MINISTRY IN MERCHANDISE
What began as a small booth in the back of a local vintage market has become a storefront on Military Road with an online presence from coast to coast, and even across the border into Canada. Pretties & Grace has been delighting customers with its unique décor, gifts, and more for two years.
Providing décor and gifts, or “pretties” and “happies,” as owner Terri Baker’s mother dubbed them, is a top priority—but it’s also about fostering connection and friendship.
“Anyone can put pretty things into a store, and they will sell,” Terri says. “We wanted more. Truly connecting with our customers is what sets us apart. Talking to them. Praying for and with them. There is a little sign near the cash register to our staff that reads, ‘Let them see Jesus,’ and that is our goal daily.”
Pretties & Grace can’t compete with big-box stores and that’s not even a goal, Terri notes. The business seeks to offer products to fit every budget. “We have some investment pieces, but we also have items chosen that are affordable and of amazing quality.”
Terri takes pride in the store’s greenery selections and the staff’s ability to teach the consumer how to “shop their house” first; and then, by adding a little touch of Pretties & Grace here and there, “they can change their whole look.” Terri added, “We have been blessed with an amazing staff, led by store manager, Madison, who is our day-to-day ‘face of the business.’ She shares our heart for the Lord, and our vision for Pretties & Grace.”
The online store at prettiesandgrace.com launched this past summer, enabling the business to send its “pretties” all over the country. One of their best repeat customers lives in New York City—the shopping mecca of the world. “Our gift sections have grown significantly, and we have quickly grown into a little fun stop for a quick gift that is meaningful and touching,” states Baker.
Décor is Terri’s hobby, her passion, her happy place. “It’s a creative outlet of mine, but it’s also a way to connect to others and help them create spaces they love.” Adding to the personal customer touch is a prayer box inside the store. There is also a way to submit prayers online. “We believe that prayer is the purest form of love.”
Décor consultations can be done both virtually and in person. Staying in tune with the business online through Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok is the best way to be in the know about special events and discounts. Pretties & Grace also is a wedding registry destination that offers refer-a-friend programs and a loyalty program called “Saving Grace.”
For the holiday shopping season, expect to see “major store specials” for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, Terri says. You can even expect a visit from Santa one afternoon in December.
Terri and her family have lived in Saline County for more than 20 years. “Benton has received us so well, and that has never been lost on us. The circle of small businesses and boutiques, and the way they support one another, is amazing. I would not choose to be anywhere else. This is home.”
Anytime she buys something for herself or others to “pretty up” a space, or as a gift to make them smile, she thinks of her mother. “The mere word ‘pretties’ makes me think of my mother, who was as crafty as they come and always the number one fan of all my dreams. I know she is looking down on Pretties & Grace with her sweet smile and pride in her heart.”