Spotlight Series: Wattney Kay
Wattney Kay is an Ontario-based line of hemp bracelets with a community-driven purpose. The Founder and creative director, Wattney Kay has made giving back to her community a priority and is currently working with the CannaMommy Organization to raise money for advocacy and education around natural plant medicine.
The company is gearing up to release new handcrafted pipe bracelets which will be available in five colours and custom fitted. This week, Her(B) Life and Wattney Kay have teamed up to offer you the chance to get your hand son one of these bracelets!
To win you need to follow Wattney Kay & The HerB Life on Instagram and tag a friend in the Wattney Kay post. The winner will be picked & contacted by at the end of the week and gets to choose the colour they want and the size.
When did you start making hemp bracelets? When did it become a business opportunity for you?
I started making hemp bracelets in my teens just for fun and as a creative outlet. It wasn't until 2007, when I was approached by a mother who asked if I could make 100 hemp bracelets for her daughter’s school fundraiser. That sparked the beginning of a business opportunity. When I had all 100 of the hemp bracelets made, the mother decided she didn't want them anymore. But where one door closed, another had opened. I knew of a local arts and crafts festival that was coming up in my hometown, and I decided to become a vendor and sell the bracelets. The bracelets sold out within a few hours and I had to start making custom ones on the spot. That’s when I knew “Wattney Kay & Design” was born.
Is hemp a particularly easy/difficult medium to work with?
I find hemp to be an easy medium to work with. I mainly use hemp cord when making the bracelets, which is several pieces of multi-plied hemp yarns that are twisted together to create the cord or “mini rope”. Using the hemp cord provides a smooth and easy process when making the bracelets, as well as, having multi-plied yarns twisted together creates a strong and durable product that is long lasting.
Hemp has been around and has been utilized by humans forever! What’s so special about the fibre?
Hemp is one of the strongest and most durable fibres on earth! It has been utilized throughout history for over thousands of years because it has a wide variety of uses. It can be used for paper, fuels, clothing, housing, rope, food, medicine, and even plastic. It also requires about half the amount of water that other agricultural crops need to survive. Not only does it not need as much water, it also requires no pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers to grow. Hemp is also resistant to mold and mildew and is biodegradable! Hemp can pretty much replace everything and we would never have to cut down another tree, we could say goodbye to recycling, and have less pollution.
For some time now, you’ve donated a portion of your proceeds to various organizations within the cannabis space, why did you decide to start doing that?
When I started Wattney Kay as an online store that sells hemp bracelets, I, unfortunately, got looked down upon and still do to this day. Not because I am selling bracelets but because of the word “hemp” attached to my name. So I decided to make it my mission to inspire, educate others and empower like-minded individuals from around the world, in hopes of breaking the taboos on the hemp and cannabis plant. There is proof that these plants have the potential to change our world. Knowing this, I wanted to join forces with organizations in the cannabis industry because I believe we all have the ability to make a change and that life is too short to waste the opportunity to make this happen.
Who have You worked with and why did you choose to work with each organization?
We have collaborated with the Realm of Caring and CannaMommy, two amazing non-profit organizations in the cannabis industry. I wanted to work alongside these organizations because they both make it their mission to help others receive safe access to medical cannabis, and they educate and advocate the truth about cannabis for those in need.
Tell us about your latest collaboration with CannaMommy
For our latest collaboration with CannaMommy, we are asking mothers who use cannabis to submit their stories for a chance to be featured and have 1 of 5 hemp bracelets that we design named after them. The winners will be announced on Mother’s Day, along with showcasing the design of the CannaMommy bracelets. For every CannaMommy hemp bracelet sold, Wattney Kay will be donating 20% to their organization. With our donations, we hope to share the stories of these brave mothers who use cannabis and unite together on their mission to make a difference.
Sharing personal stories as a way to connect with and inspire or relate to others is an idea that the Her(B) Life embraces. Why do you think people love stories so much?
I think people love stories so much because they are one of the most powerful forms of communication. Powerful enough that most of the time they can have a profound impact on how we live and the decisions we make going forward in life. Sharing personal stories is a way we can educate, inspire, and heal others, whether the story is 30 seconds long or 15 minutes.
Read more about the Mother's Day Story campaign here.
What is the connection between mothers and cannabis?
One connection between mothers and cannabis that I find fascinating, and that not a lot of people know about is, mother’s breast milk naturally contains many of the same cannabinoids that are found in the cannabis plant. These cannabinoids found in breast milk help in boosting the babies immune system, fight off inflammation and even trigger hunger to promote growth.
I’m a mom and it's incredibly important to me that my children grow up understanding how this plant is beneficial to us. Do you hope to help other moms normalize and de-stigmatize cannabis with your contest? Why?
We do hope that in standing together as mothers we can normalize and de-stigmatize cannabis with this contest, and every day after that. Whether you're a mother that uses this plant or not, its important to know the truth of how beneficial this plant is and to have the freedom to be given access to nature without judgment.
What does CannaMommy do?
CannaMommy is a non-profit organization that advocates for the safe use and access of cannabis for mothers worldwide. Through donations, they also provide safe resources for mothers and their families to learn about the cannabinoid system.
Is there a piece of advice that you can offer another woman who is interested in getting into the cannabis industry?
Don’t be afraid to wander off of the beaten path and create your own way. And if it scares you, you're probably on the right track.
Which bracelet is your favourite?
I would say Jimmy is my favourite hemp bracelet when it comes to the natural hemp cord. And if I wanted to wear colour hemp cord, I would pick Sunset.
How do you plan to spend Mother’s Day this year?
Mother’s Day this year will be spent with my family & friends, probably enjoying a backyard BBQ.