For some, launching a cosmetics company is a dream. For Laure Bouguen, it’s a battle. Her grandparents had paved the way, by making a living harvesting hemp—cannabis sativa—for its stalks. By creating Ho Karan, which means “I love you” in Breton, Laure sought to share the virtues of the cannabis plant, which is so often misunderstood and met with mistrust due to its super strict legislation in France.
Laure Bouguen, founder of Ho Karan Care
So, tell us about yourself!
My name is Laure Bouguen, I’m 28 years old, and I created Ho Karan when I was still a student. Ho Karan is the French cannabis and cosmetics expert. Hemp, aka cannabis sativa, is an extraordinary plant, the only one in this world able to feed us, clothe us, heal us, and treat our mind, spirit...and skin! Cannabis sativa is rich in omega-3, omega-6, vitamins, and proteins. It also boasts a plethora of oxidant and regenerative effects. This plant is the base of all our treatments.
On a more personal level, I’m passionate about dance, which I've now been practicing for 13 years, and I’ve also recently gotten into freediving. I love swimming, being underwater. It's where I’m at peace, in my element.
What’s your ideal jungle?
My jungle is a hemp field in Brittany, France, filled with tons of butterflies. We were enamored when we went to visit our producers for the very first time. Earth that benefits from organic and biodynamic agriculture is teeming with life, with insects, and butterflies, and birds in the fields... This is all thanks to nature.
When do you feel like you’re “queen of the jungle?”
I’ve been fighting to get cannabis’ therapeutic and health benefits recognized for years—and it’s finally so close to happening! I work with the Syndicat Professionnel du Chanvre (Union for Wellness Hemp). It is mostly made up of men, but I’m the spokesperson for the group.
My proudest moments are going to the National Assembly, defending our positions, and meeting with the DGCCRF (General Direction for Competition of Consumer and the Prevention of Fraud) to explain why legislation controls on the production of hemp in France must be changed. I feel useful when we fight our fight. So as for feeling like a “queen of the jungle,” maybe not, but in any case, I feel useful.
We often talk about female rivalry: what’s your take on it?
I’m finding that there is less rivalry between women today, and that we’ve understood what “sorority” really means. We took part of a pop-up called “Feminine Business,” which is made up of tons of women. I’m always surprised by how open they are and how much they're willing to share with others their thoughts and experiences.
I also am a part of different networks, like CEW Cosmetic Executive Women, which is originally a professional organization for women. Last year it finally opened up to men, and there are many examples today of this idea of sorority.
Who is the ultimate Tiger for you?
One person I particularly admire—it’s perhaps why I got into freediving—is the freediver Julie Gautier. She's a choreographer and she performs underwater choreography called AMA. It’s simply stunning. She’s also a filmmaker, and films champion freediver Guillaume Néry’s various underwater exploits. I think she’s just an incredibly impressive woman.
What makes you bare your claws?
Injustice in any form. This is why I began to fight for people to be able to access cannabis’ therapeutic and health virtues. So many people cannot use a plant which could treat them or help them live better lives; it’s the epitome of injustice and I think it’s absurd. I don't understand why, so I fight against it.
I’m also deeply affected by injustices against our environment. I’m amazed that we as human beings are unable to rid ourselves of our consumer culture. Black Friday and other events that incite people to uselessly consume, to give in to their consumerist urges, terribly irritate me. This side of capitalism is something I just cannot support.
When makes you roar with pleasure?
Being one with nature. This could be in the countryside, at the beach—as long as it's away from the city, from the constant demands, the go, go, go. Being in a place where I’m at peace allows me to recharge my batteries. This is most definitely why I am unable to live in Paris, even if I have to spend part of my week there. I’m in Nantes the rest of the time.
Otherwise, there are tons of other things that make me roar with pleasure, and in general they have to do with food! You just have to ask my team and you’ll find out my obsession for galette des rois (king cake, traditional French pastry for Epiphany). Everyone knows that I am a huge fun and that I impatiently wait for the beginning of each year!
So, you can probably tell that I like the city—I like to be drawn in by the sounds, and the sights, and the constant movement—it’s necessary for creative stimulation... But I also like to get away from it all, to be somewhere calm, to take a step back and “digest” it all.
Is natural, vegan, and cruelty-free important to you?
Yes, it is most certainly something I find important. All of Ho Karan's products are natural and vegan, though I might cast a shadow over that by saying I’d like to be able to use hive products, particularly propolis. I think bee conservation can also be accomplished through conscious consumption of hive products. But at the moment, our products are 100% vegan.
How does this impact my professional and personal goals?
When I first started Ho Karan four years ago, I chose to use only natural formulas in all my products. And when it comes to my personal life, I no longer buy meat. This doesn't prevent me from eating it, like if I’m invited to a friend’s house, though I haven’t bought it for myself for almost a year.
Do you have a favorite lipstick color?
Lipstick is a must for me; it is part of my beauty essentials. My favorite color is orange red, I wear it all the time!
There you have it, you’re now a Tiger! What’s your motto?
I’m going to say, “Canna Tiger,” the Tiger that lives in cannabis fields!
Thank you, Laure!
You want to take the reins of ALL TIGERS? Just follow us on Instagram and let your voice be heard. We consult our community every step of the way. Ready to roar? ROAARRR!
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