Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jeremy Temple, Co-Founder of CEMENT6, located in Nashville, TN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

CEMENT6 is a sustainable brand of bags, wallets, and other accessories -- handmade from discarded cement and farming bags in Cambodia. Our customers are anyone who loves unique and sustainable fashion.

Tell us about yourself

We started as a grassroots sustainability project. My Co-founder, Susannah, spent time in Southeast Asia after college and immediately noticed the abundance of usable trash that cluttered the streets. She met a woman in Cambodia working at a night market that was repurposing this durable material. Years later, Jeremy and Susannah decided to venture back to Cambodia to see if they could collaborate with that same woman and bring our own designs to life. Years later, we now employ around 40 amazing men and women that help with the creation of our products. We are huge advocates of slow and ethical fashion, so we continue to strive each day to mold our brand into something we are proud of while continuing to make a positive impact in the communities we work in. We travel to Cambodia yearly so we can be hands-on with designing and producing our products. The highlight of our months overseas is the time spent with our community partners doing food drives, school lessons, trash clean up, and simply just spending time with the incredible individuals we have grown to love.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Our biggest accomplishment is the community we have built in Cambodia. We no longer feel like tourists when we travel. We feel like we have a second home there. We have also taken tens of thousands of pieces of trash off the streets and farms across the country.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The most difficult aspect of being a business owner is the tedious tasks that are not as glamorous but still extremely necessary for a thriving business. We do all our shipping, marketing, social media, web design + management, SEO, wholesale, and freight forwarding in-house. These are each full-time jobs. We hope to allocate some of these responsibilities in the future. This is a phase of growth for any business, and sometimes it's a good idea to let go of the reigns a bit and let others help you grow.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. If you are going to start your own business, make sure it is something you absolutely LOVE doing. Most of us are easily motivated by money and the idea of working for ourselves. But it takes a lot of hard work and long hours to create a lucrative business. If we were not fully passionate about our brand, we might have given up a long time ago.
  2. Don't compare yourself to others. Social media has given an unrealistic snapshot of what you "should" look like as a business. It's not real. Be true to yourself, your goals, and your values.
  3. Ask for help. This is a tough one for me (Susannah). There are so many aspects of running a business. We cannot possibly be experts at them all. In the areas that you do not excel in, ask for help.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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