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Exploring Life & Business with Citerra Johnson of The Queen Thumb

Today we’d like to introduce you to Citerra Johnson.

Hi Citerra , thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
The idea of selling plants turned into reality in 2020. Many people do not know that it took time and research before we started. I did not want to rush the process and trusted the journey. The birth of The Queen Thumb came at a time when many of us were secluded in our homes. Plant therapy to boost mental health inspired me. In 2020 it was easy to walk around sad. A lot of things happened at that time that made depression so easy to creep in. Many of us faced job loss, loss of loved ones, and children home from school—a lot. I began to tap into what helped me during stress, and that is nature. Since we were forced to stay home, bringing nature in was a priority to many.

Houseplants create a serene, warm, and creative space. Nature feels like home. The Queen Thumb was due to debut in 2020, and when we debuted it to the world, we realized that it came at such a perfect time. We first started selling plants online from two different platforms. Then we sold in person at Patapsco Flea Market in 2021 and stayed there for a little over a year before relocating to Chapman Gardens in Randallstown, MD. We received so many messages of appreciation.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
This has not been an easy road but a rewarding one. Rewarding in the sense that we’ve met so many great individuals. That is the part that we thoroughly enjoy. Plants connect people. Regarding the challenges, I like to think it is the same as many other businesses. You get out what you put in. You will have days when you don’t sell anything, and then there are days when you feel like you are doing great. We have learned and continue to learn so much through this journey. We are thankful to our family, friends, and people we’ve met along the way. Business is like a rollercoaster, but you will embrace the journey when you love what you do. We are committed to this.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about The Queen Thumb?
The Queen Thumb is a black woman-owned plant shop run by my husband, our beautiful family, and me. This plant shop specializes in easy-to-care plants. What sets me apart from others is my personality and story. I like to help people feel important, at peace, and that they can overcome life obstacles. I like to see people happy. I am proud that many people are starting to know The Queen Thumb and for opportunities such as this interview. I want readers to know that plant therapy is real. Try nature if you are looking for ways to boost your mood or productivity. Spend time outdoors in nature and feel free to take nature in with houseplants. We are plant enthusiasts. If you have any questions about plant care, please do not hesitate to contact us. We offer services such as repotting and so much more. We host pop-up shops and many other opportunities for other business owners and patrons.

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking.
Stepping out on faith to start this business comes at a risk. I thankfully have the support of my husband. I’ve been working at The Queen Thumb full-time from the beginning. Risk comes with having something living, such as plants. You have to keep them alive, sometimes, there are losses, but you have to understand that there will be a risk in business. You have to prepare your mind for risk, and prepare for them.

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