Turning 16 is an important milestone on the path to adulthood.
The clothing boutique Terra turned sweet 16 on July 23, and is celebrating its adulting in a new and more polished space in a newly constructed building at 160 E. Broadway.
Owner Dana Sanders Souther said Terra’s new home better represents what the store has become in the past 16 years than her previous location did.
“I keep saying, ‘I’ve moved into my grown-up place,’” Sanders Souther said. “I was able to create a space that makes sense for who we are and what we sell and how we want to present ourselves.”
Terra’s fellow tenants in the new building are the art gallery Amy Ringholz Studios and the property management company Outpost.
The building was designed by Larry Berlin of Berlin Architects for Jeff Neishabouri, owner of the next-door neighbor Kismet Rug Gallery. Frame Design worked with Sanders Souther on Terra’s interior, creating a look for the store that she describes as “urban contemporary.”
At 1,500 square feet the shop is a shade smaller than the original Terra at 105 E. Broadway, but it works better, she said.
For one thing, shoppers enter at street level instead of walking up a flight of stairs as they previously had.
“I can’t tell you how many moms had to hoist their strollers up those stairs,” Sanders Souther said. “I’m pleased not to have to worry about that anymore. I can only wonder how many sales we may have lost due to that inaccessibility.”
Inside, the layout is more open, so the space feels a bit bigger but also more professional and finished, she said.
The skin care section, which she now calls “Botanic,” has shifted more front and center for a boutique-within-a-boutique feel that invites people to browse.
“It needed to become part of the whole,” Sanders Souther said. “We’ve integrated it into the mix of space itself as opposed to a corner. People aren’t necessarily coming in for a face cream, but they may leave with a face cream.”
The change of address inspired her to try some new wearables. She’s brought on a line called Unfortunate Portrait, featuring illustrations that play on politics and pop culture. It’s a little more fashion-forward than she might have been comfortable with before.
She has also brought in Crown & Brim, a local custom hat company founded by Sarah Kjorstad.
“We’re selling them like crazy,” she said.
Like many businesses and residents in Jackson, Sanders Souther had to move. She was notified, she said, that the building at 105 E. Broadway had sold and was to be demolished and she had 18 months to find Terra a new home. After looking at other places she zeroed in on the construction across the street next to Kismet and contacted Neishabouri.
“I called him and said, ‘What’s up with your building?’” she said. “We just started talking.”
Finding retail space that’s still close to Jackson’s retail hub was a big relief.
“There’s always the Jackson shuffle, but you never know if you’ll find what you need in the right time frame,” Sanders Souther said. “It’s a scary concept in such a small town where you only have Town Square to work with.”
Being a bit farther east from Town Square than before means it’s a bit easier for her customers to find parking, and there’s not as much congestion, Sanders Souther said. She loves being close to Persephone, Healthy Being Juicery and Cafe and Cafe Genevieve.
That’s not to say she didn’t have qualms.
“That stretch is less retail and more office,” she said. “That was mildly alarming at the beginning, but I absolutely believe that businesses are moving further off the square to get away from the congestion. ... My clientele is not necessarily shopping right on the square.”
But given Town Square’s importance, it makes Southers Sander feel good to see a mix of galleries, restaurants, clothing boutiques and other kinds of stores in the downtown area.
“We are a tourist-driven industry,” she said. “Although I still cater to my locals I also cater to our industry.”
Tourists aren’t looking for a single store, she said. They want to have lunch or dinner, check out the art and visit a variety of retailers.
“Having more than one contemporary shop really lends itself to a shopping experience for people visiting town,” Sanders Souther said. “[They’ll] be less inclined to drive over to Teton Village. They’ll take an afternoon and browse.”
And even with online shopping a convenient option, a conglomeration of brick-and-mortar shops makes downtown more inviting to locals.
“People like hands-on retail therapy,” she said. “People want to come in and touch and try on and see and maybe find a label they might not find elsewhere.”
Downtown businesses “complement one another,” she said. “We have created a wonderful community that nobody should miss.”