I was born and raised in Los Angeles CA, moved to San Francisco for eight years, then moved to the woods of Western Massachusetts in 2010. Shortly after I arrived, I became extremely ill. For months, I was bedridden being tossed around from specialist to specialist with no answers. Because my cortisol levels were backwards, I was awake all night and sleepwalking through my day. I became so sleep deprived that I began losing basic vocabulary skills.
I turned to a naturopathic doctor who gave me very strong herbs and I began to feel well enough to go back to work. I volunteered with a couple of farms and decided to become certified as a community herbalist through Thyme Herbal, to learn more about how the plant-based medicines worked. While attending herb school, I started a community-supported medicine program, similar to a community-supported agriculture program, but specifically for medicinal herbs. I fell in love with the plants through growing them, and I as I continued to learn more and treat myself, I fully recovered!
During this time I also interned at the local apothecary and realized what an important space this business held in the community. And of course I was already committed to being a steward of the plants! I decided to return home to the Bay area and bring the magic of medicinal herbs to Oakland.
This loan is special because:
More about this loan
My dream must have deeply resonated with a lot of people because a little over 3 years later we have grown to a staff of 9, doubled the size of our current retail location, began selling the Homestead Apothecary medicine line in 54 small shops across the country and beyond, doubled our product line and are almost ready to launch 4 additional new products that focus on plant based dyes. We also launched a brand new website with an online store and are currently developing our thriving workshop program to make it accessible to folks remotely because our social media presence has surpassed 20,000 followers.
What is the purpose of this loan?
All of this expansion has required re-investing everything into the business with the next logical step being a larger location. In September of last year we secured a lease in the Laurel district here in Oakland. The building needed even more work than we initially anticipated and although the landlord has stepped up to some of the work, including replacing the roof and ceiling, much of the work is falling on our shoulders because of the way our lease was written. As we get closer to finishing the project we are in need of a community supported loan to help take this dream to the finish line so we can really expand our offerings and serve an even broader community.
Years in operation: 3 years – 5 years
A loan of $10,000 helps Nicholas raise additional funds to invest in our new building to continue expanding the Homestead Apothecary medicine line to a broader community.