Women-Owned Business Series: Remedies Herb Shop and Cheryl Boiko

We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Cheryl Boiko of Remedies Herb Shop, a woman-owned business and supporter of other women-owned makers and businesses! She talked about her experience opening up a storefront in the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, classes and events being offered at her shop and gives other woman who are thinking of opening up a business some very good advice. Read more below and check out her gorgeous space in our photo gallery!

 

Tell us about your business and anything special we should know about it or you.

Remedies Herb Shop will be celebrating it’s 5 anniversary on June 1st. We are an all natural herb and herbal beauty shop and we carry over 150 loose organic or wild harvested herbs and spices which can be used for tea, cooking or to make your own herbal products and skin care. We also offer herbal tinctures, essential oils and diffusers, natural skin care, books, candles, CBD products, tea making supplies and more. All of the women working at Remedies are either herbalists or herbal apprentices completing an internship and while we don’t prescribe or diagnose, we are happy to share our knowledge or point you towards various resources or books that can help you to take charge of your health and well-being as naturally as possible. 
 Do you have any events coming up?
We hold regular herbal classes at the shop and longer, more hands on workshops at a school around the corner from us. In the coming months you can join us for Plant Spirit Medicine (May 12th), a Healing Plant Walk in Prospect Park (date May18th), Herbs 101 (June 9th), a Natural Skin Care Workshop (May 25th) and the thing we are always most excited about, our first Herbal Weekends in the Catskills for 2019 will be taking place on June 28th-29th. (This event usually sells out and there is an early bird discount offered until May 15th). And stay tuned for our first ever  psychic medium event to be held in mid-July!  Former Stand up Comedian Psychic Shirley is a clairvoyant, clair-audient, medium and an empath. Her comedic edge and psychic gift combine to provide an always lighthearted perspective – if you’re not ready to laugh, Shirley’s not the psychic for you! This should be a fun evening full of psychic insights and chuckles. 
 Tell us a little about your background and why you feel a connection to your brand, products and community.
When I had my children over 20 years ago, I found myself in the trap of processed foods, over the counter meds for myself and my girls and other unhealthy habits and I really wanted to take control of my health and set a better example for my daughters. I started by taking some herbal medicine classes at the Open Center and then completing the advanced Immersion Program at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition where I was certified as a Holistic Health Coach.  My interest in herbs grew and I went on to complete an apprenticeship and then an internship at Flower Power Herbs & Roots, both based in the Wise Women Tradition of Herbal Medicine. I then took the plunge and opened my own little herbal oasis here in Carroll Gardens where I’ve lived for over 20 years and I feel very connected to this community. Absolutely everything I carry in the shop has been carefully curated and all of our products are free of chemicals and preservatives, and most things are certified organic as well. I love being in a business where I can feel really good about the quality of the goods I provide to the people who live in my neighborhood and beyond. The other really special thing about my shop is that I am a small, woman owned business supporting other small, woman owned businesses. While I love to make herbal products for myself and my family, I don’t really have the time or inclination to produce items for resale. Fortunately for me, there are no lack of amazing woman out there (and some wonderful men as well) making stellar herbal goods that we can all benefit from. In preparing for this article I did a quick inventory at the shop and can proudly tell you that we carry hand made, excellent quality herbal products from 23 small women owned businesses, 13 of which are located in NYC. Interestingly I did not set out to stock specifically from women owned companies and only realized this was the case in preparing for this article. But it makes perfect sense as women are the majority of people out there working with the plants, especially when it comes to natural skin care and herbal remedies. (see full list of our women owned vendors below)
What advice would you give to young women who want to open a small business?
 
What really helped me was to first work at the type of business you want to start and learn as much as you can from someone who has experience and success in that area (thanks to Lata of Flower Power Herbs and Roots!). Find women who can mentor you and share their own experience of opening and running a business like the one you want to open and then create something that is uniquely you. There are several herb shops around NYC and each one has it’s own vibe and while there is cross over as far as products, each one also carries items unique to them. There are many women out there who want to support and encourage other women – I feel so blessed to have been supported by many who were rooting for me when I opened and who continue to support me – that’s so important right now, that women support other women instead of competing with one another.  Look for organizations in your area that work with women in business and can advise you on loans and other things that may be available. On a more energetic note, start to imagine and envision what you want to do!  Indulge in some full fledged fantasy and be swept away with imagery of your wildest dreams of what you want to achieve. But do the work too! If you’re making a product, work on quality and consistency, consistency, consistency (really important in the herbal world), as well as creating beautiful packaging and marketing. One will not work without the other! Don’t rush to get a product on the market that isn’t ready. Take your time, be prepared, do your due diligence and then take the plunge!
List of Women Owned Businesses whose products are carried at Remedies Herb Shop
 
Peony Rose Apothecary – Brooklyn
Antidote Apothecary – Brooklyn
Flower Power – Manhattan
Collective Hand – Brooklyn
Raven Crest – upstate NY
Priya Means Love – Baltimore
Willow & Birch Apothecary – upstate NY
Dr Amikole Shea butter – Manhattan
Phoenix Botanicals – Manhattan
Earthly Remedies by Erin – upstate NY
S&H Candles – Queens
Highest Self Elixirs – upstate NY
Incense by Tomomi – Brooklyn
Pillows by Leah – Brooklyn
Alegna Soaps – Long Island
Fox Farm Apiary – upstate New York
Soapwalla – Brooklyn
Catopia – Switzerland
Dancing Amulets – Manhattan
Cathy Towle Spirit Wisdom – Brooklyn
House of Magick – Manhattan
512 Organics – Austin, Texas
Skye Botanicals – California
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