Store Featuring Maryland Artisans Opens in City Hall
Photos by Stephanie S. Cordle
When Stacey Price opened her first store selling gifts and home goods, it was just down the stairs from city offices in Radford, Va., the little town where she’d attended Radford University. Students, faculty and staff were frequent shoppers, and city workers popped in on their way out to lunch.
Twenty years later, Price’s 10th store, Shop Made in Maryland opens Friday in a similar location, just past the south entrance to the University of Maryland. Located on the first floor of College Park’s City Hall building, the store features jewelry, artwork, ceramics, food and beverages, stationery, clothing and more—all created by Maryland-based artists and makers.
“Over the last three years, as we’ve been planning, I’ve realized how much of a tight-knit community College Park is, and how hungry the residents are for local goods. We are so excited that everyone has been so supportive of this project,” said Price. “We can’t wait to see the impact we can make together.”
Shop Made in Maryland is the newest branch of a project that began in 2017 with Shop Made in DC, which Price started to highlight craftspeople living and working in the nation’s capital. In the early days, many of the artists who applied to be featured in the store were in Maryland and Virginia. Occasionally, she’d include someone based in a close-in suburb, but she soon realized that the states needed their own locations. (There are now multiple locations in Washington, D.C., and one in Old Town Alexandria.)
Ken Ulman, UMD’s chief strategy officer for economic development, walked into the Shop Made in DC location at the Wharf several years ago and knew immediately that he wanted one in Greater College Park, the $2 billion reinvigoration of the community around the university.
“Not only did they feature really interesting products, but there’s a sign in front of every display that has a picture of the artist, and it describes who they are and where their studio is,” said Ulman. “I imagined how exciting it would be to have something in College Park where you could buy this candle made by this person in her studio in Hyattsville, or this person’s homemade granola from a neighboring community.”
Ulman and Price began working together to make the store come to life. Today, the 2,300-square-foot space is filled with a whimsical, colorful array of goods: a framed miniature of the outline of the state of Maryland made of old computer chips; carrot cake jam; a tote bag declaring that it carries “Emotional Baggage.”
The store also features a café serving locally roasted coffee as well as Maryland beer and wine. Classes will teach participants how to make candles, create jewelry or craft a wreath from dried flowers. Price also hopes to create a fellowship program to teach about the intersection of entrepreneurship and the arts.
“I love the connection with the University of Maryland,” Price said. “I have all these pie-in-the-sky ideas of things I want to do with the university.”
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