Life can be messy, Heather Hobbs acknowledged, but cannabis-based wellness products can help bring needed focus, clarity and relief, the now-solo owner of KC Hemp Co. said.
“That’s been a big focus of mine, crafting products that can actually help with things like ADHD, and also what I call ‘mom stress’ where you’re constantly up in this shoulders-raised, clenched-jaw place,” said Hobbs. “I have an entire line now of products handcrafted to be able to do better than what just a traditional CBD product can do.”
Hobbs co-founded KC Hemp Co. in 2018 alongside her then-husband, Kyle Steppe. The couple quickly took CBD mainstream in Johnson County, earning Downtown Overland Park’s Best New Business Award later that year.
“There was only one other company here on the Kansas side at the time. So, it just seemed like the perfect storm,” Hobbs said of KC Hemp Co.’s jump into business as soon as regulations in the Sunflower State began to loosen.“There was this wonderful opportunity for us to get into business, but also to get into it by doing something that we deeply cared about.”
KC Hemp Co. closed its Overland Park storefront in 2020 amid the wildly shifting pandemic consumer trends, leaning into online sales and social media promotions of the brand.
Click here to follow KC Hemp Co. on Instagram.
Today, Hobbs runs the company on her own, propelled by her enthusiasm for CBD and the positive impact she makes on others’ lives, she said.
KC Hemp Co. offers THC-free products, traditional CBD products, gummies, full-spectrum options, and Delta-9 gummies.
Click here to shop KC Hemp Co.
With a foundation in dietetics and biochemistry, Hobbs was the Kansas Cannabis Chamber of Commerce’s founding president, continuing a years-long effort to combat CBD misinformation and misunderstanding through education.
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“We see two things with CBD stigma,” she explained. “We see, ‘Oh it’s weed-lite or cannabis-lite, so does it really work?’ But then we also get the stigma of, ‘Well, it is weed because it’s part of the weed plant,’ so you’re kind of battling these two fronts.”
“But, I truly think when you look at the research, you’ll understand that there are so many pieces to this plant that are so important to us,” Hobbs continued. “If we can let go of all the propaganda and actually look at it for what it is, I think people are really starting to wake up to the benefits and potentials of it.”
Living authentically, from the Inside Out
Hobbs’ journey goes beyond CBD, as she ventures into “Inside Out,’ a movement blending coaching and self-expression. “Inside Out” empowers women to break free from societal norms and embrace authentic living.
She uses TikTok, ebooks, and soon her own hardcopy book to spread the movement and share her experiences and insights, aiding others in overcoming life’s obstacles and fostering positive mindset shifts. This transformation unfolded during the latter part of her marriage, she said.
“Marriage is hard. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and it is unfortunate,” said Hobbs. “So, in the early stages of knowing that my marriage was kind of coming to an end, I knew I was ready to kind of pivot and do a little something different.”
Click here to follow Hobbs’ journey on Instagram.
Leveraging her past as a hairstylist where she often wore the therapist hat for her customers and her love for conversation, Hobbs shares her experiences on her TikTok account @heather.insideout
Her candid TikToks offer an unfiltered perspective on life’s challenges, resonating with women, mothers, and busy entrepreneurs. With more than 120,000 TikTok followers, she promotes her “Inside Out” movement alongside the CBD business.
“My favorite part of even making these TikTok videos is the comments and private messages that I get from people who come across my video on a day that they’re having a bad day, and they’re like, ‘I cannot tell you how much I needed that; thank you,’” Hobbs shared.
The art of boundary setting
One of Hobbs’ books — “It’s Boundaries, B*tch” (set to be launched Oct. 24) — focuses on setting boundaries, a skill she learned during her journey of personal growth and self-discovery.
“I didn’t even understand what a boundary was. There’s this common misconception that setting a boundary is telling someone how they’re going to treat you,” Hobbs explained.“But really, it’s just telling them what you’re going to do should they continue to behave a certain way, and how you can control yourself for it.”
The book delves into understanding boundaries and how to set them up. It provides opportunities in the book for reflection, to see where in your life you can set your own boundaries, she said.
Hobb’s authenticity resonates with many, emphasizing the importance of self-care. She also expresses herself as a painter, known for artwork inspired by 1995 to 2005 era hip hop. Her show is set to debut at First Fridays Oct. 6 in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District.
With so much on Hobbs’ plate with her career, life can get stressful, she said. But Hobbs keeps in mind what motivated her in the first place to be an entrepreneur.
“There are days where I don’t want to get out of bed,” she said.“But I also know I’m doing this for my family, especially now that I’m a single mom. It’s for me, and it’s for my consumers. It’s part of me. I couldn’t imagine life without this.”