I’ve never been great at asking for or accepting help, so this is an exercise in having faith and allowing my community to support me!
Hi fam, I’m Stephanie, a Black Indigenous queer non-binary chronically-ill bb from New Mexico, currently living on Lenapehoking lands (so-called Brooklyn). I’m a certified reiki practitioner (level 2), organizer, artist and herbalist in-training. My wellness practice, Serenus Wellness, is where I share herbal medicine and energy healing.
In my practice I prioritize the healing of fellow queer, Black and brown, chronically-ill, mad, sick folks and our closest allies. I offer sliding-scale (and when possible, free) healing reiki sessions to QTBIPOC folks and sex workers. I’ve been out of work due to Covid since March (I’m unable to see clients in person & side gigs were all cancelled). Luckily I’ve been receiving unemployment. But as you may know, those checks are about to be lowered by $600 weekly at the end of July.
-- What's the plan? --
I’m raising funds to create the holistic space of my dreams. This will include a farmhouse for living, land for growing organic food & medicinal plants + seed keeping, and a welcoming, safe studio space to treat clients in. My goal is to sustainably source all of the herbs I use in my tinctures and various herbal medicines, and to be a steward to the land I will be inhabiting. I plan to honor those original peoples whose land I will be on, and actively work to give back in whatever ways I can.
In addition to moving and opening my wellness studio, I will be continuing my plant medicine education in order to become a clinical herbalist. My long term goals include: studying acupuncture and adding this to my list of community offerings, hosting community gatherings on the property (workshops, fundraisers) and creating generational wealth that can be passed on to my Black and brown family members after I’m gone (a first in several generations for my family). I grew up and continue to live with super limited resources, so dreaming this big feels like a luxury!
-- Where you headed? --
I’ve found my dream space in Saugerties, NY. If I’m able to raise the funds in a timely manner I’ll have a shot at buying this house & land. If Plan A doesn’t work out, I’ll continue to hunt down plots and homes in the same area in upstate New York.
-- Why though?--
- Reparations are past due
- Reclaiming my people's traditions of land stewardship
- Creating generational wealth
- Achieving autonomy
Currently I treat reiki clients out of my home in Bedstuy, but my apartment is not physically accessible to all. I need to be able to offer an accessible space to the folks I support.
(my current studio setup)
All $$ raised will go towards:
- The down payment on land and house
- Continuing my herbalism education (this is currently self-funded)
- Sustainable farming classes @ a Black-owned farm
- Soil/water assessment of the land
- LLC business fees
- Moving costs
-- When will this all go down? --
ASAP! Ideally within the next 6 months.
I'm so grateful to anyone who donates and/or shares this with their networks. Thanks for supporting me on this journey!
- Paige Ettore
- Robert McGrath
- Cait Davis
- Shana Frankel
- Ellie Orbanek