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In Full Bloom

    Joelle Blanchard
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How one Des Moines shop is creating space for community and collaboration

When Andrea Metzler first considered opening a brick and mortar storefront for her pop-up plant business she knew she wanted a space that helped bring people together.

While the shop in downtown Des Moines’ western gateway may be off the beaten retail path, Art Terrarium has created a community all its own in the two years since it opened.

“We knew it was a little bit of a risk to open here as opposed to somewhere there’s a lot more foot traffic and other retail spaces nearby,” Metzler says. “But we also knew that we were going to create a space that was really unique and that people would feel really good walking into and would want to seek us out.”

The shop specializes in houseplants of all shapes and sizes, but also highlights the work of local artists and makers. From the pieces hanging on the walls to the planters that customers can purchase to take their new plants home in, Art Terrarium showcases handmade items from Des Moines and the greater Midwest.

The retail space has also become a community gathering place for Art Terrarium workshops and events. Not only do these gatherings foster the collaboration Metzler is so passionate about, but they also help introduce the shop to new audiences.

“Every time we do a workshop or even a private event, it seems like it’s a lot of people’s first time,” she says. “It’s been a really good way to draw new customers in here.”

Metzler says that many of those customers are oftentimes first time “plant parents” looking for easy-tocare- for houseplants.

Not only does the shop have convenient shelves for hardy houseplants and pet-friendly greenery, but Art Terrarium also offers a potting bar where customers can pot their purchase or bring in a wilted plant from home that needs a new pot and a little love.

“A lot of our customers are plant newbies,” she says. “It’s nice that they feel comfortable coming in here, that they can ask questions and we can give everyone one-on-one attention.”

Visit Art Terrarium

Become a plant parent or attend an upcoming workshop or event by visiting Art Terrarium, located at 106 11th Street, Des Moines, IA.

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