I'm just a girl... a girl hopelessly in love with a land far, far away.
For as long as I can remember I have loved looking at beautiful things - colors, shapes, patterns. So, once I started traveling in my adult years and visited Italy, it was love at first sight. How can you not be moved by the art, the architecture, the natural beauty and diversity of the land, the beauty of the people, the warmth, the light? Oh, that magnificent light! And maybe the most exquisite - the language... la bella lingua.
I have fallen hopelessly in love with this country, and especially the south - the villages with their crumbling facades and perfectly patina'd colors that glow in the morning and evening hours; the faces and hearts of the people with all their passion and expression; the land, the drama of the coast with it's craggy limestone cliffs and the mountains looming behind, the food (who doesn't love pasta and gelato?), the wine, the sea ... the glorious, mesmerizing turquoise and blue, blue water and the calm that emanates. It's all of that, but it's mostly the lifestyle. La bella vita and dolce far niente. The Italians and most of the people of southern Europe have it down! Just one visit to Puglia, the Amalfi Coast, the Italian Riviera, any Italian island, Spain, the Greek Islands and you are hooked. The spell cannot be broken.
Short of picking up stakes and moving to one of these countries, I have been looking for some way to blend this passion into my life and also share it with others. I am happy to help my friends with their travel plans when going to this part of the world, but that was just not enough. And then the lightening bolt struck!!! As I was talking with someone in Italy about purchasing one of their lovely hand made accessories and how to get it back to the States, I realized that I could actually bring many back here to share with this part of the world. For the people who are not planning a trip back to Italy, Greece, France or Spain anytime soon and always ask "where did you get that?", I can now say, "Oh, I got it in Rome, but now you can find it here in my boutique." And so it happened. I decided to bring my two passions together (my love of interesting and unique wearables and my love of Italy and that part of the world), and start something wonderful.
Born out of love and as an homage to the lands where the prickly pear cactus (fichi d'india in Italian) grows wild, and where the olive trees are ancient and gnarled by the wind, I created Cactus + Olives. The shop will feature curated, affordable luxury items of impeccable quality, most not found here, closer to home. I hope you will fall in love with what I love and feel like you are transported somewhere far away and dreamy when you visit the shop. So, relax into a cozy spot and savor your trip to the land of Cactus + Olives.
Terri Lee, Founder of Cactus + Olives
P.S. That's me on the red Vespa in Rome. Vroom!!!