Sterner's Stems

Retail Feature: Sterner’s Stems

The Chameleon Pop-Up Shop, located at 645 Hamilton Street in Downtown Allentown, gives up-and-coming businesses the opportunity to experience a brick-and-mortar presence without the commitment. Melissa Sterner, the owner of Sterner’s Stems, took advantage of this new business venture and has been flourishing in this space since she opened.

If you’re a plant lover or looking to create your own plant-topia in your home, you’ll be welcomed with a plethora of options when you visit Sterner’s Stems. There are a variety of fresh-cut flowers, plants, and succulents to choose from, and you can create your own terrarium. Keep reading to learner why Melissa decided to bring her business to Downtown Allentown. You can also find her on the ArtsWalk every Thursday for Rock the Walk! (Plus she’s a part of the Shop the Walk program!).

Name: Melissa Gail Sterner

Business Instagram: @sternersstems

Why did you decide to open Sterner’s Stems in Downtown Allentown?  I decided on Allentown to start my business because I’m from Allentown. I’ve lived in Allentown all my life and have spent most of my professional career working on Hamilton Street in Downtown Allentown. Working in Downtown Allentown specifically has always been my dream. The downtown area made a huge impression on me when I was younger. My parents have had several businesses on Hamilton Street, so as a young girl I’d come to the Center Square building after school. My parents owned the building, and my dad had his offices on the 8th floor and my mom had a restaurant on the 1st floor. I often enjoyed taking walks after school to Leh’s or Hess’s.  Later in life, I was the director of operations at the Hamilton Business Center as well as Crocodile Rock, both on Hamilton Street. 

What is Sterner’s Stems mission statement? My mission is to entertain while creating living art and making a difference. To teach and inspire creativity with plants and succulents while providing a unique experience that will positively impact the life of each person I meet.  

What makes Sterner’s Stems unique from its competitors? I believe I have a unique concept that people are genuinely excited about.  I do have basic house plants that I personally curate pots and pot them.  I think there is enough plant business for all of the local shops to share. 

What different plants, gifts, and services do you offer at your store? I offer a variety of cactus, succulents, house plants, and wildflowers.  You can find a variety of succulent arrangements, cactus dishes, fairy gardens, terrariums, and houseplant arrangements.  Pots, vases, propagation vessels, soil, and a variety of garden supplies.  We also offer RE potting services. 

How do you sign up to create your own terrarium? You can sign up for the “create your own” bar at or by calling/texting 484-357-9285.

What’s the most popular item you sell at your store? The most popular items at my store tie between hi plants and single succulents. 

What are some of your favorite items you sell at your store? My favorite items sold at Sterner’s Stems are ANY succulent hanging basket, Airplants, and macramé.  AND OF COURSE my baby, the “ build your own”  bar! It’s a buffet of plants, rocks, moss, stones, fairy garden accessories and so many glass vessels to choose from.  It’s a dream come true! 

Will you be offering any special to City Center Residents in the future? YES! A free succulent, 2 with the purchase of the succulent of the month club. (Must show key fob to redeem)

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