I left our conversation committed to doing my own research. After lots of research, and I mean lots, I decided I would conduct my own experiment and try it for myself.

Kristen Williams founder of Hempsley cannabis industry experience

The first time I ever used cannabis was the first time my mind grew quiet. 

The world stood still. I could breathe. I’d been living with anxiety for twenty years and hadn’t realized it until I tried cannabis. For twenty years, I’d made little room in my life for taking care of myself. I was too busy and focused on my to-do list to notice the pauses in a day. For the first time, I was aware of the imbalances in my physical, mental, and emotional health. I began to learn how they were all related. 

My newfound medicine set me on a path of self-discovery and feeling better. I began exploring different ways to take care of myself. From eating healthy and moving my body to investigating float therapy, meditation, Ayurveda, and yoga. Some of these wellness techniques worked for me, some didn’t. But in the process, I learned how to pick and choose what could fit into my daily life. 

I found a new family of amazing entrepreneurs and activists. As I was beginning to understand how this medicine benefitted me, I started working as a freelance designer in the cannabis industry, meeting phenomenal, inspirational people, going to events and conferences in legal states, and learning everything I could. I’d gained a new perspective on the world, and found a kind, accepting community at the same time. 

But I still felt I couldn’t talk about any of this with the people who meant the most to me.

Hempsley was born out of my desire to have a conversation.

To talk openly and honestly about how cannabis has changed my life for the better.
To do my homework and present what I’d learned.
So others could understand the how and the why behind this medicinal plant.
So there’d be less fear surrounding something, that when used intentionally and responsibly, can be tremendously beneficial for so many people.

I created Hempsley to be a safe haven where people can learn about cannabis and find the support they need. 

I founded Hempsley in the community I grew up in, because I want to share all I’ve learned with the people who have raised me. Even in a conservative, prohibition state, there are people whose lives could be changed if they had access to the right information. If they had a trusted source for high quality wellness tools.

There’s no greater reward than knowing we’ve helped our loved ones, or your loved ones, feel better physically, mentally, or emotionally. 

This journey has taken me to some unexpected places and taught me more than I could’ve imagined. It’s strange to think I once feared and judged what would shape the course of my life. But now?

Now I’m teaching people all about this incredible plant.

My hope is that we can grow to admire,
or at the very least,
respect all that cannabis can do for us.