Meet Emily Gogol- CEO at Infinite Tree, an organic hemp research and production nursery based in the U.S.
If there is one thing that Emily enjoys, it is coming up with creative ideas and creating new things which range from scientific discoveries (thanks to her previous career) to building public parks (through the non-profit she is a co-founder at) or fanciful art projects (like Sandpiper in Pixar’s permanent collection).
Going back in time and remembering her childhood, she says- “I had a difficult childhood who could never really fit in. However, I loved going to school and participating in music was very important to me. I played in jazz bands, symphonies, wind ensembles, pit orchestras for musicals, etc.” As she continued to keep her artistic character alive, fate had other plans for her career.
During her PhD, she co-founded a non-profit organisation that built public parks and created a community of volunteers to manage these parks. Even while she began working as a scientist at Genentech, she continued to run that non-profit, ran a local community garden and even created interactive art for an immersive theatre company- marking the demeanour a modern woman with modern skills. She also took a leap of faith to ask out a good friend friend of hers and their marriage of 18 years have proven her instincts well. “We have done so many fun projects together and he is the best ‘partner in crime’ I could dream of!” she says.
Her venture Infinite Tree is a USDA Organic hemp research and production nursery. It delivers high quality plants that produce a final product tailored to suit its consumer’s needs, for their desired market. Emily and her team have curated an inventory of cultivars to serve the broader nursery market. They also have partnerships with breeders to source unique material for the consumer of every kind. Whether the consumer is looking to improve costs, harvest yield or timing, or getting their hands on a particular flavour’s profile, they will likely have something for everyone. Apart from this, they also provide auxiliary library services and can source particular cultivars or maintain their consumer’s proprietary material.
For her, this new industry is very challenging- they bring reliable products to market for farmers that help them be successful despite the huge obstacles they face. As she had been related with science in the past, it was all about working as quickly and effectively as possible to discover new information to move this project forward. However, it was very challenging for her to push so hard with a very narrow focus. She still struggles in figuring out how to help the farmers and backyard gardeners attain what they need to succeed and providing them with her products.
“Infinite Tree is very new, but on the commercial side, we are recognized nationally as leaders in the hemp industry. Our direct to consumer brand, Grow It From Home, was just launched last year, but folks are very excited that they can grow hemp legally at home and it’s been great working with gardeners, chefs, mixologists, and wellness experts who use hemp or CBD,” she says.
Looking back at her own journey, she realizes one thing- we don’t always have to do what is expected of us – because our past experiences or training make way for what we know now and if we apply it to what we are passionate about, the new path won’t look difficult at all!