Article by Chantel Ellerington + Dana Lapinel

Photography by Ben Hardman

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

Who: Founders Ret & Adriaan

What: Ned

When: Est. 2017

Where: Ned was officially born one cold October morning on an alpine climbing expedition in the heart of Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness.

And here’s why.

Please share the backstory on how Ned came to fruition?

Ret: When in 2015, my mom, Win, was diagnosed with cancer. I was scared and wanted to help as best I could. She received excellent treatment from her doctors, however, that included little in the way of nutrition and natural remedies. I decided I’d learn all I could, first about battling cancer through natural remedies and later about using them to truly thrive.

CBD was one of the remedies that came highly recommended. I spent two years trying the various brands on the market. However, I didn’t develop an affinity toward any of them. There was no transparency around the products or the "why" of the business. I became interested in starting my own — one that would raise the bar concerning quality and transparency. 

I was extremely fortunate my business partner, Adriaan saw the vision as well.

Adriaan: As Ret and his mom were beginning their journey towards her recovery back in 2015, I was 5,000 miles away, starting a big new job in the UK. While I  should have been celebrating a defining moment of my career, I was privately battling severe stress, anxiety and questions about my existence.

While I did my best to suppress those struggles, the avoidance finally erupted like a volcano, resulting in a full-blown panic attack in front of my new company and my exit. I was presented with the rare opportunity to take a step back. What I initially thought would be two months, turned into two years of traveling, writing, taking photos and exploring sustainability for my life, career and existence. Which I found in nature, simplicity and human connection.

Upon my return and eventual move to Colorado, I got an excited call from my old friend Ret. He had just met an epic hemp farmer, found out where we could produce hemp oil, and thought we should start a CBD company together.

After numerous discussions, we knew that this company would be way beyond a CBD company. It would be a wellness brand that would stand for reconnecting the world with nature.


Nature is clearly your muse. How do you help others reconnect with nature?

Ret: We do so in several ways. Nature is at the core of all we do. One way is through our Ned Walks, which bring people together to hike and practice the art of nature bathing. Another way is through our products, the entirely natural ingredients they contain, and the transparency. Also, through our marketing and voice on social media, shedding light on ways in which people can bring nature back into their lives. Without that connection — or rather reconnection — it can be difficult for one to truly care about the planet. 


Your products are “energetically infused” with love, gratitude and binaural beats, can you please illustrate what this process looks like?

Ret: At the time of bottling, we hold a little ceremony. With binaural beats playing in the background, Adriaan and I take a few moments to give our oil good energy, to feed it with love and gratitude, and to send it into the world as our gift. It's a simple process, and we're fully aware of just how “woo woo” this might sound, but Einstein showed us frequency is everywhere. It is one more thing we do to create the absolute highest quality product we can. 


Your latest Nedventure brought you to Iceland for a pit stop on your way to the Netherlands for your next product line. Can you drop a little insider secret on what you’re working on next?

Ret: Sure. It was a blast! Travel and the act of seeking is a foundational part of Ned. The mission to the Netherlands was to visit a family business that extracts the world's purest magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral responsible for a host of biomechanical systems in the body. Because so much has been depleted from our soil due to overfarming, more than 70% of Americans are magnesium deficient. We’re working on a line of magnesium products that will help people become and experience the benefits of being magnesium-optimal.

Adriaan: And it doesn’t stop there! We have plenty of new products on our radar and are actively plotting our next Nedventures (and pit stops) as we build what we’ve already created.

You have a very positive aura about you? Where does that stem from?

Ret: Thank you. Knowing you're on the right path and truly walking the walk will do that to a person. Also, I am one of the lucky ones who knows his purpose. Blessed as I am by this, I believe I have a responsibility to myself and others to pursue that purpose. The act of doing so has proven one of the most fulfilling ways of manifesting that positivity.

In our society, we are taught that we need to have success to be happy. What wisdom would you give someone that is lost in their career, feeling very unfulfilled?

Ret: Focus on finding purpose. This might sound cliché, but the alignment and energy that can come from purpose are only topped by that of love.

Adriaan: I could go on for hours about this subject so I’ll try to keep it simple. What I can say to anyone lost in their careers is this …you can always make money, but you can never take back time. Respect the time you have, but know that there is enough time to honor yourself and if that means making a significant change, that's okay. It may feel like your peers will advance past you if you're not always "moving forward" (which can be unsettling), acknowledge that you can live many lives in your career, and careers in your life.

Listen to what it is you truly want. Be patient. And follow that path. The universe has a way of aligning.

What does an optimal healthy day in the life look like for you in Boulder, Co?

Ret: Rise with the sun and connect with nature, movement and proper nutrition. Meaningfully connect with family, friends, colleagues and customers. Focus on creating an alignment with purpose. Throughout the day, I try to take mini breaks to get outside, move and reconnect. One of my favorite practices is dipping my hands in Boulder Creek after lunch. The rivers and streams of the world are the chords that bind it together. In my mind's eye, I can transport myself to any other body of water in the world.

Adriaan: What immediately comes to mind is a day that my partner, Brittany, had last weekend. We woke up to the sunrise painting the Continental Divide then had a nice slow morning with coffee on our deck. After taking in the mountains from a distance, we headed over to South Boulder and climbed Bear Peak via the Canyon route. We spent the hike just talking, then stopping and admiring the beautiful place we’re lucky to call home.

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