Botánica Cimarrón: Student Business Spotlight
Interview by Meghan Gemma
Photography courtesy of Botánica Cimarrón
Star Feliz, owner of Botánica Cimarrón small batch apothecary and creative wellness company.
An Interview with Star Feliz of Botánica Cimarrón
Do ancestral herbal traditions inspire you? Are you intrigued by medicine that’s place-based, plant-based, and spiritual? Remedies that are cultural and rich? This is the kind of herbalism practiced by Star Feliz (they/them) of Botánica Cimarrón.
Star is a clinical herbalist, full-spectrum doula, spiritual guide, and Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine graduate. They practice Afro-Taino Caribbean and Western herbalism, drawing creative inspiration from their ancestral lineage and a big imagination for an earth-healing future.
The world needs more earth- and community-centered herbalists.
Botánica Cimarrón is the community vessel for Star’s vision: a small-batch apothecary and ritual arts container that sells expertly formulated bespoke medicines and spiritual tools. It’s also a local resource for herbal classes and accessible healthcare.
Star recently shared an interview with us for our Student Business Spotlight—a series featuring Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine graduates, their work, and the wide variety of professions herbalists can choose from. Star is a graduate of our Online Herbal Immersion Program—1,000 hours of our personal mentorship in sustainable herbalism and herbal career building. If you are interested in the wide variety of herbal careers you might pursue, see An Herbalist’s Salary and Career Opportunities and Learn How to Become an Herbalist.
Botánica Cimarrón’s elixir collection.
Star, will you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you were first called to work in the field of herbal medicine?
I’m a Dominican-American artist, herbalist, and spiritual guide. The beginning of my path in herbalism started with my mother and grandmother and the herbal infusions we made together. When I was 19, I lived and worked on a permaculture farm, and that’s where I truly began to listen to the plant spirits, deepen my self-study, and honor my ancestral gifts for healing.
Please share with us about your herbal business, Botánica Cimarrón. What does it offer your community?
Rooted in ancient Afro-Taino wisdom, Botánica Cimarrón is a creative wellness company focused on healing marginalized people’s relationship to the earth through innovative lifestyle products and learning experiences that ensure our thriving futures. Everything is formulated and handmade in ceremony with the earth & stars. Botánica Cimarrón is based in Los Angeles, the unceded territory of Tovaangar.
Star Feliz creates powerful, ethically sourced, and lovingly handcrafted spiritual tools.
How did you know this was the right career move for you?
The signs were everywhere. My soul feels the most alive when I’m creating and close to nature. For many years before starting my own brand, I experienced firsthand the powerful healing effects my medicine had through working as a community-based herbalist, doula, and organizer. I never imagined this would be a career, but step by step, I’ve built a path for myself based on a sacred calling.
How has your herbal education, especially the business training inside our programs, supported your business?
Before I started at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, I was already a practicing community medicine-maker, but I didn’t realize how much I was truly craving a learning structure until I delved into the coursework. The impact was so measurable! It was helpful to have new materials for reference and confidently move through blocks in my practice.
Botánica Cimarrón’s Healing Alcoholado and Rainbow Serpent Oil are available in their online shop.
What inspired you to study with us here at the Chestnut School?
I was attracted to the self-paced curriculum. It meant that I had the flexibility to lend my full energy to the mutual aid project I was involved with at the time, the Lenapehoking Freedom Fighters Herbal Care Kits, without having to choose one or the other.
What do you love most about running an herbal business? What are some of your challenges?
I love sharing this ancient knowledge with people in new and innovative ways. It helps that I get to work with some of the most amazing people in the world — people who work for the earth’s healing are the most open-hearted. The challenging part is the fast pace and often overwhelming amount of work that needs to be done for a business to keep running. Especially when you’re starting out as a team of one.
Botánica Cimarrón’s Rainbow Serpent ritual oil is formulated with real snake skin, gemstones, herbs and flowers, essential oils, and gold dust.
What are three herbs that are essential to your herbal practice/business and why?
Hibiscus – Potent fire medicine.
Moringa – A tree of life. Deeply nourishing.
Licorice – A brilliant activator within any formula.
Do you have any words of wisdom for those just starting their herbal education who are interested in starting a business? What advice do you have for budding herbal entrepreneurs?
Community is crucial (both personal and professional). If you don’t already have a community, focus on building one. And don’t skip over the boring legal, structural, backend, and other organizational building blocks!
Watch the Botánica Cimarrón website for a new extended edition of Green Gold: An Ancestral Plant Spirit Oracle Deck.
What do you think is next for you on your herbal journey?
I’m looking forward to writing more, plus teaching and studying in the tropics for periods of time. I’m working on an extended edition of my publication Green Gold: An Ancestral Plant Spirit Oracle Deck, so look out for that!
We’re so proud of our students!
We hope this interview inspires you to check out Star’s online shop and support a small, earth-centered herbal business. Perhaps you’ll find some inspiration for your own herbal business. You can connect with Star on Instagram @botanicacimarron and via the Botánica Cimarrón website.
To see what our other graduates are up to, and the wide variety of businesses they run, check out our Student Herbal Business Directory.
Want to take a deeper dive into medicinal herbs and their uses?
Our 1,000-hour Herbal Immersion Program is the most comprehensive handcrafted online herbal course available, covering botany, foraging, herb cultivation, medicine making, and therapeutics.
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