Our business began on the cold concrete floor of a tiny shop, in India.
Three years have passed since we sat drinking chai, sharing beliefs and discussing dreams with one gentle hearted Indian man. My memories seem to move and glow iridescently, leaving me in the shadows of their dreamlike ways in question of the reality of it all.
Was it really so simple; the story that we remember, the signs and synchronicities that have carved our story, the simple words of faith that sealed our fate…
“when you run, I’ll run with you.”
Our unconventional silent partnership was born of a shared belief in one another; and an existential trust in the unknown. It is no doubt a rare occurrence when strangers really meet each one another; across differences, communication, cultures, (and against all conventional business advice) with Trust. A trust I believe can only really be made if there is a shared belief in the greater workings of the unseen, the unknown.
Lead by our beliefs we took that first shaky step from exploration to innovation and chose to walk the well worn path of the entrepreneur.
We stopped travelling, left our belongings behind and filled our bags with an eclectic mix of crystals, cottons, copper statues, traditional hand embroidered pieces from the Rajasthani desert and recycled Bollywood pieces.
This moment was, at its deepest level, a call to freedom. The desire to create a future that doesn’t involve the notion of the daily grind or any adherence to authority and expectations simply because that is the ‘way to success’. We had an urge as many do, to work creatively on our own terms. We were of course, blissfully unaware of the challenges and commitment this path held. But these personal, self serving dreams seeds grew and opened with humble shoots; revealing the potential of a greater purpose, a deeper meaning, as we discovered the horrors of the Industry we were in. We have had more heated conversations (often sitting on the kitchen floor) with our fingers on the plug ready to pull, than I can count… but every time, against all odds, we have each re-chosen the path we first stumbled onto three years ago. Not just for ourselves, but with a new dream to create change; to do what we could to help remedy our world… to keep going.
Three years later we return.
The old cold concrete floor, freshly tiled for our arrival, shines its pearly smile as we meet each other anew. It is clean and full of light, a kind of internal light; as we embrace laughing, feeling like long lost daughters. We sit and drink chai, watching the cows and colourful saris walk pass our little oasis. The colours of India framed by the rare natural colours of Mr Jains cotton clothing. The same beautiful traditional Rajasthani top that caught our eye three years ago sways in the wake of the busy street life. Hera, his wonderful tailor, is still working diligently by his side in this tiny 5 by 2 metre shop.
It feels very surreal as my eyes wander and fall on the front cover of the local paper, the heading reads REVOLUTION. I smile at the same synchronicity that brought us here all those years ago.
Our joy is tainted by a tender grief and shared sadness, that we have not been able to visit sooner. We allow the emotions to flow and pass through the years of distance between us, as the emotions settle like sand into the eternal hourglass of the present moment, a warm gratitude remedies the ache. For the reality is, the business that we co-created together, in this space; grew and brought us back. If I could see this moment only a few years ago, I would think it is nothing less than a miracle.
Mr Jain rumbles through his shelves and shows us a handful of books, they are filled with hand written quotes and newspaper cuttings. Every day, before he closes, he writes a daily piece of wisdom or inspiration soured from the local paper on the blank pages. The oldest page is dated back 33 years ago; on the opening of his shop. A picture hangs on an old mirror, of a younger, ambitious man; with the same gentle hearted air about him. I turn the page and can’t help but laugh, as The Mantra we lived by in the chapter of our lives that landed us in his shop No Fear. Somewhat delusional by that mantra at the time, I am totally awestruck at the luminescent golden thread that seems to render all experience, whether crazy or not, as somehow sacred.
We are invited next door to Jains home, a small room where he lives with his beautiful wife Mina. We sit on his floor together for hours filling in the years. Age wears softly on his skin like his well worn and washed, traditional cotton Kurta. Our reconnection brings with it a loving sadness; echoed by an old childhood feeling of discovering that parents too, will one day die. A previously unrecognised question of the future floats unexpectedly into the conversation, asking to be recognised as the hand of ageing, the slowing down and the inevitable horizon of the last dance. After a few tears we meet with the same shared trust we first began with. A faith in the workings of the universe, and the right timing of all beginnings and all endings.
It has taken me a week to integrate and observe, sitting with Mr Jain every day for hours; deepening our relationship and falling more and more in love with our creative tailor family. It has been an emotional journey, rediscovering the signs and little nuances that brought us here. I am shocked into awareness of The Hemp Temples strong roots that have grown from unconscious seeds planted deep within our hearts at the beginning.
The same newspaper clipping upon his wall
How this transformed, 3 years later into our ethos; without the realisation of its origins, the message revisited us throughout the years time and time again.
Everywhere in the beauty of Pushkar’s Indian architecture we are met with the exact replica of our logo. Having only rebranded from Friday Hut Road to Hemp Temple earlier this year (from the suggestion of a beautiful friend); our incredible graphic designer to drew us a temple that could not have been more perfect. To us, The Hemp Temple is a living entity that has been co-nurtured and co-created at every step of the way. Since the beginning we have dreamed of creating a business at the heart of what is sacred, we have explored everything from crystals, psychic readings, shamanic healing and sound therapy until we realised the beauty (and necessity) of simplicity. How this translated today is through our goal and mission to create Sacred Threads. Our goal is to not simply take from nature but to give back in both visible and invisible ways, to create and wear clothing as a humble statement that we are all stewards of this planet and of its people.
Our vision has always been a shared vision. We have always had an affinity with identifying ourselves as, and seeking out, all things revolutionary. And in this moment, what I believe, is the most revolutionary idea is this:
All Things Are Sacred.