Linen, one of Doug Reinke's latest business venture is a hit on the Hill! See the slide show below for more images. All photos by Pete Mazzaccaro and Jacqueline Weiss.

by Jacqueline Weiss

One month ago, Doug Reinke, owner of the Chestnut Hill furniture boutique HOST, decided the Avenue was ready for some retail expansion — something he’s not unaccustomed to after he opened a second HOST location in Old City.

In partnership with his landlord, Bowman Properties, Reinke opened two of the Hill’s newest shops: Earth and Linen.

Although it’s been only a month, Mary Manning, who manages both new retailers, said the response to the stores has been positive.

“Business is doing great,” Manning said, “and new customers are coming in everyday.”

Customers will find numerous gardening related items in Earth, from hands-on items like gardening tools, gloves, plants and seeds to items that are not so “green thumb,” like fine jewelry, scented candles and Olivina bath and body products.

Although Earth may sound like a typical hardware store, it’s not. The idea behind the design, Manning said, was to make Earth a “unique, aesthetically pleasing experience.”

“In Earth you will be able to find something new and interesting to please your green thumb,” she said.

Along those lines, Earth offers a few things not found in your garden-variety shop. One of the most interesting items is called an air plant. Air plants, like the popular Tillandsias, do not have to be planted in soil because water and nutrients are absorbed through their leaves.

Earth is planning to host a terrarium workshop in the next month and will announce the event on its Facebook page. Manning said Earth is also planning a 25-percent-off summer sale.

Like Earth, Linen is meticulously designed and features an interesting blend of items both expected and unexpected. High quality and adorable children’s clothes are available in sizes ranging from infant to nine months from brands like Bella Bliss. Home and bedding brands for sale include Pine Cone Hill, Serena & Lily and Dwell Studio.

According to Manning, Linen’s most popular items are the upholstered headboards that shoppers customize by choosing a style, monogram and other personalized touches to create a distinctive bedroom accessory.

Since the opening of Earth and Linen, Manning said that many seasoned shoppers were surprised to discover the stores but seemed glad to know they now had two new destinations.

“I think people are really excited to see a fresh and unique retailer,” Manning said.

“They seem to come in [to Earth and Linen] and it gives them hope, and that’s what we want to give to our shoppers. Everyone is just so supportive and so kind. It’s a great environment to be in.”

For more information on the products sold at Earth and Linen, visit both stores’ Facebook fan pages.  You will also soon be able to visit each stores’ full websites, which are both currently under construction.

Earth: garden inspired living
8433 Germantown Ave
Facebook Fan Page

Linen: boutique bedroom & baby
8133 Germantown Ave
Facebook Fan Page