With experience as a professional athlete and a gym owner, Nick Osipczak has ventured into cbd and hemp-based products to promote healthy living through raised spirit
Fom Gordon Ryan and Nick Diaz to Mike Tyson and Anthony Pettis, many athletes have openly embraced the benefits of cannabis. With an aim to increase the awareness of its advantages, former UFC athlete Nick Osipczak launched Raised Spirit in 2013. It’s now evolved from being just a lifestyle brand to a hemp-based startup. “[I] had known about the powerful healing properties of plants for many years before CBD [or cannabidiol] became popular,” he recalls. “From the moment I heard it would be legal to sell cannabis products in the UK, I knew I had to be involved and I knew how big this industry would become [as] it’s still in the baby stages currently.”
Raised Sprit wasn’t his debut in entrepreneurship. Osipczak spearheaded New Wave Academy MMA, the martial arts gym from 2007 to 2012. But after he spent more time training in meditation, tai-chi, yoga and sacred geometry, he had a eureka moment and launched the hemp-based startup. “I knew the benefits that came with balancing the body and taming the mind and believed in my powers to create,” Osipczak says. “I wanted to share what I had experienced, partly to benefit others and partly to further my own understanding.” And his experience with the gym definitely helped him when he launched his new enterprise. “It gave me confidence, because the way I saw it – I’d created a successful business on my own once before so I could do it again, especially as I had a few more years life experience under my belt,” he says.
However, realising his vision was hardly easy. “In 2013 I had just returned from six months of travelling with my future wife, had no job, no home, no car and our first baby was due in two months,” Osipczak continues. “I calculated that the savings I had left would stretch to three months tops.” However, that didn’t stop him from pursuing his vision. “I started selling hemp from my flat whilst raising two young kids,” he reflects. “But the mission was always the same – adapt, evolve, keep putting one foot in front of the other.”
The founder attributes his fighter training for ingraining the qualities of entrepreneurship in him when times seemed tough. “Martial arts makes everything else seem easy,” he adds. “Martial arts gives you two massive advantages in business: confidence, which is gained through continuously achieving goals as a result of dedicated work over time, and discipline, the ability to make new habits, stick to routines and persevere through tougher times.” Given how a business owner wears many hats and is required to make difficult decisions, a healthy and balanced mind is a massive advantage. “You become comfortable with being in uncomfortable situations and learn how to stay calm under pressure,” he continues.
Osipczak also realised it’s imperative to invest a good amount of resources when launching a business. “Anyone who has started a new business knows how testing it can be at times and most failed businesses will occur because entrepreneurs will give up too early and not believe in themselves,” he opines.
Choosing to be in the CBD sector had its own obstacles as the industry is “particularly one that is having multiple new laws formed around it and old laws updated.” Osipczak also emphasises that startup owners venturing into the CBD sector must ensure they do so with a purpose as well as with a social responsibility to make people aware of its benefits. “Companies that approach CBD purely with profits in mind are missing the essence,” he argues. “They will come and go and not harmonise with the sustainable properties inherent in the hemp plant.” And this is why he created the tagline for Raised Spirit which says: “Love Health: Love Hemp.” “Create something you are proud of – if you are not proud of your work, change things up immediately,” he advises.
Despite facing a plethora of roadblocks, Osipczak saw the results manifest in his favour. He claims Raised Spirit became the first organically certified CBD company in Blighty with sales escalating every quarter. And to add on, he received a host of positive testimonials for his products which is evident on his Instagram page.
Looking forward, apart from the current range of hemp cocoa protein powder, CBD coconut oil and CBD body balm, the athlete-turned-entrepreneur plans to venture into a hemp-based clothing line. “We are also in talks with a couple of major retailers so stay tuned for a big announcement soon,” he says bullishly. Indeed, the startup is on a high. “Making a living out of working with plants, benefiting the population and improving the health of the planet, what’s not to get excited about?” he concludes.