Hinterland Trading


“What is the Hinterland?” you may ask,

Hinterland Trading is a family business based in Virginia and founded by our President, Elizabeth Ryan. Elizabeth was working as a contractor inside the Washington, D.C. Beltway when she was run over by an out of control car. Both of her legs were crushed. During her long recovery she began sketching and designing home décor items. As her strength grew so did the foundation for Hinterland Trading. At launch she had established relationships with farms in Guatemala, ceramic manufacturers in Thailand, shell brokers in India, and many other places around the world that possessed unique items she needed to further her vision. The response was overwhelming. Elizabeth hired her high school and college age children and their friends to help her fill orders. Two years later her husband, Kelle Ryan, quit his D.C. Beltway job to help Elizabeth manage the rapidly growing business.

The first “kids” Elizabeth hired started as seasonal help, but over the years and as the company grew they have taken increasing roles of responsibility including: web-site design, customer service, purchasing, production supervision, order management, and product design. All while still pursuing their higher education. This amazing group of hardworking, dedicated, and talented young men and women comprise the backbone of Hinterland Trading and are certainly its future.

“What is the Hinterland?” you may ask. The word originates from the German word hinter (behind) + (land) and is figuratively thought of as the unexplored land. One of our most popular product lines (Tillandsia/Air Plants) are grown on a remote mountain in Guatemala and many of our other products are found just off the beaten path. We also take a great deal of inspiration from nature and the unique, so we found the name fitting.