Even as a child, Tess Palma-Martinez was fixated with running her own shop. She’d often draw storefronts in her notebooks, each topped with a “Tess” marquee. The shelves in her imaginary childhood shops were blank, and the walls were bare. What would she sell? What would be her focus? It wasn’t clear, but she didn’t worry. She knew that she’d come across the focus of the brick-and-mortar when the time was right.
It took a special job at Anthropologie for the clouds to part and for her grand plan to come together. She was working as a Display Coordinator, and the store had given her a fairly generous plant budget to help bring her visions to life. Just like that, Tess began falling for the green beauties. “I was learning the different species, how to care for them and how to use the many varied colors and textures in decor,” she says. A subsequent stint managing a plant shop solidified this affinity, and she soon began planning her future business. To get up and running she enrolled in SEED, a 10-week program through the University at Albany, that taught her all-things business and assisted her in developing a rock-solid plan for the shop. Tess did such a bang-up job in class, she left the program with a loan and her eyes set on finding the perfect spot to bring her own shop to life.
She’s aptly named her Troy, NY storefront Forage + Sundry, and its doors finally opened last fall. Greenery and goods from other local artisans dot the new shop, and light streams in through giant windows printed with the store’s logo. The shop may not have “Tess” glistening atop it as her childhood self imagined, but it’s most definitely hers and she couldn’t be more proud. Click through to take a peek at not only her shop, but her home as well. It sits in what used to be a barbershop, is right around the corner from Forage + Sundry, and helps her decompress after a long day teaching courses and making her dreams come true. Enjoy! —Garrett