Owner & Founder
26 years old
26 years old
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Meet the Founder
Hello! My name's Jess & I'm 26 years old. I set up Lemon & Jinja late 2018, moving into a shop in March 2019. Lemon & Jinja is a surprise venture for me! I love travelling and learning about new places & cultures, but I realised there was something that could be changed back where I live. So here I am, aiming to bring the zero waste movement closer to home.
Jinja (pronounced 'ginger') is a town based on the historic source of the Nile in Uganda.
A bit about myself: When I was a teenager, I went to school in Uganda: we moved there as a family because my parents set up an education & health charity ServeDirect. Having been obsessed with animal conservation from a young age, living so up close to African wildlife really opened up my eyes to, not only the astonishing value & brilliance of nature, but also the urgency & emergency that we face in protecting these species & our planet.
After university, I was lucky to get to work with Angie from Rhino Fund Uganda, where their long term goal is to introduce wild rhinos back into Uganda (they went extinct in 1983). As an elephant obsessed individual, this seemed to be the closest I would get to them! It was amazing & through this work I was also able to work closely with other animals; snakes, giraffe & warthogs, in particular.
When I moved back to England after working with Angie, I wanted to do something that would make a difference. Seeing the huge & devastating impact we, as humans, can have on planet, I wanted to change that. And that starts in your own home. Changing this was something I wanted to do. I totally believe that as individuals acting together we can bring about lasting difference in these critical times.
When the initial idea came about, a lot of people said it wouldn’t work & that our local area wasn’t the obvious place to set up Lemon & Jinja. If you don’t know it already, I’m incredibly stubborn and that pushed me to start the business even more!
Since opening a physical shop, we have doubled in size & introduced a small café. We now have over 450 products available & are always trying to make space for new things. Given our location, we do still attract many customers & can only have you guys to thank for that. The organic growth through word-of-mouth has been amazing.
Lemon & Jinja is a huge part of my life now & I’m extremely lucky to have such a great team working alongside me.