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Clementine Owner Opening Grocery Shop in Hamilton

The food options keep growing for residents of the Hamilton/Lauraville neighborhood.

Clementine Owner Winston Blick is opening grocery store and caf� Green Onion at 5500 Harford Rd. in July. Rich Marsiglia, owner of Hamilton Vacuum & Janitorial Supply, and Baltimore Tattoo Museum's Bill Stevenson are Blick's partners on the new business. Located one block from Clementine, the store is a cross between Atwater's and Milk and Honey Market, Blick says.

Blick says a grocery store will hopefully bring more families to the area and make it a better place to live. He also wants to introduce shoppers to local farms that will supply the produce, meats, and cheeses. Sauces, charcuterie, dressings, and soups from Clementine will be sold at the store.

Green Onion is the latest food venture for the area. Hamilton Bakery opened at the end of April. The area is also home to top-rated restaurants Chameleon Caf�, Hamilton Tavern, and, of course, Clementine.

The store will sell 30 types of cheeses, along with olives, soups and sandwiches, and bulk laundry detergent supplied by local business Healing Fields Whole Body Care LLC. The grocer will focus more on fruits and vegetables rather than dry goods.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Winston Blick, Green Onion and Clementine

Federal Hill Getting Custom Makeup Shop

Before a girl paints the town red, she needs to pick the right shade of red, according to makeup artist Tiffany Jeffers.

Jeffers is opening a Federal Hill store in August where clients can get custom-blended eye shadow, foundation, lipstick, and skin care.

Sylk Cosmetics at 1049 S. Charles St. replaces kids clothing store Ladybugs and Fireflies, which closed in April.

Currently, Jeffers is offering makeup applications and hosting photo shoots in the space but will open the retail store in the summer.

Jeffers, who is doing the makeup for Baltimore Fashion Week, will spend about $100,000 on the store, which includes buying the inventory for the custom-blended makeup and skin care products.

Clients will pay $30 for an initial makeup consultation, and anywhere from $10 to $18 on lipstick and eye shadow and about $30 for foundation. Jeffers can add SPF protection or wrinkle-fighting serum to the blend.

The business owner says she chose Federal Hill because it is a "fun, hip, and eclectic area."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Tiffany Jeffers, Sylk Cosmetics

Jewelry Store Amaryllis Expands in Harbor East

A Harbor East jewelry store is taking its gold earrings and ruby necklaces to a larger space.

Amaryllis, which moved from Harborpalce and the Gallery two years ago to East Baltimore, is moving into the Kashmir Imports' spot next month. At 1,028 square feet, the space at 830 Aliceanna St. is twice as big as its space on Exeter St., says co-owner Allie Wolf.

The owners of the 26-year-old jewelry store like the Harbor East neighborhood, but thought Aliceanna was a better spot because it's the shopping street, Wolf says. The street is home to Arhaus Furniture, South Moon Under, and Urban Chic.

"Aliceanna has established itself as the shopping street," Wolf says. "I feel like as a boutique we should be on Aliceanna Street. The shopping is better."

The larger store will allow it to expand its jewelry selection and sell purses, scarves and other gifts.

"There are so many other artists we want to carry that we don't have the space for," Wolf said. "We want to be the destination jewelry spot" downtown.

The move will come with a makeover, courtesy of Nouveau Contemporary Goods' Co-owner Steve Appel.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Allie Wolf, Amaryllis

Harbor East Imports Store to Move to Shops at Kenilworth

Kashmir Imports will move this summer from its spot in Baltimore's Harbor East to a larger store at the Shops in Kenilworth to get closer to its affluent clients in Baltimore County and Baltimore City.

At its new home, the shop will be known simply as Kashmir, co-owner Pat McCarty says. The 1,180-square-foot shop in Harbor East sells embroidered jackets, shawls, scarves, and lacquer boxes from Kashmir India.

Once it opens at Kenilworth in August or September, it will have more space to carry gifts in the 1,880-square-foot store. New store items will include lamps made from a banyan tree in Cambodia and a handbag made from a zipper designed by a Colorado architect. 

Many of Kashmir's top customers are moms who live in Roland Park or Towson, McCarty says. The location at Kenilworth will make it easier to reach more of those clients. Terri Harrington of MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services LLC brokered the lease deal.

McCarty and her husband Javid Mahajan opened their first retail outlet in 2004 with a shop in Washington, D.C.,'s Union Station.

Mahajan's brother works directly with the families who produced the Kashmiri handicrafts that the stores sell.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Pat McCarty

Baltimore Jewelry Firm to Expand Retail Presence

A Baltimore jewelry company that has gotten national exposure will expand its retail presence in the coming year.

American Estate Jewelry will expand its retail presence to Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Texas, Atlanta, and Chicago, hopefully by the end of the year to catch Christmas sales, founder Carolyn O'Keefe says. Next year, O'Keefe says she hopes to sell the jewelry in London and Paris. She also hopes to sell in a Baltimore store.

The company's trademark silver cuff has been featured recently in RobbReport.com and O magazine, which featured actress Mandy Moore sporting the bracelet.

American Estate sells bracelets, brooches, and pendants, which start at $400.

The jewelry is made using a technique known as repousse, in which a metal design is crafted by hammering from the reverse side.
American Estate's line is sold in a handful of places now, including the Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, D.C., and Works Gallery in New York.  The jewelry is also sold on the company's website.

"The designs are so timeless," O'Keefe says. "It's not a trendy thing I've got to hop on right away."

O'Keefe started the company out of a desire to create heirloom quality silver jewelry in honor of her mother who used to wear an antique silver cuff. She teamed up with New York jewelry designer Michael Galmer, who worked at Tiffany & Co. for 20 years.

"There's a time commitment so many aren't willing to make," O'Keefe says of the artisan jewelry. "I hope it's something I can pass onto my children."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Carolyn O'Keefe

Photos courtesy of Carolyn O'Keefe

Report: Local Businesses Help Boost Retail Numbers

Local small business owners are taking advantage of lower retail rents, helping the Baltimore market slowly recover from the recession.

That is according to MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate's retail report for the first quarter of 2011. The greater Baltimore region had an overall retail vacancy rate of 6.3 percent, down from 7.1 percent a year ago.

Several of new businesses to open were restaurants, including Black Olive Agora, Mari Luna Bistro and Ooh La La Cupcakery.

Vacancy rates varied by region, according to the report. Carroll County had the lowest rate, at 4.8 percent. Parts of Baltimore City had vacancy rates around 10 percent.

Retail rents dropped nearly $2 per square foot, to $17.62, compared with a year ago as landlords continued to make concessions to fill empty storefronts.

"The activity for independent businesses is on the uptick," says John Schultz, MacKenzie's senior real estate advisor. "I just hope it leads to actual deals being made" in the future.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: John Schultz, MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate

Spa Owners Buffing Up Space in Locust Point

The owners of an eight-year-old Locust Point spa have renewed their lease and will begin renovations next month to polish up the space.

Studio 921 Salon & Medi Day Spa will get new floors, tiles, and front desk area to give it a "funkier, edgier" feel, customer service manager Carolyn Devlin says. The renovations, to start April 4, will cost around $200,000.

Owners Judy Sulisufaj Kelly and Colleen Smith have hired local furniture designer Jonathan Maxwell to design an industrial-looking front desk area, using wood and stainless steel. The lobby and entryway will get new tile floors and cherry wood will replace the tan parquet floors in the salon.

The owners also plan to tear down a wall in the salon so they can add two more styling stations that can accommodate up to four more stylists.

On the spa side, Studio 921 will get new women's locker rooms, carpet, and cabinets.

Named a best place to work by Baltimore magazine for offering a 401(k) and paid vacation, Studio 921 managers hope a rejuvenated salon will give its 50 employees another reason to stay, Devlin says.

The owners have extended their lease at the Foundry on Fort, a complex that also includes the Wine Market and Merritt Athletic Club.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Carolyn Devlin, Studio 921

HGTV Design Star Contestant Opens New Studio

Friends and family used to ask Stephanie Bradshaw to help design their homes and go shopping with them. So she launched Bradshaw Styling in 2008 to "dress people, parties and places."

And recently, the designer opened her own studio at 211 Old Padonia Rd. in Cockeysville.

Bradshaw styles a lot of weddings in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., fashion magazines, homes and commercial spaces.

"If you're meeting a bride, you get tired of meeting at Starbucks," Bradshaw says.

The two-room space contains fabric samples, swatches and accessories.

Her clients include Baltimore Magazine, Six Mile Coffee in Catonsville, Carla David Design in Savage and Roland Park flower shop Crimson and Clover. Another growing client is Arsty Couture, which sells "gallery blocks," or photos affixed to a block that can be hung on a wall.

"A lot of things are in the works right now," Bradshaw says. "W are definitely growing," says Bradshaw, a former contestant on the HGTV reality show "Design Star."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Stephanie Bradshaw, Bradshaw Styling

Bagby Pizza Co. to Double Space, Add Small Plates

Behold the power of pepperoni.

A two-year-old pizza restaurant in Harbor East is doubling its size in the next four months.

Bagby Pizza Co. at 1006 Fleet St. will add another 75 seats, a bar, and a small plate menu, say father-and-son co-owners David and Blake Smith. The expansion will give it 130 seats and another 1,800 square feet of space.

The pizza joint will take over the spot that held flower shop the Dutch Connection, which closed.

The Smiths say the new menu is still in the works. Perhaps American comfort food will be on tap, says David Smith, who also envisions a martini bar. He says he is spending "a few hundred thousand" on the expansion.

Sandwiched between Whole Foods and Little Italy, the Bagby Building has been a good location for the restaurant, Blake Smith says. It gets lunch traffic from office workers and nighttime customers from neighboring residents.

"It's been getting awfully busy around here," especially on Friday and Saturday nights," Smith says. 'It's a good problem to have."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: David Smith, Blake Smith, Bagby Pizza Co.

SuCasa Owner Plots Delaware Beach Store After Opening at Shops at Kenilworth

Furniture store owner Nicholas Johnson and his wife love going to the beach in Delaware.

And they love going to Charleston, S.C.

So Johnson is looking East and South to expand his furniture store SuCasa.

Johnson will open an 800-square-foot pop-up store on Route 1 in Dewey Beach, Delaware this summer, spending $50,000 on the venture. If the store does well he will open a permanent location selling SuCasa's trademark classic contemporary furniture.

"I've dreamed of opening at the beach," Johnson says. He hopes that SuCasa's style will appeal to folks who aren't just seeking a beach-style look for their home. He can't divulge the exact location yet because the lease hasn't been signed.

The shop comes on the heels of his opening a 4,000-square-foot store at the Shops in Kenilworth. Johnson spent about $100,000 to open the Towson store in October. It replaced eco-friendly furniture store Bluehouse.

SuCasa's 4,800-square-foot flagship shop is located on Thames Street in Fells Point. Johnson owns another SuCasa in Ellicott City and two other furniture stores in Fells Point, Pad and Calligaris.

He is currently revamping the inventory at Pad and Calligaris so it has a broader appeal. The stores opened during the height of the condo market boom and sell modern furniture that is priced higher than the wares at SuCasa. But since the condo market collapsed, Johnson has had to rethink the concept behind these stores and will offer more neutral colors.

So what about Charleston? If he can make the Dewey Beach store work, he plans to open a store down the road in Darius Rucker's hometown now that Southwest Airlines offers direct flights.

"I dream of splitting my time between Baltimore and Charleston," he says.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Nicholas Johnson, SuCasa

Stevenson Fashion Boutique to Move Into Larger Space

A clothing store owner in Baltimore County is expanding her boutique as retail sales and the overall economy improve.

Lori Kilberg will move her store Lori.k to a larger space in Stevenson Village in Greenspring Valley March 3.

The 2,200-square-foot shop is about 50 percent bigger than the current store.

Kilberg says she spent $50,000 on the expansion as sales have grown. She expects sales to grow 20 percent this year. Nationally, retail sales rose .6 percent to $381 billion in December as consumers' confidence in the economy perks up a bit.

Lori.k caters to the 40-to-65-year-old who "doesn't want to look like her daughter," Kilberg says. The shop wants to offer a place where you can buy everything from a $20 T-shirt to a $1500 ball gown.

"Everybody can walk out with something and buy something which I think is incredible," Kilberg says.

Kilberg likes the location because the shopping center is convenient to reach for folks living on either side of the beltway.

Writer:Julekha Dash
Source: Lori Kilberg, Lori.k

New Sandwich and Salad Shop to Move Into Former Cypriana Spot Downtown

A new lunch spot will feed downtown office workers at Baltimore's SunTrust building.

Serving made-to-order salads and sandwiches, Nalley Fresh will open by the end of January at 120 E. Baltimore St. It will replace the closed falafel and gyro joint Cypriana Caf�.

Greg Nalley, who owned Tide Point's Harvest Table from 2001 to 2007, is launching the 830-square-foot caf�.

The former executive chef of the Maryland Jockey Club, Nalley says he is looking forward to serving the business crowd again as he did at the Tide Point office complex.

"You see the same people over and over again," Nalley says. "There's a camaraderie with people you see two or three times a week."

Nalley Fresh will also serve tart frozen yogurt sold by the ounce. Tart frozen yogurt � as opposed to the sweet concoctions that were all the rage in the 1980s � has been growing in popularity with the expansions of chains like Pinkberry. Lunch at Nalley Fresh will cost around $10.

The entrepreneur is renovating the interior with new floor, paint, cabinets and televisions broadcasting news and sports. Nalley declined to say how much he is spending to open the caf�.

Nalley says he likes the location because it's in the heart of the business district and provides plenty of outdoor seating on a nice day. The restaurant will seat 30 inside and another 30 outside.

Matthew Haas, vice president of Columbia's Manekin LLC, brokered the deal on behalf of Nalley. Manekin's Vince Brocato and Kevin Haus represented the landlord, Franklin Street Properties.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Greg Nalley

Decor and Design Shop Curiosity Calls Federal Hill Home

Federal Hill has gotten another interior design and home d�cor store.

Curiosity opened last month at 1033 S. Charles St. on the second floor of a rowhome. The shop sells art, antiques, home decorations and gift books. Owner Katie DeStefano sells treasures she finds at auctions and flea markets.

"If it's pretty and fun we have it here," DeStefano says.

The interior designer also sells sketches, photos, prints, and other art pieces she collects on her travels to New York, Los Angeles, and Savannah, Ga.

"Everywhere I go I look for something that catches my eye," DeStefano says. "Every time I get on an airplane something is coming back with me."

The business owner describes the store's style as "sophisticated and fun" with an eclectic mix of furnishings � from 19th century pieces to modern 1960s-style items.

Curiosity is the latest design store to call Federal Hill home. SoBo Design Loft also opened last month. The neighborhood also houses Shofer's Furniture and linen and bath store Phina's for the Home.

DeStefano says she chose Federal Hill because it's full of young, stylish people who will hopefully want to shop at her store.

"I love that people here are young and open to the idea of great design," she says. "A lot of places are not forward looking enough."

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Katie DeStefano, Curiosity

Harbor East Flower Shop Owner Adds Coffee, Pastries, and Quiche to the Arrangement

Want a shot of espresso with your dozen roses?

Paula Maher is counting that you do. Last month the owner of the Dutch Connection, a flower shop in Harbor East, opened a caf� in the Bagby Building at 1008 Fleet St.

Called the Black Tulip, the caf� has boosted flower sales 10 percent as people come for the java and pick up a plant, Maher says.

"I always had a feeling that flowers and some coffee and food are a beautiful combination," Maher says. A native of the Netherlands, Maher
trained as a chef in Paris and moved to Baltimore with her husband in 1997.

"Now I have it all � flowers and a little bit of food."

The shop sells soups, quiches, pastries, and coffee drinks. The Black Tulip contains nine tables, plus outdoor seating, and takes up about half of the 1,700-square-foot store.

Maher likes the Harbor East neighborhood because she gets a mix of young residents and area office workers. She also likes that it is close to the waterfront.

A renovated former factory building, the Bagby's tenants include Bagby Pizza Co., Bikram Yoga, Vino Rosina, and PNC Bank.

"It's lively," Maher says of Harbor East. "I like the shops in the area. It's as close as we can come to New York. It's an interesting part of the city."

Maher also operates another Dutch Connection in Belvedere Square.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Paula Maher, Dutch Connection

Interior Design Firm to Cozy Up to Downtown Baltimore's Charles Street

An interior design company is expanding to downtown Baltimore.

RC Interiors LLC will open a 2,400-square-foot store Dec. 2 at 339 N. Charles St.

Called Market Centre Design, the retail shop will sell art and furniture and house a design studio, says Jayne Kelly, the store's director of marketing. The space once held lingerie store Bella Sorpresa.

Kelly says the store managers liked the building's soaring ceilings, big windows, and exposed beams.

"It's a really beautiful space," Kelly says. "It's great for a designer."

The Charm City Circulator, the free city shuttle that launched in January, will make it easier than before for folks to shop downtown.

"It's just a nice location," Kelly says. "It gives us some visibility."

The design firm signed a five-year lease at the location. RC Interiors also has an office at 414 Lyman Ave. in Baltimore's Homeland neighborhood. Commercial and residential clients who work in the city will hopefully find the downtown location convenient, Kelly says.

RC Interiors staff also like that the shop is close to Mount Vernon, an "artsy" area that is near the Maryland Institute College of Art.
The store sells a range of styles, from contemporary to antiques. It also carries many original pieces of art by local artists.

Jeremy Landsman of Baltimore's JBL Real Estate LLC brokered the deal on behalf of 339-341 N Charles LLC, an affiliate of WRH Property Holdings LLC.

Writer: Julekha Dash
Source: Jayne Kelly, RC Interiors
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