Business Spotlight SEries
Jewelry plays such a large role in self expression and fashion, and it can play a significant part in preserving memories as well. A simple piece can represent the special moments and people we cherish, the events that shape our lives, and the characteristics that make us unique. Thomas’s Fine Jewelry in downtown Cambridge, MD , is the special place where you can find that perfect piece. As the only full-service jewelry store in downtown Cambridge MD, Thomas’s Fine Jewelry creates one-of-a-kind jewelry honoring the character of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
We spoke with the owners, brother and sister team Thomas and Amanda to learn more about their highly rated store. Thomas is a goldsmith by training and has extensive background working as an apprentice for a jeweler for ten and a half years before having the opportunity to fulfill his dream of opening his own store. There was a jewelry business in the old Ledlum building of downtown Cambridge, the store’s current location, that served the community since the 1930s. The store eventually closed their doors and the building was put up for sale. “We decided to buy it and give it a go,” Thomas shares, “and we set up a new business that offers fine jewelry and a full service repair shop.”
They opened their doors in 2016, and the brother and sister duo partner together to properly manage the store and offer excellent customer service. While Thomas is highly skilled in crafting jewelry, Amanda takes the lead on sales and marketing. Their store features a wide array of quality one-of-a-kind sterling and gold jewelry and engagement rings, and they have an extensive collection of Eastern Shore inspired fine handcrafted jewelry by local goldsmith Lynn Stavdal and store owner Thomas Robinson. Their Eastern Shore inspired collection features Lynn Stavdal’s designs, like her beautiful little muskrats charms, and charming 14K gold 3-D miniature crab baskets that open and close. ‘’It's something that no other jeweler has ever made and that's what we take pride in.” Thomas has just released a piece featuring the Snakehead fish, an invasive species of the Eastern Shore. He has a custom designed snakehead casting 1.5” long that he used to create a unique bracelet and necklace. Another original creation is his sterling silver fish hooks that he melds into a uniquely designed bracelet, necklace, and earrings. All their jewelry is Eastern Shore inspired, and designed and handcrafted in Dorchester County, MD.
Much of Thomas’s Fine Jewelry’s growth has been through word of mouth and social media. Their website has been another source of growth as they continue to add more of their merchandise visitors to peruse and order online. They are discovering visitors are coming from as far as 2 hours away to pay their store a visit and get their hands on their unique and beautiful collections. Fortunately this is leading to a boost to the entire area as visitors continue onward to explore other local businesses such as the popular RAR Brewery and Maiden Maryland store.
Thomas and Amanda know that jewelry is more than just an accessory. It could be a
family heirloom or something that has tremendous sentimental value and may need an upgrade so that it stays intact but is pleasing aesthetically. They may melt down a family treasure in order to repurpose it into a special piece for the next generation recipient. They also offer jewelry and watch repair, jewelry engraving, ring sizing services, custom jewelry design, and cleaning and polishing services. ‘’We always try to evaluate what our customers want and help them with what they need,’’ Thomas said.
For three years and counting their business has gained considerable momentum. The brother and sister team have the ongoing mission of providing exceptional service to their clients. Amanda explained, ‘’We’re personable. We're really trying to bring that back to a small town where you walk in the door and we know your name. We get to work with our customers on more of a personal basis.’’
As they take pride in featuring locally inspired jewelry designs and an amazing experience, Thomas’s Fine Jewelry is involved in community events. Check them out at the Boat Docking Contest hosted by the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce Saturday June 6, 2020 at Long Wharf, High Street, Cambridge, MD.
To learn more about Thomas’s Fine Jewelry and their collections, you can visit and shop from their website at www.thomassfinejewelry.com. They are located at 525 Poplar Street, Cambridge, MD, 21613. Call 410-228-0321.
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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/
If you have had a wonderful experience with Maiden Maryland, please feel free to share and comment down below.