Have you ever heard of terrain? I know everyone is obsessed with Joanna Gaines and Magnolia Market these days, myself included, but terrain was the OG (Mom, that means original gangster). Owned by the URBN group, their sister companies consist of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, BHLDN, and the Vetri Family restaurant group. So, basically a mass trifecta of fashion, home and lifestyle goods. I have been obsessed with terrain since they opened their doors in 2008. People, that is almost a decade of my ohhhh-ing and ahhhhh-ing over their online store and blog. They spotlight interesting people with the inspiring stories. They offer sustainable and stylish goods. There are only 4 locations in the US ( PA, CT, CA) and they bring in talent from all different industries to make their sites an art museum of plant, garden and home decor.
One of my best friends (and bridesmaids!) got married in Glenn Mills, PA last week, home to terrain's flagship location, Styer's Nursery. When I googled our hotel, guess what I found... IT WAS NEXT FREAKIN' DOOR TO TERRAIN. I could literally walk. After nine years I was finally getting to visit this magical place. Somebody pinch me. If you follow me on instagram then you know I referred to this as a bucket list item. I realize some people might not get that and think "gah lady calm down, it is just a store", but those people don't get what makes me tick. Of course I have other aspirational things on my bucket list, but this is more than just a store. It is a community. It is a muse.
I did not buy a ton of things or add them all to my wishlist. I walked around every square foot and touched the different linens. Studied the mechanics of the table displays. Let my eyes wander through the hues of their floral installations and mixed media displays. It was like I found this little land where my brain, eyes and heart could have their own conversation and create something awesome because of it. I swear I am not nuts, I just really really love design, and for me, this place is a huge inspiration.
Here is their story, in their words:
"MEET TERRAIN: A garden, home and outdoor lifestyle brand deeply rooted in nature and plant life.
Founded in 2008, our flagship location in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, opened on the site of the historic J. Franklin Styer’s Nursery. Terrain is inspired by the idea of merging house and garden to create an experience for all of the senses, as well as catering to our customer—a lighthearted sophisticate—with a variety of products and services to captivate her imagination, enhance her life and bolster her community.
From diverse native plants, hand-picked planters and all-weather furniture to seasonal décor, outdoor lighting and gifts for every occasion, our product assortment is curated to blur the line between life lived outside and in. To that end, and because it happens to be what we love ourselves, our Pennsylvania, Connecticut and California retail locations are situated in beautiful indoor-outdoor environments, both with an onsite nursery, restaurant and café."
I MEAN!!!! I love their description of who they are trying to reach "a lighthearted sophisticate—with a variety of products and services to captivate her imagination, enhance her life and bolster her community" and I am stealing it. Just kidding - please don't sue me terrain, but seriously, lighthearted sophisticate is the perfect oxymoron. I wanted to learn more about their parent company URBN and while researching stumbled upon their mission statement.
In their words:
"At URBN, we continually strive to understand our customers and connect with them on an emotional level. The emphasis is on creativity. Our product assortment and our store environment are so compelling that our customer feels an empathetic connection to us, making all of our brands, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People and Vetri Family distinctive and successful."
Now do you get it? My experience that I just explained to you is basically the exact experience that they set out to provide to their consumers. mind = blown. Having started my own business and navigating the learning curve of who I want to work with and the clients I want to attract has given me a gift (and a few headaches). That gift is that I have become a conscious consumer. Yes, I still blow too much money at Target from time to time, but I sincerely strive to shop locally, sustainably and intentionally. I want to support small business and the people that support them. I want to purchase goods that were made with real intention and goods that give back. It is so impressive and inspiring to see a company like terrain that can be as well known as it is, but not lose sight of it's mission.
To learn more about URBN and their story, click here.
Did I mention terrain has the cutest cafe ever, private event space, seasonal markets with local vendors AND interactive artists on site doing things like carving flowers in pumpkins? Friends, take a little walk with me..
After walking through rows of pumpkins and plants and grabbing a delish almond milk latte, I
checked out some local vendors, including said pumpkin carving flower artist, Linda Allen.
All of this in itself would have been more than a fun day in my book, but the fun was just beginning. I headed into the retail area where I was greeted by some of my favorite things: stunning glass, hats, cake stands, dried lavender + botanicals, and one of the coolest mirror walls. These people can even make an exit sign look hip.
Want to know, perhaps, my biggest weakness? Linens. They all have a story. I fell for them long ago because of my grandmother. I talk about Meme in my about me Q + A and how her southern grace is really part of what instilled an eye for design in me. She often made things with her talented hands and because of that had the most beautiful collection of heirloom linens - some of which I am using at my own wedding. She used her finest lace table cloth often for Sunday lunch and did not believe in rarely using her finer things. That has really stuck with me and terrain had some of the most beautiful linens that I know she would of appreciated.
Gah, I could look at those photos all day. Did I mention the candles and silk flower options? So many scents, textures and colors.
One of my favorite parts were the installations in the different areas of the retail portion. Fresh and dried flowers mixed with merchandise and design. All of it was just perfection.
Well, I think you can see why I have longed to visit terrain for years and boy did it exceed my expectations. terrain, until next time!