stockbroker to hemp trader

As you look at William Dean, you would never guess he used to be a stockbroker. William traded in his suspenders for hemp and opened a counter culture outlet shop.

William and his wife were vacationing in Sydney, Australia during the 2000 Olympics. He had just left his job as a stockbroker and was looking for business investment ideas. They came across a store selling apparel and goods made from hemp. They knew then that was what they wanted to do.

Shortly afterwards, William opened Flowland as an “all things hemp” store.

From stockbroker to hemp trader

At the time, almost all hemp was produced in Australia, Europe, and Canada, and little to none in the United States. That has now changed with hemp becoming a bigger crop now in the U.S.

What is so great about clothing and items made from hemp? Hemp is easier on the environment to grow. The crop requires 50 percent less water to grow and requires no pesticides as it is a natural weed deterrent.

The first store was located on Morganton Road in Southern Pines. They started by selling hemp clothing and hemp food. Over the years, other items have been added as the market changes. They keep a close eye on what sells and what doesn’t, adapting to the market.

When you walk in the doors of Flowland, located in Aberdeen, you will find it is not what you expect.

From stockbroker to hemp

There is an eclectic mix of items for sale. Most of the store has more of a bohemian feel to it with all sorts of apparel, jewelry, gift bags, skateboards, disc golf, and unique gifts. As you come in the front door, look to the left. You will see old lunch boxes lined up, remnant of William’s restaurant he used to own, The Lunch Box That Rocks.

There is a huge display across the back wall of the store for disc golf, a widely popular sport in the area. There are discs in every color imaginable with accessories and apparel to add.

stockbroker to hemp trader Flowland

Up front, you can find one of the largest skateboard selections around. From small skateboards with Disney characters to the higher end ones for the serious skateboarder, Flowland has it all. 

There are t-shirts galore and some of the coolest looking socks around, if cool socks are your thing.  Hats, toboggans, stickers, backpacks, candles, and some beautiful hand made jewelry adorn the shop. If you are looking for a unique gift, you are in the right place.

From stockbroker to hemp trader Flowland

The biggest misconception about the store, says William, is that people think we are a “druggie shop”. They do have an area that is a smoke shop, but you have to be 18 to enter.  There is a large sign on the door reminding people of the age limit, and the entrance is closely monitored.

In part of the smoke shop, there is also a vape store that is well stocked. 

“The items found are no different than any other smoke shop in town, but we do have a better selection,” said William.

One of the newer additions to the store is CBD oil.

stockbroker to hemp trader Dean

CBD oil is actually extracted from industrial hemp, and hemp is now grown here in North Carolina. William buys some of their hemp from right here in Carthage.

CBD oil is touted as having medical benefits from a variety of sources. William says he was not sure about how well the CBD oil and products would do initially, as even he was skeptical about its benefits.

Now, he says, probably the average age of customers coming in has crept up to somewhere around 65 and over to get the CBD oil. Repeat customers are coming in buying the oil while telling stories of how much better they feel, or the effects it has had on their chronic pain.

Flowland has a tremendous selection of items for just about everyone. Stop by and check out the selection. Grab a cool gift for a friend, and pick up something for yourself.

Flowland is located at 1200 N. Sandhills Boulevard, and you can find more information by clicking here.

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