Kim • Owner & Herbalist, Premye Herbals

Kim is the founder of Premye Herbals, an herbal product line that’s helping her to connect with people and plants on her journey into folk herbalism and community building. Here’s what she had to say about being black in Denver.

How long have you lived in Denver?

I moved here with my partner Greg and our cat Lavender from NYC 4 years ago. We’re originally from Brooklyn and Long Island, and while I miss some key aspects of East Coast living, Denver is perfect for us right now with all that’s happening around arts, culture and community building. Plus we were finally able to get a dog when we moved here and we explore more of the city with him, so now this place really feels like home.

What does it mean to you to be black in Denver?

That’s an interesting question since I’d never thought deeply about my blackness until I moved here at the end of 2014. Between living in a less diverse city for the first time ever, #blacklivesmatter, the 2016 election and everything in between… well let’s just say I’ve done a ton of deep diving into that part of my identity. I’m first-generation Caribbean so being #blackindenver for me means a shift in how I name my diaspora roots. Back home I was ‘Haitian American’ first and black second – if that makes sense; there were enough brown folks that I could immediately name my family roots. Here in Colorado, I feel like identifying as black first and foremost is more important as I meet folx across racial groups. Lastly, being black in Denver for me has meant more actively seeking out friendships and partnerships with not only POCs but specifically black-identifying folx.

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you as a creative, entrepreneur, professional, etc.?

This is a biggie for me since Denver has helped me discover that I’m an ambivert! I’m normally pretty introverted – that just means I relax better on my own or in small groups. But since moving here, something about the mix of creative yet laid back people I keep meeting has made me more of an extrovert where I get energized by hanging out with new folx. Which is super helpful considering that I want to eventually transition from my corporate day job to something in the herbalist and community service realm!

Tell me about your business.

I’m super excited to have started my own herbal product line this October! Premye Herbals is my small line of custom formulated and hand-blended herbal teas and cigarettes. I’m studying to be a community herbalist as a long-term goal, so I started Premye as a way to offer up small and simple items to help people relax and feel better. It’s pretty cool that a simple thing like making and drinking a cup of tea can be an act of self-care. You can find me @Premye on Instagram or at my website.