Women-Owned Business Series: Andi & Toni from Terra Mater Farma
Mar 04, 2022 brooklyn,brooklyn community,brooklyn women,brooklyn women-owned,cannabis,community,park slope,plants,women-owned,women-owned business,women-owned business spotlight series
Tera Mater Farma is a cannabis education company offering classes and private consultations to the Brooklyn community. They have a deep love and appreciation for the healing that cannabis can bring about — especially as it carried Toni through an exceptionally challenging time of her own. They strive to educate others and share their experiences — allowing those around them to utilize the plant comfortably and reap the best possible benefits.
We interviewed owner Toni about her business, her inspirations, and her challenges — take a moment to check it out below!
Tell us a little about your background and why you feel a connection to your work.
Starting in 2016, I lost 3 immediate family members in the period of 2 1/2 years. During that same period, I was caring for my dad in his final days 400 miles away, traveling back and forth, my husband was diagnosed with cancer and I was raising teenagers, all while working at a small textile company in the shrinking market that had run for the last 28 years. I was filled with doubt and worry, and I was not sleeping. Cannabis tinctures helped me feel calmer and allowed me to sleep again. I feel called by this plant to let others know of her healing properties!
We’d like to know about your experience within your community. What community do you identify as being part of ? Why did you choose the neighborhood your business is located in, if you have a physical location? How have you become involved within your community?
My community is Park Slope. We moved here in 1997 from NYC, and before that from North Carolina. I was only going to live in the city for a couple of years, but Brooklyn captured my heart. I met my best friends, mainly women, who became my village. Both of my children attended public school through 12th grade, and I volunteered at their schools when they were younger. Andi, my business partner, owns the farm and it is located in Dutchess County, NY.
What advice would you give to young women who want to start a small business?
Stay true to yourself first. Most of the time, we know what direction to go in and what we want to achieve, but we can be thrown off course by others’ comments or concerns.
What woman inspires you and why?
My business partner Andi inspires me with her plant knowledge, work ethic, and caring nature. My mom also inspires me — her motto was, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” She used it a lot while parking the car when she visited Brooklyn!
What do you think are the most significant challenges for women business owners or women in leadership positions?
One of my most significant challenges was self-doubt. I wondered if anyone would care, and who I was to give out advice. All of these things were constantly running through my head. Once I stopped doubting myself, things moved quickly.
How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
I try to take care of my physical and mental states. A daily walk helps, as well as daily doses of tinctures.
Being a small business owner means relying on your community to support you and getting involved within your community as well. In what ways do you feel supported and actively engage with your neighborhood of residents and other business owners?
I am figuring this out now as we are starting. Due to the nature of what we are educating about, it has been a little difficult to be out in the open. Now that cannabis is legal, it will be easier.
Tera, along with her company as a whole, are working hard to improve the healing potential her neighborhood has access to. We’re proud of her for striving to be her best and building her business every day. Park Slope is lucky to have her nearby — let’s help her feel welcomed in the entire Brooklyn community, too!