At Compendium, we are grateful to partner with some incredible retailers around the world. Each one has a unique way of adding to the character of their local community. We want to share this magic with you and showcase some of our amazing retailers and the inspirational masterminds behind them, and the ways they are making a difference.
Five years ago, Benita Smith took a chance on an idea she had and opened a boutique in the historic Freighthouse Square in Tacoma, Washington. Tucked inside this 105-year-old landmark, Smith created an adorable store called Adorned Abode, a one-stop shop for all gifting needs.
We asked Benita to share about her beginnings as an entrepreneur, her plans for Valentine’s Day, and her inspiration as a business owner.
How long have you been in business for?
April 2021 will mark one year for our e-commerce store and October 2021 will officially mark five years with the brick-and-mortar location.
What type of store is Adorned Abode?
I curate with a focus on stationery, candles, plant accessories, and birthday gifts.
What made you decide to start Adorned Abode?
There were a few items I was looking for and couldn’t find in stores and I thought someone should open a store that sells them. Then it dawned on me that I should open that store! I’ve always really loved the art of gift giving and how special a unique present can be. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some really fantastic gift givers in my family and friend circle who took so much care and often shopped small businesses while doing it.
You are quite active in your community. Can you tell us a little bit about your involvement?
I am personally involved with the Tacoma Women of Color Collective, so the store is involved by extension. We donate to various community organizations throughout the year, including the Eastside Community Food Bank, I Run With Maud, and other local programs. We are in the process of planning for our 2021 donations. It is our goal to contribute as much as we can to those advocating for the community and serving its people.
Your Valentine’s Day display is focused primarily around self-love, which is a unique approach to take for the holiday. What made you decide to focus on self-love over romantic love?
Self-love was really speaking to me for 2021. Self-love always comes back to YOU. You can’t fully love others if you’re not treating YOU well.
I have a fair amount of colleagues in the wellness industry. They are always reminding us to take deep breaths and breathe out slowly, to put our hands on our hearts and tell ourselves, “I love me.” It all comes down to being mindful. It’s not an original thought but sometimes it’s one we might get too busy for or put on the back burner.
Why is self-love important to you?
Self-love is important to me because when I take care of me, I can take care of others. That means making sure I’m rested, hydrated, and better organized. Removing distractions is a way of taking care of myself too. When I remove distractions I create room for what is right for me and for what is meant to align for me.
Running a business is a significant commitment. What inspires you?
My ancestors and my own parents are a big part of what inspires me. I am a testament and legacy to their survival—and their hopes and dreams of what is possible. I don’t ever forget where I came from and what this journey I am on means. Simultaneously, what inspires me is how I can impact others and the future—carving a small place in history through a story of realization, resilience, taking up space, creating space, and community.
Find thoughtful gifts at Benita’s store by visiting adornedabode.net or make an appointment to stop by at 430 East 25th Street, #53, Tacoma, WA 98421. You can also follow her on Instagram @adornedabode.