Based out of St. Louis, MO this small batch, hand-poured candle company pulls inspiration from nature and its founder's personal travels around Southeast Asia and Europe. Join us as we talk to Dianna Allen about her creative process, recent travels and her next big adventure!
Hi Dianna - Would you please take us through your scent-sory design process at TERRA - what will trigger a scent inspiration and how do you go about developing your fragrances?
The scent development process truly can begin at any moment for me. Sometimes it's a memory, other times it's my curiosity. I design my scents to reflect nature and what different countries are able to bring us. For example, Midnight Sea is a tribute to my time spent in Sweden and how I often walked along the crisp Baltic Sea in the evenings. I take these moments and pull notes from what makes those memories so unique. I've also designed scents based on events that have never happened, doing my research on what plants grow prominently in a certain destination and allowing my imagination to roam free from there.
You recently returned from a huge family trip! When traveling, are there specific items that you collect or keep an eye out for to bring home to add to your own personal collection? Can we expect any fun items that will be debuting from TERRA soon?
You know, I’ve been keeping my eyes wide open for what treasures I can bring to the states through TERRA. And I’m currently working with artisans to create placemats and coasters, woven with locally sourced plant materials. It’s been a long process getting here, truly a learning process. But I’m hoping once this project is cleared and brought to life, then I can move into recreating these beautiful woven rugs that I discovered in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The pattern is traditional, yet blends perfectly in this modern world –– one currently adorns my entry way, and it really is a reminder of my time spent abroad.
Congratulations on your impending new arrival! What are some rituals that you are doing for yourself now before the baby arrives?
These days, I’m focusing on creating that barrier between work and life. I have a very strong work ethic (thank you, Mom) but I’m learning that I don’t have to do everything. I’ve hired extra hands in the TERRA studio recently, and am finding that spending a few hours each days to simply enjoy being in my home with my husband and dogs is the best ritual I can do before the big day comes. I want to savor what’s left of this chapter before our little one makes us just a tad bit busier.
Members can access and read more about TERRA's founder Dianna Allen in the summer issue of our quarterly online magazine.