One of my favorite sayings is “when you are handed it, handle it.” That’s exactly what Jilea Hemmings did when she found out her cousin was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumor. Her mission to find a solution resulted in a start-up business that scored her an invite to present at SXSW.
I am in awe of the Cannabis industry and the mind, body, and spiritual benefits it has in addition to recreational, medical and health and wellness. Crossing paths with Jilea and her story behind Leaf Tyme sparked my interest.
Leaf Tyme is a tech solution that connects dispensaries, brands and medical clinics to customers within the Cannabis industry. With the Leaf Tyme App customers connect to licensed dispensaries and brands, learn about the cannabis laws in every state and explore how Cannabis can help with common health conditions.
I caught up with Jilea and her efforts to make Cannabis more accessible to everyone.
Meet Jilea Hemmings, CEO & Co-Founder of Leaf Tyme
Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I became interested in cannabis when my cousin was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2013 and was told by his doctor he wouldn’t make it to his son’s high school graduation that same year. My cousin is like a brother to me and I was determined to find an alternative other than traditional medicine for him. I watched the Dr. Sanjay Gupta special on Cannabis and I wondered to myself if this plant could really help my cousin. I didn’t know how to access the medicine or who to trust. I scoured Google, looking for information.
Luckily, I found a few referrals that included an educational trip to California to get my cousin access to the medicine he needed. Making that trip to California changed my life and I’m happy to say that it also changed my cousin’s life as well. He was able to gain access to the plant in oil form and not only did he attend his son’s high school graduation, but he also attended his college graduation. My cousin is alive and well because of cannabis oil and this amazing Cannabis plant.
After my experience, I wanted to make sure that people around the world could also gain access to trusted information and resources about cannabis. This is why I created Leaf Tyme.
When did the entrepreneur light bulb go off?
When the second layoff happened at my pharmaceutical sales job. I had my first child by then and I knew I could not depend on a company to support me. I had to be in control of my own destiny.
What advice would you give other women wanting to start a biz?
- Create a business based on your passion/purpose. Your strengths and talents should align with your passion/purpose.
- Understand your worth and never sell yourself short. Even though others may have more money than you, that does not mean they are an expert in your business.
None of us are able to achieve success without some adversity along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Not one, but many.
First, my family who provides unconditional support for my entrepreneurial efforts. Secondly my cousin, who trusted me with finding medicine to cure his inoperable tumor. Felicia who so graciously ushered me into the space of Cannabis and helped provide education on the plant. Alexandra who believed in my vision for Leaf Tyme without hesitation and provided initial funding to get us started. All of the social change leaders who have been fighting on the front lines to allow my business to even be possible by sparking the legislation to pass.
Five Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience?
- Surround yourself with a board of mentors – You need to connect to people who are operating in the space you are in. They can provide invaluable insight into how you run your organization and save you tons of money in mistakes that could be avoided.
- Believe In Your Vision – Your vision is just what it says. Your Vision. Everyone will not understand your idea or stance in the beginning. That is okay. This vision/mission was given to you to execute. They will see it once you create it!
- Listen To Your Team – Hopefully, you hired your team because of their vision and skill. Don’t waste their insight. They are using closer to specific aspects of your company more than you. Give them a chance to shine.
- Take Time For Respite – When leading an organization, we put our people and company first. While enjoyable this is an exhausting task. Take time to rest to ensure you are operating at your best.
- Don’t Forget To Promote Your Good Work – We are so busy as leaders running our organizations that we forget to promote our efforts. While we usually say our work will speak for itself, it is still vitally important to Toot Your Own Horn!
Favorite “Life Lesson Quote” ✒️
“They will see it once you create it.”
“Dare To Be A Failure” (Fearlessly Aiming In Leadership Until Radical Excellence.)
Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
Whoopi Goldberg. She has built a cannabis brand and crossed many hurdles.
Oprah Winfrey. She is a huge influencer of my time and is the first black woman billionaire.
Damon Dash. He is raw and authentic in his views on entrepreneurship and how to achieve success. I love his views on being a Boss.
I can sing!
Becoming – Michelle Obama
Where will social media be in five years ⏰
Social media platforms will continue to grow. It is the way we get information/news and it will continue to be.
Favorite Drink Order? ☕️
Iced Green Tea No Sugar.
Real Housewives all cities.
Favorite Way to Decompress?
Real Housewives all cities
HERE’S OUR BIG ANNOUNCEMENT .
Leaf Tyme Has Been Selected To Be The First Cannabis Company To Ever Present At The SXSW Release It Competition in Austin, TX… https://t.co/aPgwpKA9ok
— Jilea Hemmings (@jileahemmings) February 12, 2019
Women You Admire?
Oprah, Wanda James, Felicia Carbajal, Mary Kenner, Sojourner Truth.
What are you most excited about for 2019?
Leaf Tyme is a Chicago- based company that will be the first cannabis company to pitch at SXSW Release It competition. Leaf Tyme is an e-commerce marketplace for businesses and consumers to connect within the cannabis industry and they will be pitching at the SXSW Release It competition in Austin, TX March 8th, 2019.
Regardless of what industry you’re in, Jilea is the perfect example when you’re handed something, you handle it. Go Jilea!
About Female Disruptors
Female Disruptors is a passion project by Lisa Buyer, designed to spotlight women who are disruptors in their space. You don’t need a bestselling book to be a female disruptor—you need passion, vision, focus, compassion, determination and a burning desire to share this with the world.
Spark your ambition with more inspirational stories of women breaking down barriers: