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Meet Tessa Ghenender of Amber Fort in Ventura

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tessa Ghenender.

Tessa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started Amber Fort because I think having a comfortable bed and getting a good night sleep is extremely important and because I saw a disparity in sustainable sheets. So many of my friends were buying $40 bed linens at Ikea and were throwing them away a few months later because of the poor quality for them to pile up in a landfill. I had started wearing hemp and fell in love with its magical properties. It’s breathable, antibacterial, thermoregulating and odor/mildew resistant. I’ve heard of houses, cars, clothing and food that made from hemp, so why is no one making hemp bedding? It is perfectly suited for bed and It’s sustainable, non-toxic, soft, and will last you years and years to come.

My background is in apparel production, and while I have always loved seeing products through their life cycle and making connections with vendors around the world, contributing to consumerism, waste and pollution always made me uneasy. Amber Fort is my way of creating a sustainable alternative to a product that everyone needs.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a business is tough, especially when you are limited with time and resources. Since the beginning, the Amber Fort team has consisted of myself, which means I design, manage production and logistics, run social media, design emails, build websites, handle customer service and pack orders… There is no way you can be an expert in all fields, so there are many learning opportunities.

Example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Amber Fort is about providing customers with a sustainable and artisanal option for a product that everyone needs, without compromising in design aesthetic, comfort or quality. For every decision I make, I ask myself, is this the most sustainable option, and is it made ethically? I am SO very proud to work with fair trade artisans in India and to be one of the first to bring hemp into the bedding game.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
Yesterday was Amber Fort’s first birthday, and in just a year, the business has come such a long way. I am excited to keep growing and keep educating consumers on why non-toxic hemp bedding is good for the environment and good for your skin and body. I am developing new styles and playing around with new block prints, colors and embroidery techniques that will continue to set Amber Fort apart from mass-made cookie-cutter sheets with no soul or personality. I am excited for an upcoming collaboration with one of my favorite artists (who also happens to live locally), Real Fun, Wow!

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