By Heather Collins
After the birth of her son, 27-year-old entrepreneur Barbara Biddle was determined to overcome postpartum depression through the benefits of CBD, which ultimately inspired her to open District Hemp Botanicals, a retail store specializing in hemp-based products.
“I found that CBD made me feel so much better. It motivated me to help others and it was definitely the catalyst for my business. Sharing my experience inspires me and our customers,” shares Biddle.
According to Psychology Today, CBD and hemp may help alleviate symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety, but it depends on the reason for its use. The findings indicate that “CBD interacts with a subset of serotonin receptors to provide a mild anti-anxiety effect and reduces the autonomic nervous system’s stress response. At lower doses, CBD is calming without producing a sense of being drug-affected or intoxicated.”
District Hemp Botanicals’ mission is to serve as a resource as well as a premier destination and online store for consumers looking for products to help with everyday stress. Biddle says the entire team at District Hemp Botanicals is well-versed in hemp and they strive to keep customers informed about current innovations, new trends, and emerging brands.
“We’re very involved in advocacy and educational initiatives. It’s vitally important that our employees and our customers are well-informed about the benefits of hemp-derived CBD and how these products can support one’s mental and physical well-being.”
In light of the pandemic, demand for CBD is on the rise for consumers looking to alleviate pain and or anxiety. According to data from research firm BDSA from Boulder, Colorado and a recent report highlighted in the publication Nutritional Outlook, the firm cites, “A majority of consumers look to CBD for health benefits, citing many consumption drivers relevant to the COVID-19 situation: sleep, anxiety, relaxation, unwinding, and stress management.”
Hemp Support for All
Through the years, Biddle has personally become acquainted with her clients and enjoys hearing their stories. “We have a customer who orders from us each week. She’s like a caring grandma to everyone on our staff and loves our Kazooted truffles. She claims that that product is the only thing that has helped her with pain relief, and it has improved her quality of sleep.”
Hearing from customers gives Biddle hope that her business is providing the assistance and relief people need. “Mental health is something that has plagued my friends and family for far too long, and this year, my focus is on mental health advocacy and creating resources and programs for my staff, customers, and community.”
Giving back is important to Biddle, which is why District Hemp Botanicals also contributes to various non-profits, including the Capital Area Food Bank and Charlie’s Place, a non-profit that services the homeless population in Dupont Circle.
Barbara is also on the advisory board of the Virginia Hemp Coalition. The Virginia Hemp Coalition’s mission is “to diligently protect the inherent rights of hemp commerce cultivation and consumption” in the commonwealth of Virginia. Barbara is proud to serve on the Board and represent what entrepreneurs can do to shape the industry for the future.
Business is Booming
Founded in 2017 District Hemp Botanicals has grown to three locations in Manassas, Virginia; Leesburg, Virginia; and Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. where Biddle hand selects the artisan-inspired hemp products the store sells.
While there are three retail locations, District Hemp Botanicals also has a thriving e-commerce site as well which continues to become vitally important during the pandemic. Customers can shop for all things hemp and CBD-based from muscle and body creams, pet treats, coffee, confections, to tinctures and oils.
When she is not busy running a business, raising her two young sons and serving on community boards, Biddle is also a frequent guest on local T.V. and has been featured in many publications.
Most recently, Biddle shared with NBC 4, that District Hemp Botanicals sales have increased by 33% from 2019 to 2020. She also noted that the company saw a 40% increase in customers, which means people are interested in hemp and are looking for alternative sources for stress relief during the pandemic.
With more than 100+ CBD and hemp-based stores located throughout Virginia; District Hemp Botanicals believes what sets the company apart is the team’s attention to customer service and its strict product guidelines.
“We take product testing very seriously at our stores. All of the products we carry and make are third-party tested, and those results are posted on our website.”
Barbara and her staff are very focused on creating a personalized customer experience this year. “We will be refining and improving many metrics for our business, while at the same time collaborating with small local businesses through a variety of programs and partnerships. Our ultimate goal is to reach customers in a diverse geographic area, as well as online, and help them achieve their health and wellness goals.”
District Hemp Botanicals is positioned for tremendous growth, and with the company’s sales numbers, it is quite evident the marketplace will continue to demand more brick-and-mortar locations. But for right now, Biddle is happy to help the community and raise her two young sons and build her mini-hemp-ire of retail stores.
For more information about District Hemp Botanicals, visit districthempstore.com.
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Heather Collins is an Account Manager for Compass Natural Marketing and has been working in communications and marketing in the natural products industry for the past twenty years. Compass Natural serves in PR and programming for NoCo Hemp Expo and Southern Hemp Expo. Collins serves as a Contributing Writer of the weekly Let’s Talk Hemp Newsletter, published by We are for Better Alternatives. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.