Updated: May 4
About Jimbo & Jules
After suffering through years of chronic pain and Lyme disease, Jimbo and Jules set out to heal themselves naturally.
The Earth's remedies gave them their lives back, and now they live to do the same for others. They are building a bridge between personal wellness and the wellness of our planet. The better you feel, the easier it is to care for the world around you - and inspire others to do the same!
Let's get started!
Mark: The About info (above) describes your "Why". But when was the moment that you decided to turn this into an actual company, and make your own products?
Jimbo: The process of turning Jimbo & Jules into a business was very organic. At age 14, I sustained four concussions within one year from football and ski racing. I spent a better part of that year in a dark room or with polarized sunglasses on in the classroom. Every specialist under the sun told me that my symptoms could be permanent, so I took my health into my own hands. During my search for a natural remedy, I discovered CBD and things started looking up. The chronic headaches subsided, the brain fog began to lift, and the sunglasses came off.
Seven years later, I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease. Once again, I tried the conventional medical route with little progress. Serendipitously, I met a friend that had experience treating Lyme with Bee Venom Therapy. After doing my own research, I decided to dive in. I stung myself with 30 Honeybees a week for a little over a year and was cured.
While enduring the mental and physical pain of healing from Lyme, my business partner Jules and I began combining full-spectrum CBD and other therapeutic botanicals to bring relief. Once again CBD had a profound effect on my well-being
As the prospect of starting a legitimate business grew, we were faced with a reckoning that doing so would inevitably create waste — and that was in direct conflict with our deep reverence for the planet. With this in mind, we decided to create a business model that we coined “Planet-First”. Planet-First means that every decision is made prioritizing the planet. Prioritizing the planet makes it easy to serve our customers with the highest quality, natural ingredients, and through our own research, we have found that the better quality the ingredient, the higher its therapeutic benefit. It’s a win-win for our customers and the planet.
Mark: What is unique about what you offer vs. similar options?
Jimbo: I like to think about our unique value in different categories that combine to create a holistic picture. The first is our ingredients. We are incredibly intentional about the ingredients we source and the therapeutic benefits they are going to offer. We have developed relationships with farmers that care deeply about the plants they grow and, arguably, more importantly, the soil in which those plants are grown.
We have pioneered sustainable packaging bringing many firsts to an industry that is riddled with plastic. Back in July, we released the world’s first zero-waste CBD product. It is a Muscle & Joint Relief Stick with packaging that is made from 100% post-consumer waste paper and will home compost within just 2-3 weeks. This one’s my pride and joy.
Lastly, a foundational component of our business is the Conscious Garden Project, which we created as an initiative to restore biodiversity and protect native habitats through native plant gardening. We donate 1% of every sale to People and Pollinator Action Network, which is doing incredible work all across Colorado.
Mark: For those of us who don't fully understand all of the stages of the supply chain, how are you sure that all of your ingredients are sustainably sourced, shipped and low-carboned the whole time?
Jimbo: That’s a great question! It’s easy to look at a product in your hand and make assumptions about whether it’s sustainable or not, but the reality is that most “sustainability” metrics are set in stone long before the product gets to your door.
The biggest imperative for us has been developing relationships with the people that grow our ingredients and create our packaging. Asking questions is key and of course, having certifications like USDA Organic or Non-GMO help as well, but that’s not the whole picture.
When we initially were developing our Zero-Waste Lip Balm, I looked into the paperboard push-up tubes that are becoming much more common for deodorants and things like that. At first glance they seemed like a great option, but upon digging deeper we learned that many are held together with a bioplastic adhesive, despite being marketed as “plastic-free”. On top of that, most are made in China. In addition to ethical concerns, we didn’t want our sustainable packaging to be shipped across the ocean. We’re proud that all of our zero-waste packagings is made domestically and ethically.
Mark: What kind of background is needed to know just how much, and which combinations of ingredients to use for best effectiveness? Is there a secret "cookbook" of sorts you've perfected?
Jimbo: At the beginning, we were just throwing paint at the wall with different ingredient combinations. We would have a goal with every product being developed, whether it was for pain relief, easing anxiety, or sleep support. We would go down the rabbit hole of research on numerous different ingredients and their benefits, then spend hours sampling different combinations. Again, at the start these products were just for us so we were the guinea pigs. Intuition guided us as we had real-time feedback for how each product made us feel. It’s a very fun process and was amazing to experience the transformative benefits when we found the magic combination.
I’m a big believer that we need many people to be imperfect environmentalists rather than striving for perfection, which can lead to guilt. Guilt has no part in creating solutions.
Mark: Can you reiterate how important bees are for the environment for us?
Jimbo: Absolutely! From an agricultural perspective, bees are responsible for pollinating about one-sixth of the flowering plant species worldwide. It’s estimated between $235 billion and $577 billion worth of annual global food production relies on bees’ contribution.
There are 20,000 known species of bees globally and 4,000 species native to the USA. Honeybees are certainly the “poster-bee” of the Save The Bees movement, but all of these other bees are vital to ecosystems as well. Without bees, you would have a lot less food on your plate and a lot less biodiversity in the world, which is what holds it all together.
Mark: What is the Conscious Garden Project and what does it take to become a master gardener?
Jimbo: As mentioned above, the Conscious Garden Project (CGP) is an initiative to inspire and empower communities to restore biodiversity in their landscapes through native plant gardening. Our 1% for the Planet membership is one part of it where we donate one percent of every sale to People and Pollinators Action Network. We also give native wildflower seeds with every order and write blogs educating our community on the importance of sustainable gardening.
Our goal is to work with schools, public parks, and community centers to transform sterile spaces into those that provide ecosystem services.
I became master gardener certified when I lived in Maryland a few years ago. It involves about six months of classwork and another six months of volunteering with a verified organization that will enhance your education.
Mark: How much of your ingredients come from your own gardens?
Jimbo: We have outgrown the ability to use ingredients from our own gardens, however, all of our ingredients are sourced from suppliers that we have developed personal relationships with. All of our hemp is single-sourced from an amazing USDA Organic hemp farm in southern Colorado. It’s definitely on the docket to own our own hemp farms sometime in the future.
Mark: What is the goal of the Green Step Collective?
Jimbo: The Green Step Collective (GSC) was created to build community in the sustainability space. It’s a watering hole if you will, where anyone interested in learning how to live more sustainably can gather with other like-minded individuals. There are so many people doing amazing things to help the planet, but there are few places where these people can connect with others who may not be working directly in their industry. Beyond networking events, I want the GSC to be active in the community doing clean-ups and consulting with other businesses to help them operate more sustainably as well.
Mark: I can imagine, with a business like yours, this sustainability consciousness must bleed into your personal life, which is great. But are there things that pains you to buy or use because they aren't sustainable?
Jimbo: I have worked hard to create a low-waste lifestyle, but some waste is inevitable. Buying plastic trash bags is one of those things that I haven’t figured out how to avoid. I try not to fly much given the astronomical emissions, but seeing my family back East is important so I usually do that once or twice a year. I’m a big believer that we need many people to be imperfect environmentalists rather than striving for perfection, which can lead to guilt. Guilt has no part in creating solutions.
Mark: What is the ONE biggest environmental issue you see facing the planet today?
Jimbo: It’s hard to pick just one, of course, but I do feel the rapid global decline of biodiversity is alarming to say the least. In some regions, up to 90% of bees have disappeared in the last 15 years – which is thought to be due to threats like habitat loss and the use of pesticides. Many people forget how foundational insects are to the overall health of our planet. In the words of E.O. Wilson, “insects are the little things that rule the world.”
Mark: You are a musician as well? How would you describe it? Who inspires you?
Jimbo: Music is definitely one of my biggest passions. My musical interests are constantly evolving and ultimately I’m after whatever moves me. I put out a solo acoustic EP last year that allowed me to dig into a raw and exposed sound. I’m also in a band based here in Denver, which has been really exciting. Our biggest challenge is putting a name to a genre because it’s really all over the map. It’s a unique sound and I’m looking forward to playing out around Denver more. You can check us at at @solveramusic on Instagram.
Visit Jimbo & Jules if you want holistic, natural, organic, and non-GMO ingredients from healthy plants that are grown with immense care, and beeswax from honey bees that roam free in fields of wildflowers never touched by pesticides.