Shop Tour

Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry

by Garrett Fleming

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

Photography by Laura Harris

Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
The space's open floor plan means tables, merchandise and installations can easily be switched up, keeping Forage + Sundry fresh and interesting for returning customers. Tess has loved watching it "change and grow" since opening day.
Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
Forage + Sundry's charming and rustic logo is on permanent display on the shop's giant windows.
Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
Sprinkled amongst the shop's greens are goods from other local makers. Tess treasures that her space has become a platform for fellow creators.
Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
Tiny cacti pop up here and there around the store.
Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
Other courses offered here in the store's workshop include how to mount a Staghorn fern and how to build a terrarium. Their aim is to build a community through creativity.
Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
Tools for Forage + Sundry's inspiring workshops sit here on the back wall's rustic shelving. Hosting these classes was a no-brainer for Tess because she loves to build and create. "It satisfies a more linear part of my mind. It’s so methodical and process-oriented," she explains.
Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
Tess' apartment is a mere two blocks from Forage + Sundry. When she moved in, Tess consciously used texture, comfy seating and conversation-starting decorations to make the living area a place her friends would want to lounge in for hours.
Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
Of all the places she's lived, this home is Tess' favorite because of the airy and open living room. It makes the spot great for entertaining. "I love to have lots of places to sit and snuggle, share stories and music," she says.
Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
"Journaling is like breathing for me. I have kept journals my entire life and still have nearly all of them. I usually have about five going at the same time," Tess shares. The collection sits next to a plant, making this vignette a true reflection of her life and work.
Shop Tour: Forage + Sundry, Design*Sponge
The mirrors on her living room's wall are a snapshot from the 1980s, a time when her home was a barbershop. The three pieces not only make the space feel larger, but they also bounce light into every corner of the room.

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  • Oh congrats on the space, it’s lovely! My family and I always stop in The Country View Diner on Hoosick Rd on the way up to Vermont. Looks like we have a new spot to check out in the area :)

    • Well done! I had the great privilege to work with Tess at Anthropologie, and we all knew she was going to create something spectacular with her beautiful talent one day! We’re very proud of our girl and hope she will open shop here on Long Island one day!! Please!!

  • It’s just great to see young talent pursuing their dream and working hard to make something beautiful out of love and life. Great JOB Tess, we love you for that. PS. Please keep on spreading the seeds of love and life in this age we are living in.

  • I’ve been reading DS for years now and this is the first time I’ve been in a place featured! Lived a block away and would always show guests the store. Troy is really coming to life!