ANNOUNCING THE WOMAN OF THE MONTH

Fort Worth women are making headlines daily as business owners, entrepreneurs, top management officers, and political leaders. So, here at Fort Worth Woman, we are selecting one of our city’s shining stars each month. These are the movers and shakers you need to know, and we are proud to honor their accomplishments as our WOMEN OF THE MONTH.

Terra Richards

Co-Owner of Fossil Creek Tree Farm and Nursery

My greatest joy is to inspire, educate and serve my community. Even if they never buy a thing when they visit The Haven or Fossil Creek – if they leave better than they arrived, then I have served my purpose.

Meet May’s Fort Worth Woman! Terra Richards is a woman who never dreamed of or even wanted to own her own business, but in falling in love with a man who felt the opposite, she found a way to shift her mindset and include her passions while working alongside him building businesses. Terra and Josh, who met while out dancing at Billy Bobs here in Fort Worth, married twenty two years ago this June and have raised two children, Evie and Zachary, all while building different businesses here in town.

To start, Terra grew up in Fort Worth. “My dad owned a construction company and he officed off of 121 in Fort Worth so it’s so much fun driving around the Metroplex and remembering everything he built with his mind and hands. It’s one of my greatest memories of him – his hands.” Even after earning a Marketing Degree with a Minor in Finance from Dallas Baptist University, Terra continued to describe her personal aspirations as never including entrepreneurship. She states, “I never wanted to own a business of my own because construction was so up and down growing up – I desired a comfy corporate job with a title, paycheck and health insurance! However, I married a man with a desire to build things, just Iike my dad. Except he desired to build businesses.”

Terra and Josh initially began their business ventures with a marina on Eagle Mountain Lake and this is where her marketing degree landed her as the book-keeper and marketing guru, creating a love of building businesses. Terra states, “It’s not so much about the money, although what business person doesn’t want to successful?! I found a love for the challenge of how can I best serve customers that make them want to bring their friends and family to our marina!.” Their marina also continued to expand in a way that incorporated their loved ones. “My parents opened a little restaurant downstairs and it became a family business venture. I also started a photography business in the upstairs office and took pictures of so many children growing up in our community. It’s still my favorite thing to see memories of on Facebook,” Terra explains.

After six years of success with the marina, this power couple felt a higher calling to move on. Terra confidently states, “we felt God calling us to do something bigger for the community. We sold the marina and bought a tree farm.” Now this part of the adventure is where both trust and good decisions come in to play simultaneously. “We knew nothing about landscaping, trees, etc. Our ‘claim to fame’ was we had won ‘Yard of the Month’ once. All we knew was that 8.5 acres in our home town gave us the opportunity to keep our roots in Fort Worth and serve the people of our community. We hired people smarter than us, we studied and learned all the things about trees and plants native to our area, and we wrote a mission to inspire, educate, and serve. Everything we do at Fossil Creek Tree Farm is filtered through that mission,” Terra states. They felt a calling, leapt toward it, and not only did they land on their feet, but they landed surrounded by a knowledgeable team. This is the intention of building a business and the perfect example of risks worth taking.

If you have visited Fossil Creek Tree Farm in person, you know that the entire business is fitting to their hashtag “#MoreThanaTreeFarm”. While trees are their ‘bread and butter’, they have some of the highest quality plants, candles, gifts, and flowers. Terra’s self-proclaimed title at Fossil Creek Tree Farm is “Chief Vision Officer” as she continues the vision of their original calling knowing that they want their business to be “more than a tree farm”. Terra further explains, “when the pandemic hit, I asked Josh if we could go live on Facebook and start sharing all of our crazy business stories and life hardships – from experiencing a terrible fire at our marina, years of drought, losing my dad to cancer – all to encourage people that they could do hard things, too! We called our live time on Facebook “More Than a Tree Farm” and went live everyday for months. Now we do it five days a week the best we can – and we share our stories of being entrepreneurs, our faith, working together, and more to encourage our local community. It still feels weird to do it but we feel it is a calling and if we touch one life – we have done what God called us to do.”

Terra is the kind of woman who is the epitome of inspiration from the very first “hello”. She exudes sunshine and is as vulnerable as she can be. Both Terra and Josh constantly praise their team at Fossil Creek Tree Farm and give the credit of success to the group as a whole to each and every customer that walks in the door. With a smile on her face, Terra states, “My greatest joy is to inspire, educate and serve my community. Even if they never buy a thing when they visit The Haven or Fossil Creek – if they leave better than they arrived, then I have served my purpose.”

What Terra loves about our city of Fort Worth is that everyone still knows everyone. Despite the size of our city, she feels that the business owners come together better here than anywhere else to help each other. She states, “When I visit other city shopping areas, it feels like you have to be all dolled up to head in to an Anthropologie or local restaurant. I just love that I can totally wear my iconic outfit (jeans, a white t-shirt, and flip flops) and am just as welcome as my fanciest friends!” Terra also emphasizes the power of a dream from a higher calling. “I love supporting and experiencing the God-given gifts of Fort Worth entrepreneurs”, she states. “What I mean by that is I think God puts dreams inside each of us and it’s so great to go to places like Brewed, Waters, Winslow’s, Ellerbe’s, The Post, Leaves Book & Tea Shop, and Gypsy Scoops to enjoy the experience each of these business owners share.” In the Spring, using their own dream business, Josh and Terra host as many local businesses as they can at Fossil Creek Tree Farm by having flowers, food trucks, ice cream, and more so they can support other local small business owners who are starting to realize their own dreams.

When asked what her one word would be to describe her impact as a businesswoman in Fort Worth, Terra chose the word ‘inspiring’. She further explains in an almost poetic fashion, “Everything I do is with the desire to inspire others.
Inspire them to find their mission/passion and pursue it.
Inspire them them through my writing to continue to grow to be the best versions of themselves as mamas, wives, business owners, and God’s hands/feet in the world.
Inspire my community to serve others.
Inspire my customers to create beauty in their own homes by the things we create at Fossil Creek and in The Haven.”
Both Josh and Terra have built businesses on the foundation of inspiring others and in a place like Fort Worth, dreams Iike that do indeed come true and are seen for the miracle that they are. As you step foot on Fossil Creek Tree Farm, whether it’s your first or tenth time, you will feel the difference and inspiration of their dream business. Their mission, calling, and quality set them undeniably above the rest.

If you’d like to get involved with Fossil Creek Tree Farm, reach out! They are constantly seeking to grow their business with those whose hearts intend to inspire, educate, and serve.

Photo credit: Burk Creative

Michelle Miles

Michelle Miles

Author

Michelle, aka @fortworthwoman, is a teacher turned counselor turned mommy turned entrepreneur.

Michelle has a passion for connecting, encouraging and informing about the good happening in our city. The good people, events, food, stores, entrepreneurs, and good deeds are her focus. She has created a niche for herself by using social media as a native marketing tool that has created meaningful exposure for local businesses in Fort Worth to a wide but very particular local audience.

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