Terra Cornelius

by Terry Watson | March 22nd, 2021
Terra Cornelius (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

Terra Cornelius (Photos by Still Shots Photography)

The world of fashion is constantly evolving. There is glitz, glamor, and gorgeousness, all of which assume new definitions, every day. For Terra Cornelius, change is another in-demand and exquisite ‘new arrival’ piece; she is ready for it and always up for the challenge. She is a woman full of pizazz and has an effervescent personality that’s reflected in her personal style. Accompanied with her sincere aim to please her clientele, the result has impacted her fashion business, Terra’s Online Boutique, with loyal patronage.

She consistently leads with her personal mantra, “What Matters to You, Matters to Us.”

Terra quenches her thirst for fashion by offering an extraordinarily colorful experience through her online clothing boutique, where she showcases multiple, curated collections. In the aesthetically pleasing platform, one will find an array of multi-seasonal garments which can be worn on several different occasions. To complete the ensemble, elegant and chic accessories are available — from rhinestone earrings to cow-print fedoras, one might discover their true style through Terra’s eclectic selections. “One of my personal beliefs about clothing is they should align with your personality and aspirations,” she boldly remarks.

April 2018 marked the much-anticipated birth of Terra’s Online Boutique. Opening her own store, she says, is something she has always desired to do. Everyone knew Terra was meant for it; the only thing she needed was a slight push which she had received the previous year.

She shared, “I will never forget. I was serving as an adjutant for my cousin, Pastor Bridgett Battles one night. She started pushing me around the church and then suddenly, she stopped, turned me around, and looked me square in the eyes and said, ‘You help push everyone else with their dreams and visions. Tonight, God told me to push you!’ That prophecy hit me like a ton of bricks and it never left. I was in the office one day thinking about that conversation and decided to start my boutique. I began messaging website designers while at lunch to see who would respond, to no avail, but I kept pushing. I called my goddaughter, Ariel Thomas, and asked if she could create a website for me. She said yes; So, I gave her my credit card and told her to get started. I added that I needed it to go live by midnight and she went right to work on it. When I got home, we worked on it together and had it published at the exact time I wanted it to be. We created the collections with only one item in them, but it was finally live! After that, I went into my closet and pulled out all of my boutique items. These were the brands I contacted and started shopping with.”

Terra genuinely finds joy in being a boutique owner. She expressed, “I love seeing and hearing about my clients lighting up when they try on something from the boutique, affirming their inherent beauty and worth. My boutique has been a source of inspiration, affirmation, and motivation for countless women. It’s not just about selling a product; it’ my ministry. I realized that the most seemingly well put together women didn’t actually feel good about themselves. I wanted Terra’s Boutique to serve as a vehicle of inspiration and recognition of personal power; mainly because I hadn’t always felt good about myself. I knew this wouldn’t just be an on-line boutique, it would be a platform to elevate and affirm women.’

Born and raised in High Point, N.C., she is the youngest of four siblings. Contrary to the stylish woman that we see right now, image wasn’t important to young Terra. She stated, “I wasn’t a tomboy, but I wasn’t overly concerned with what I wore. My clothing didn’t need to be pressed. My Mom picked out all my outfits and even took care of the ironing until I was in the ninth grade. She wanted to make sure my clothes matched and looked neat.”

Things began to change as Terra navigated her way through high school at High Point Central. “I became more interested in dressing well and looking nice. I’d never been into luxury brands, but I knew that I liked quality,” Terra recalls. Growing up, her family did not have a lot of money—however, her mother, Frankie Pike was a gifted seamstress. She made a lot of Terra’s clothing which contributed to her developing style. Terra shared, “Once I was set to go on a field trip. That morning, mom got up early and made me an outfit.” Terra’s Mother worked for a company that made denim wears, particularly trousers. Whenever they had employee sales, she would be able to get some Calvin Klein, Texas, and Gloria Vanderbilt jeans for her daughters. Other times, she would just opt for cheaper jeans. To make them look expensive, she would bring home labels from work and put them on the jeans.

Terra’s journey to success has been a bumpy ride. She’s had her share of personal challenges from divorce to not being able to have children of her own. She’s relied heavily on her faith to get her through life’s ups and downs. “I have allowed my faith in God to inspire me, and I clearly understand that I’m only in competition with myself. A friend, Angela Briggs told me once, I had to know I was a “winning hand”. That affirmation took me to a whole new place, mentally. I knew then who I was, and whose I was, and knew I could not lose or fail,” she shares.

In candidness, Terra reveals, “I love God, family, friends, and fashion, a good laugh, success, and money. I’m an unapologetic money lover. It’s not everything, but we all need it to survive.” Although earning is a remarkable motivator, Terra discusses that what makes her work harder is her love for the clients. Moreover, her primary focus remains to be her ‘why’—her reasons for sharing her passion for fashion to the world. “I want this to be my retirement plan, so it needs to be successful.”

When it’s all said and done, Terra shares, “Don’t be afraid to be yourself. This is your superpower. There will be many folks doing the same thing or something similar; however, your personality will set you apart. You must be willing to be accountable for your mistakes and treat people well. Often, people will remember their experience with you and not the product or service. Therefore, you must always be kind.”

Terra is a proud graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and has been employed for more than 25 years in the field of Human Resources. In addition to being a boutique owner, she also owns T&T Tax and Notary. She’s also an illustrious member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

The future looks very bright for Terra and her boutique. She plans to add more styles and variety to her collection which will provide her clients with a more enriching experience. To learn more about Terra, please visit her website.

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