Business Spotlight SEries
Locally made products are a great choice because they not only serve as unique gifts or nice souvenirs, but they also represent the rich cultural identity and the talent people have in our community. What makes handcrafted and locally made products extra special is the colorful stories behind them that often stem from personal experience, a goal, or an inspiration.
Maiden Maryland is a newly opened shop on 501 Poplar Street, in Cambridge, MD that features products from and made only in Maryland. The owners, couple Tammy and Tracy Lynndee, opened the shop in March 2019 with all the handiwork they feature being made by local artists and artisans, with the store colors inspired by the Maryland flag colors. They also opened an ice cream shop next door, called "Sweets & Treats" in June 2019. They offer 44 flavors of hand dipped ice cream, hand crafted shakes and sundaes, fresh baked from scratch pies by T’s Divine Sweets, steamed hot dogs, fountain and glass bottled coke products and more. They are open all year long.
The couple started the business because they wanted to be a part of the flourishing Cambridge downtown area. “I grew up here when downtown was pretty active and you came to downtown to do everything. Then when I went away to college in the 80’s and I came home, our downtown was pretty well gone. Now we're at this pivotal point where downtown is exploding and we just wanted to be a part of that,” she said.
As businesses continue to prosper in the area, they hope that it continues so that the younger generation, especially children, can experience and have the things they had when they were younger. Their downtown opens a lot of opportunities, not just for businesses to invest in, but for people to do a lot of things just as they did back when Tammy was younger.
Their store is a gift shop that displays a wide range of products mainly made by local artists and artisans like paintings, hand-made jewelry, furniture, pottery, artisanal soaps and much more. The store is a perfect choice if you want a unique addition to your home decor and furniture or if you want a souvenir to keep or give as a gift. The best part is the artworks are personally crafted and hand-made, so you can really appreciate the effort and inspiration that were invested in the product. ‘’We have really nice paintings, nice pieces of art and we have what we call folk art like fall art painted on oyster and crab shells, old crab bushel basket lids and driftwood,’’ Tammy said. Also exciting is the addition of their ice cream shop next door.
Maiden Maryland is unique for featuring artworks from different Maryland artists. They even have artwork from kids displayed in their store and they want to showcase work from artists of different skill levels. Their family has a background with carving and furniture making, but no one really continued with those skills and so they wanted to preserve them. ‘’My grandfather was a carver but we don't have anyone in the family who remains, or who has taken on that skill to carve. Tracy's dad could make kitchen utensils, cutting boards, and furniture out of the bamboo he chopped down in his yard,’’ Tammy said.
There were challenges at first when they started opening, like finding a well-suited space for their store in the area, but the couple is happy that everything is falling into place and opportunities greater than planned are opening up for them. Tammy is also grateful Tracy was able to take a break from her 25 years in law enforcement to get the shop up and running. "I can’t imagine how I would have ever done it on my own."
They want their business to grow not just in terms of the customers that come in, but with respect to the number of artists that they source from. Almost 90 percent of their products are made by artists from Cambridge, with the rest being from throughout Maryland. ‘’We did a little recruiting at a Maryland arts festival and found a lot of great artists there. We are basically looking to have more diversity in what we have.’’
Maiden Maryland has become a place where artists of diverse backgrounds have the opportunity to showcase their talent and skills, and communicate with the people through their arts. Tammy and Tracy want to showcase local products to make the community feel that they are part of it.‘’ I think we really made the community feel that it's their store.’
If you want more information about Maiden Maryland, please visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MaidenMaryland/
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