Behind The Brand
The Story Behind Terra&Co.
Have you ever looked at the label on a tube of “normal” toothpaste? If you squint hard enough to read the small print, you’ll likely see something like this:
“WARNING: Keep out of reach of children under 6 years of age. If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.”Sounds pretty scary, right? Definitely not like something that you’d put in your mouth multiple times a day.
And this is how Terra & Co. was born. It started with a label. Amra Hajdarevic was pregnant and expecting a daughter. She was aware that an average of 232 chemicals find their way from the mother’s environment into the baby  and was on a mission to reduce this number. Her search was easy—for the most part. She was able to find natural and sustainable personal care products to switch to. There was just one thing that was missing though… Whitening toothpaste.
She wanted a toothpaste that was safe for kids and pregnant women, so she took matters into her own hands. So, Amra headed to her kitchen and experimented with a variety of natural ingredients. She worked tirelessly (as a single mother, no less!) to develop a product that she was satisfied with—one that she not only knew was safe for her young daughter, but was also sustainable enough to ensure that she would live on a healthy planet in the future.
Sister-Owned. Amidst tweaking the formula at home before having the final formula prepared in a lab, Azra joined her sister to take care of business—literally. Thanks to several years working in various startups in the beauty industry, the sisters had several startup ideas—but also a lot of learning to get through. Working out of Amra’s apartment, the two women learned all they could about forming a business that was not only good for the planet but was also good for people—specifically other women.
Paying it Forward
Paying it forward is one of the main drivers of Terra and Co.’s mission. And before you think that they’re just another of the many so-called conscious businesses out there, it’s important to know their why.
Amra and Azra were born in Sarajevo, Bosnia. If that rings a mental bell and reminds you of middle school history class, it probably should. In the early 1990s, Sarajevo was at the epicenter of the Bosnian War. The armed conflict took place between 1992 and 1995 and devastated homes and tore families apart. For the Hajdarevic sisters, home as they knew it changed drastically as a result of this international conflict. The options for survival in their home country became limited and the sisters became refugees.
The family re-established themselves in Michigan and acclimated to a new life in America. Forever feeling grateful for the “second chance” and the help they received from organizations like UNICEF and the Red Cross, Amra and Azra decided to do what they can to give back.
From day one, Terra & Co. has made a commitment to support other women (even while profit and business growth were still just a dream). Amra and Azra have been partnering with the Los Angeles Downtown Women’s Center (LADWC) since they sold their first tube of toothpaste. They’ve experimented with different ways of giving, from running Buy One Give One campaigns, to spending time at the shelter, to another type of donation coming soon (stay tuned in July 2020!). Amra and Azra are thankful for the opportunities they’ve had after such a tumultuous experience while under siege in Bosnia. Now, they’re committed to doing what they can to give back.
Women in Business. When they’re not giving back to LADWC, Amra and Azra are trying to help women in another way—by supporting women-owned businesses. Women started 1,821 new businesses every day in 2019 . While this is an inspiring shift in how US businesses are operated, there are still many struggles faced by female entrepreneurs.
Starting a sister-owned small business is no small feat.
For that reason, Amra and Azra are willing to share their journey with other women-owned businesses. They admit that starting a business was a huge learning experience—equipped with mistakes, lessons learned, and successes. Terra & Co. has joined other women business owners in mentorship capacities—and is committed to helping other female-owned businesses like it. Not just that, but the Terra & Co. team is made up of only women and supports female staff members and freelancers from around the US.
Creating A Sustainable Future
What is a sustainable business? In the case of Terra & Co., this means several things. While Amra formulated the sustainable toothpaste itself, Azra worked on the sustainable packaging. There are several ways that Amra and Azra’s dreams for natural, eco-friendly, and healthy products have become a reality.
Packaging. All of the packaging used on Terra & Co. products is recyclable. The tote bag that comes with the Sustainability Is The New Black package is made from recycled water bottles. The Brilliant Black Toothpaste tubes are made from sugarcane (no petroleum here!). The Brilliant Black Toothbrush is made from biodegradable bamboo. The Brilliant Black Dental floss is one of the only plastic-free options out there. The Brilliant Black Oil Pulling mouthwash comes in a recyclable glass bottle.
Ingredients. All of the ingredients used in Terra & Co. products are natural and healthy. You won’t see any long and confusing words on our ingredient lists. Most products contain things like organic extra virgin coconut oil, activated charcoal, and essential oils. All products are made in the USA, cruelty-free, and vegan, too.
Shipping. Every step of a Terra & Co. purchase has been designed with sustainability in mind—and this includes the shipping, too. Free domestic shipping is offered. This is something that might go unnoticed if it weren’t for the fact that we’ve grown accustomed to super-fast shipping. Studies  have shown that ordering online is actually better for the environment—but only if you don’t opt for rush shipping. Your sustainable Terra & Co. toothpaste will slowly make its way to you. And do so in a way that’s better for Mother Earth.
Impact. We don’t just want to make changes in the mouths of our customers, we want to transform the entire oral care industry. Terra & Co. is changing oral care for the better. Sustainable design and natural materials are the future—and our innovations will help drive the way. We can no longer settle for wasteful practices and harmful ingredients. That’s why we’re constantly learning how we can improve our operations and continue defining what it truly means to be a sustainable business.
You Can Play Your Part. Terra & Co. is motivated by four things: purpose, planet, people, and profit. Notice how profit comes last? That’s because we prioritize creating products that keep Mother Earth in mind. We do everything we can to reduce waste and minimize packaging. We also pride ourselves in promoting equal opportunities and diversity within our company. The profit that we receive goes into our mission and allows us to continue putting humanity into every aspect of our business.
How exciting is it that we live in a time where you can vote with your dollar? Each purchase you make with a women-owned business or one that puts the planet first, you’re making a claim for the type of world that you want to live in. Terra & Co. is happy to be just one of many sustainable and women-operated businesses out there. What are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments!