Posted on: May 15, 2024 Posted by: Mo Clark Comments: 5

Unveiling the Woman Who Hustles in Faith: Tera Carissa Hodges

We love to see what the ladies out here are doing on their entrepreneurial journey. What we love even more is their transparency. So often we look to social media and see the glitz and glamour, the shoes, and the nice cars, but what about the grit? Brand mogul and serial entrepreneur Tera Carissa stopped by to keep it real with UPSCALE magazine and discuss just how literally walking in and operating in faith can change the entire trajectory of a brand and/or business.

UPSCALE: First of all, it’s super exciting to see a woman of color making such a wave for herself, so congratulations to you on those monumental strides. Where were you born and raised, and what was your childhood like?

TERA: Born in Spokane, Washington. I lived in White Plains, NY (a suburb of NYC) before my parents divorced. So I primarily consider Starkville, MS (home of the Mississippi State Bulldogs), as my hometown, the place I moved with my mom after my parents divorced.

UPSCALE: They say some of us have an “entrepreneurial” spirit; did you always see yourself as an entrepreneur?

TERA: I always saw myself as an international businesswoman in addition to a speaker. An entrepreneur, not always. But, I always knew I would do something in business one way or another.

UPSCALE: Your brands are built on faith-based principles; let our readers know just what that entails.

TERA: I am a firm believer that you can be successful and wealthy without violating your personal integrity, harming others, “selling your soul,” or engaging in any unhealthy or malicious behavior that so often we hear about people who have made it to the top engaging in. There is a thing called good success. As Christians, we first see that term in the book of Joshua. God is promising His people success. From there, as a woman, we see the Proverbs 31 woman maintaining her integrity as a woman, wife and mother, all while being successful in utilizing principles that mirror the Word of God. How that translates for me is that I look at what I or my client is trying to achieve. I prayed first and began to build out the next steps in ways that anyone could stand behind and be proud of. This is, in part, what it means to be faith-based. You do nothing without first considering God.

UPSCALE: Women’s empowerment is a concept that has been around for a while, but now it’s becoming a bigger “boom,” so to speak. Speaking at a woman empowerment event or any empowerment event is a big responsibility; how do you prepare to make sure your moment is impactful?

TERA: Impact requires instructions. So, first, I get clear on what the organizer is asking of me. What is their goal for me? What message are they hoping to get across to their audience through me? From there, I pray, I research, and I study. You can’t make an impact without having the wisdom and knowledge on the topic at hand. Study to show that you are approved.

UPSCALE: When we think about setting the tones, some just want to be trendsetters at times. How do you make sure that you stay true to yourself and your beliefs while still creating a safe space for others to follow and network with your cause?

TERA: Following a trend through one lens can be seen as participating in the evolution process. Anything not evolving is dying. When Facebook first began, its primary audience was college students. Now, you see businesses, churches, celebrities, and Grandmas (laughs) all on Facebook. Businesses, churches, celebs, and even Grandmas realized that if I want to stay connected, I need to evolve from the ways I have previously communicated and connect using this new way. That’s all a trend is—connecting or expressing yourself in a new way. Success will require evolution, but you do not evolve at the expense of your principles and vision. As long as your messaging is authentic, the trend your vision is following should become an asset to your bottom line, another feather in your cap, not a liability because you lose yourself.

UPSCALE: You’ve been able to not only fellowship with women in the United States, but you’ve been able to impressively go global as well. That’s extremely major. What was your first trip like out of the country for an empowerment conference?

TERA: My first international trip to speak was absolutely amazing. Knowing that women thousands of miles away wanted to know what God put in me to share was humbling, to say the least. I had done international media prior too, so I was somewhat prepped. But to be able to take to the stage in front of thousands really humbled me in a way that reminded me of the weight and responsibility that come with empowering women around the globe.

UPSCALE: You’ve worked with a lot of big clients, retail brands, and more. What would you say is the most important feeling you want your clients to leave with when working with you, no matter if it’s media, conferences, or greeting cards?

TERA: After experiencing my brand, I want people to feel empowered. I want them to know they can achieve anything, overcome anything, or be anything. They don’t have to be limited by their past. They can change right where they are for the better and not look back.

UPSCALE: What makes your brands stand out for others?

TERA: I am faith based, yet relatable. Muslims and atheists have reached out to me to say something I have said has touched them. For people who don’t share my same faith…or any faith, to say, my brand, my ministry, my products touched them, is what makes me stand out. I am not for a target audience. I am for whoever is ready to receive.

UPSCALE: When Tera Carissa Hodges retires, what mark do you hope to leave?

TERA: I hope to leave behind no less than 1 million unapologetically successful, happy, healthy, thriving, women who are committed to living a life with no limits.

UPSCALE: What’s up next for you and the brand?

TERA: I am excited about my soon to launch mommy brand dedicated to educating and empowering moms and my lifestyle brand, dedicated to improving and empowering your everyday living.

Are you full yet? Amazing. Transparency is truly key when it comes to growth. Learning from others who are willing to teach and share is a skill set that most entrepreneurs need. As Tera stated above, be careful of losing yourself because authenticity is a factor that breeds success. We look forward to seeing more of Tera’s global empowerment movement.

5 People reacted on this

  1. To God be the glory. I’m so grateful to know you and your ministry.
    Your accomplishments are outstanding.

  2. You are amazing woman of faith. I’m really glad to be a part of your ministry,Continued success!!!❤️🙏💕💕🙏

  3. Great to see a consistent and focused leader that is clear on purpose without compromise. Awesome interview.

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