Veteran Owned Business Logo Hemp Wick Air Force

Meet Michael

How my hemp wick journey began.

Visit Michael’s homepage here, michaelklepacz.com

In 2009 is when I started my journey into sustainability. Organic food and agriculture at that point in my life had become a passion. I was trying to get my father to quit smoking. Since I knew my father wouldn’t quit smoking. I thought to myself that there had to be natural alternatives to make him at the very least a “healthier”smoker. I went to the head shop where my best friend from childhood was the manager. I asked him what I could do for my dad. He very quickly handed me a box of pure paper cigarette tubes, organic tobacco, and hemp wick…

I had never seen hemp wick before. He explained to me what it was, and that instead of my father lighting his cigarettes with his zippo, he could light the hemp wick first and then like the cigarette. I thought that was silly, and I knew my father would think it was a pain in the ass and would never use it. Regardless, I went home with my bag of hemp wick, organic tobacco, and high-quality cigarette tubes and presented them to my father. He immediately rejected them, and we got in an argument.

Then I went outside into the freezing cold and turned on the drill press and hollowed out some old Pinewood, and created my very first hemp wick dispenser. My first “real” invention. It was a very crude device made from 1 inch pine, I used the drill press to create a hole in the shape of a BIC lighter. On the bottom of the dispenser I hollowed out the space for a spool of Hemp wick to be on a toothpick. An old brake line was installed to guide the hemp wick to the top of the lighter where the flame would be.

My father was not impressed and he did not want to use the Hemp wick dispenser. I however, was completely sold on the idea of using hemp wick to smoke weed.

Fast forward a few months and I moved out to California. Many friend there were using hemp wick and told me I should patent it.

I did just that. I also started a small e-commerece shop and started selling Humboldt Traders hemp wick. The owner of Humboldt is a fantastic person and he is the real deal. He is passionate about everything he does, passionate about his local vicinity and is all around just a great passionate person. While selling his wick I was selling many different styled of glass wick holder, I would hand stuff each one of them. Because I am a process engineer at heart from my time in the Air Force I tried to determine the fastest way I could fill them with the maximum amount of wick. That is when I discovered the self dispensing hemp wick roll. At the time though I didn’t realize it was a “discovery” because I was so concerned at the time with taking the dispenser to the market.

Some time later I got a phone call saying that I was infringing upon a patent and sure enough this man was right, he filed for a patent just a few months before me. My design was easier to produce though. So for a time I concentrated on trying to bring that to market until after I moved to Poland in 2012 and some time after we parted ways.

Here was the kicker though, while I was in Poland I was working on a machine to make refills for the dispenser. I realized that I could finally make that self dispensing roll. Soon after “Pocket Wick” was born. By the time I put it on the shelves though I had a hard time selling it because of other powerhouse brands on the American market. As of 2015 I have been white labeling hemp wick for clients all over the world using my proprietary waxing technique Natural Materials Unlimited is able to make the slowest burning wick on the market.

Since then we have produced over 18,000 miles of wick and they would take over 1,000 years to burn it! I am very passionate about this product. I love packaging it in new and exciting ways. We have made a lot of promotional wicks as well for business cards.

Get in Touch

If you want to talk about sustainability, hemp, bast fibers, product design etc here is a link to my calendar.