By Anne Lagrange
Meet Brandi, co-founder of Earth Commons, a community wellness center offering locally produced herbal medicine, holistic consultation, and body work. She started her business at the beginning of the pandemic based on a need for holistic wellness in Austin. Having struggled finding support for her own health in traditional medicine she wanted others to have access to the empowering knowledge of natural healing. Brandi and her co-founder Caroline wanted to create accessibility for herbalism bringing it closer to the norm.
Brandi shares her experience as a business owner and how EGBI can help you grow your business too.
Hi Brandi! To get started, would you mind telling us what inspired you to start your business?
Community and plants. Working with people, I love collaborating with people and creating growth together.
What makes your business unique?
Our business is supported by people who feel truly uplifted by our offerings. It’s very important for us to support local vendors, which you don’t see in a lot of stores. We have plenty of talent in Austin, and are very proud to give people a platform to show where they shine. This builds quite a community making us more than just a business.
What are some obstacles you feel like you have encountered in starting or growing your business? How did you overcome this?
Our doors opened the same day pandemic lock down began. We had to stay malleable, and learn the ropes of adaptability. Our mantra was and still is “we are water” because water finds the path of least resistance, and is highly bondable. Just when it seemed like things were getting easier, out of the blue Square dropped us and we were left dry without a payment processor or website. We heavily relied on online sales in order to keep us open. We have managed to stay alive and afloat because of community support adapting with us. We have been able to overcome obstacles with gratitude and tact, and have learned how to ask for help. We seemed to have rebuilt a few times, each time stronger and more experienced. We are only just now getting our bearings back after the disappointing incident with Square. We as a community of herbalists and holistic practitioners are still navigating what it is like to have a storefront in combination with a space of wellness.
How did you find out about EGBI?
We found out about EGBI because in our early days we knew absolutely nothing about running a business. It was a baptism by fire. We reached out to everyone we could.
Did you take workshops? Did you have meetings with EGBI staff for business coaching?
We spoke with EGBI early on when we were developing our business plan, but it wasn’t until deep in the pandemic that we began to work with them closely. It has been a saving grace to work with them. We did plenty of one on one’s with Joni and Monica. We utilized the 90 day plan workshop and have taken other commercial real estate workshops as well.
How has EGBI helped you?
EGBI helped us plan and see the big picture. They helped us keep our head on our shoulders and create measurable goals. They helped us put systems in place that allowed for more efficiency and wise budgeting. They helped us see options when we needed them.
Want to work with EGBI? Contact us to find out how you can get started.