Facebook recently named Austin as one of America’s fittest cities, according to an article in Shape Magazine. Capitol City finished 3rd, two seats up from last fall’s ranking in Men’s Health. What is nudging Austin closer to number one? What lifestyle trends separate Central Texas from her fellow Americans? All workouts aside, our eating habits are better here.
Austin is home and headquarters to several nationally acclaimed companies. While most of that list is comprised of tech-industry counterparts, Austin has also become an in-house mother ship to the Livestrong Foundation, Map My Fitness, and the new superfood pioneer – Happy Hemp.
Tara Miko, founder and creative mind behind the Happy Hemp brand, has cultivated a product that will improve the health of her consumers. In 2010, the former fashion industry maven embarked on a journey that would, ultimately, change the course of her career. The demands of a high profile and fast paced job had done a number on her body – she needed to find a solution. What she found was hempseed, and a new passion for sharing her secrets. Within just a few weeks, Miko noticed increased energy levels and improved digestion. Her experience with hempseed fueled the founding of the Happy Hemp empire.
The Happy Hemp team met with Austin Style last month to discuss all things hemp. We were full of questions, and left the interview with a craving for hempseed.
Where is all this hemp coming from?
We source all of our hemp from Canada. It is illegal to grow industrial hemp in the U.S., even though we are the largest importers in the world! Hemp is one of the most amazing plants we have on earth, with 25,000 different uses. I can’t wait until the day U.S. farmers can grow, flourish and profit from this amazing plant.
Our first introduction with this fab product was the “tote-ally” awesome hemp tote. The Happy Hemp team mailed the product to my home and I loved it immediately. It’s practical, ergonomically efficient, and stylish. I transport Central Market goodies, beach gear, and puppy supplies all over Austin in my tote. The bag is made from hemp, “one of the most durable and eco friendly fabrics on our planet” (Happy Hemp). March’s city-wide bag ban has caused locals to scour the city for something stylish to pack their goods around in. My most noteworthy find: the Happy Hemp tote.
What do YOU have in your tote?
I have 2 packed at all times: Work out tote: spin shoes and a yoga mat AND Dog Tote: tennis ball, chuck-it, poop bags and a collapsible water bowl.
A decade (or so) ago, hemp adorned the necks of nearly every pre-teen in America. It was woven, braided, and embellished with beads to create that trendy, late-90’s choker we all obsessed over. Now, years (and a few style cycles) later, hemp is resurfacing in the mainstream market as a superfood. Hempseed is an easy sprinkle to smoothies, yogurt, and salad – and that is just the easy culinary confection. The Happy Hemp website offers a plethora of recipes for consumers to sample.
Research has found hempseed to contain more protein than meat or fish; it also improves digestion and encourages weight loss. The Happy Hemp brand is also vegan and gluten free!
What is your favorite recipe or hemp and food combination?
Pesto! The Happy Hemp raw seeds are the perfect addition. I put pesto on everything.
Restaurants around Austin are knocking on the HH door. Most recently, Paul Qui of Austin’s newest buzzing restaurant – Qui – placed his order with Happy Hemp. Happy Hempseed can also be found on the menus of Barley Swine, Swift’s Attic, Juice Land, El Alma, and Kenichi – and that is just the beginning. Austinites are jumping onboard with this fast growing company, and why not? The product is healthy, hearty – and happy!
What is the next move for HH? What products can we except in the (near) future?
We are working on a cold press hemp oil. We hope to launch in the next six months – it is so delish!
Do you think Happy Hemp will outgrow Austin? Do you see a headquarter move in the future?
Our logo is the tree of life. I see that tree trunk being Austin with limbs that grow and stretch to the East and West coast. Even after living in Austin for just 2 years, I love the feeling of coming home. I feel rooted in this city.
I think the true beauty of Austin is in the people who live here. I have never met kinder more giving and grateful people. I think it makes me a better person.
Happy Hemp represents a lifestyle that is accessible by anyone, and appealing to everyone. Whole body health and smart nutrition education is available through the Happy Hemp brand, and Tara Miko is only getting warmed up.
Shop Happy Hemp onling here. Follow the brand on Twitter and “like” their Facebook page.
© Lindsay Watson
You can find me here – on Twitter, Facebook or via email. Like what you read? Keep the beat with Austin style by clicking “subscribe”.