We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Gomez Johnathan Torres and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marisa Gomez, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
After visiting Amsterdam in Fall 2019, we felt inspired to recreate a store for Houstonians to get the Amsterdam experience. Our goal was to create a safe space where clients could enjoy a smoke while learning about the benefits of cannabis.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are Hot Box Hemp Goods, a local hemp shop located in the heart of Houston. We opened our doors in January 2020 with no idea the world was about to be turned upside down. Yup, the pandemic hit and nearly caused us to shut our doors. Like many other new businesses, COVID was and is HARD for us! Thankfully, we have a great support system of family and friends that would help share our business on social media, act as walking billboards, and most of all just showing up. Eventually, we had a group of individuals that became regulars. For a while, things were okay, then as the quarantine weeks turned to months, things got bumpy. Less and less people were coming in. When we say it’s been a roller coaster, it really has. Things got bad then they got good, then the cycle repeats. However, as the world inches back to life in 2021, business has begun to pick up. We are fortunate to have lasted through the worst and are currently bouncing back. If there is one thing this business venture has taught us, it is that nothing worth having comes easy. Your resilience is what will matter at the end.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Local Markets Discovery Green
Art hunting around town
Food truck park
Galleria not only to shop but to show how diverse Houston is
Taco truck hopping
Tour of the Montrose hipster area
Bike riding along Houston’s miles of trails
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Our friends and family! From the renovation of the establishment, to logo creation, to advertisement, and everything in between. It is very easy to think we are doing this alone, but in reality the small gestures from our friends and family really go a long way. They were our backbones through it all and continue to be our number one support system.
Facebook: Hotbox Hemp Goods