Keneisha Malone and Meghan Paige are true #bestfriendgoals. Keneisha, a teacher, and Meghan, a therapist, have worked tirelessly while balancing full time careers to turn their love for plants, knowledge of local markets, and experience as makers into a passion project that we now get to benefit from. They recently opened Terra Cotta, a Black-owned plant shop and storefont for creatives to cultivate community in Memphis.
“As makers, we got tired of asking, ‘Why aren’t our products selling and why are these people saying no?'” said Keneisha “When we realized we don’t have to keep asking them, we started looking for a space that would celebrate and make it easier for black makers to thrive.”
Centrally located on Summer Avenue, Terra Cotta is a creating space for local entrepreneurs to grow. The store is open to creatives who have products to sell, without the high fees that often come with markets. Their shelves are filled with handcrafted art, candles, apparel, beauty and wellness products, and more—and what makes it even more unique is the flora that can be found there.
The besties both realized how important that hobby was to them during the quarantine, so they sell all sorts of plants, host plant swaps, and can guide you in the right direction whether you’re a beginner plant mama or experienced plant zaddy.
As we discussed the process of opening the store, I could hear the passion in their voices and see it in their eyes. They wanted to create a space that will be place of community, especially during these tense times. Every aspect of the shop is in thoughtful pursuit of that, including the name:
“I started looking into the definition and researching more about terracotta, and that’s when it stuck. These definitions about being a strong brown substance of the Earth— I was like, this is about black people. That’s what we are going for here.” said Keneisha Malone, co-owner.