Tierra Goes Green (TGG), is a black-owned “go green” brand providing products and services that help individuals transition their lifestyles into healthy ones.
The company’s founder is Tierra Burrell a well-known and respected holistic thought leader in Atlanta, Georgia. For years she shared her journey to “go green” via social media before launching TGG.
While her primary supporters are black women over 35 who value quality in all things, she has men who support her brand as well. Burrell, who reflects a growing group of black vegans or those adopting plant-based diets, regards herself as an energy worker who focuses on being her authentic self, and she’s been able to create a lucrative business as a result.
In an interview, Burrell shares about building her brand and her go green journey.
BLACK ENTERPRISE: How did you come up with the idea to launch Tierra Goes Green?
Tierra Burrell: Tierra Goes Green developed strictly based on demand. People I had no idea were watching me demanded a service to help them transition their lifestyles into the healthy one they saw me living.
Tell us about your product line?
I make handmade body care skin solutions and dietary supplements. I never aspired to be a maker, but that is what my audience wanted. I would always advise them to abort the use of harmful skin care products and replace it with a mix of chemical-free products. But I discovered they did not want to mix up the ingredients themselves; they wanted to pay me to. My audience reveals a pain-point and I provide a solution.
Were you always plant-based?
Of course not. I miss Waffle House every single day of my life! But overall, I have never been a big meat eater. I was a carb-atarian, starch-atarian, a sugar addict — all while not eating meat and dairy. I was the vegan who would eat french-fries at the fast food drive-thru with the red and yellow signs then wonder why I was unable to lose weight. I understand now how nature works so I prefer to eat strictly plants 98% of the time.
Explain the biggest misconception between someone who is a vegan and one who is plant-based?
Being vegan is a lifestyle practice beyond your plate. Veganism is primarily a focus on what you do not eat, not generally a focus on what you actually need in your diet for long-term sustainability. Vegans normally do not participate in animal clothing, attend events such as the circus or participate in anything that is harmful or tested on animals. Just because you are vegan does not mean you are healthy. Plant-based, on the other hand, is someone who primarily eats plants such as fruits, veggies, seeds and nuts over 90% of the time. Plant-based eaters refrain from consuming processed foods, refined sugars, and foods that do not grow organically from the earth. Plant-based is more of a focus on your own health. Everything else is secondary.
How did you learn about holistic health and foods to eat, products to use etc.?
Reading. The only difference between you and an expert is the books you read. As I progressed and awakened, books like Heal Thyself by Queen Afua or African Holistic Health by Dr. Llaila Afrika became staples in my reference library. As far as products, I have always been a fan of handmade things. They just feel better when you are connected to the maker’s journey and energy. Twelve plus years of loving handmade craftsmanship is how I found the products.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to begin a healthy journey?
Drink a gallon of water per day. Many of the chronic illnesses and disease people are diagnosed with is because they are not drinking enough water. We are on a water planet with bodies made of mostly water. Water is not a drink; it is an element. Then I would say read. Change begins with your mindset.
Lastly, detox. I use to administer a 10-day detox program so that participants could eliminate toxins effectively from their bodies, and also change their taste buds.
What are some benefits of being plant-based that you think people should know about?
The only side effect of a plant-based lifestyle is betterment. I feel amazing. I look incredible. My blood flow is outstanding. My thoughts are clear. I am hydrated.The list goes on and on. I credit nature for unlocking all of these internal doors.
Many people believe it’s expensive to eat healthy. What are your thoughts?
I believe that eating whole foods, plant-based diet is not more expensive than chronic disease, illness, or the side effects of imbalanced hormones. We can invest now in ourselves, or pay the premium for resisting nature in the long term. We all make choices and my higher self is who makes all of the decisions for my humanity.The cost of feeling this remarkable, the vast majority of the time, is unimaginable for people who budget and neglect their overall well-being.
While you are a holistic thought leader do you believe in any type of modern medicine?
I absolutely believe in western medicine for those who believe in western medicine practices. Personally, I do not subscribe. I became fluent in the language of my body and the energy that flows through it. I participate in a lot of alternative medicine practices. I do see a dentist a few times per year for oral hygiene.
What advice would you give to someone who isn’t ready to convert to a plant-based lifestyle but is interested in making healthier food options?
Shop local, support your local farmer’s markets and be aware of where all of your food is sourced.