Shop Made opened its first Maryland brick-and-mortar store this week in the College Park City Hall.
The opening marks the arrival of the Shop Made company’s 10th franchise and second in Maryland. Shop Made established its first location in Washington, D.C., more than five years ago and later opened its first Maryland location inside the Colada Shop in Cabin John.
Inside this newest location, the Maryland community runs deep. From T-shirts, decor and jewelry down to the beer, wine, cider and coffee, everything sold is created in Maryland. Even the decorations in the shop, such as bathroom wallpaper and furniture, are made in the area. During its opening weekend, Shop Made in Maryland hosted a three-day grand opening event for the community.
Shop Made co-founder Stacey Price said the project began in 2017 as an “economic development experiment.” She wanted to explore what it would look like to create a hyperlocal business space focused on the Washington, D.C., region.
“Would we be able to scale businesses? Would we be able to build community and would we be able to change consumer behavior?” Price said. “The answer to all three questions was ‘yes.’”
The College Park location is the first store many of the 120 featured artists have the opportunity to sell in. For Betsy Martin, the storefront helps smaller artists, many of whom have never sold their products in a retail space before, “kick start” their career.
“It’s a really incredible thing that Stacey and her team have done for the whole DMV area, for Virginia, D.C. and now Maryland,” said Martin, whose design business NotJane is featured at Shop Made in Maryland.
Each quarter, the store will rotate their selection. Current artists in the space will have their works on display alongside new, potential student artists.
While University of Maryland students and community members can shop local products in the College Park store, Shop Made will also offer various activities. Guests will have the opportunity to grow their creativity and community through participating in classes such as wine and watercolors, tufting workshops, wreath making and more.
Price said Shop Made is also planning to have weekly outdoor markets in the spring and student-centered markets to support small creators at this university.
Senior criminology and criminal justice major Addison Lucas said having a new Shop Made location so close to campus helps “unite” the community through local art and artists.
“It showcases local art from vendors, so students that are in those kinds of majors can see that they can make it,” Lucas, who is a barista at Shop Made in Maryland, said. “I feel like that’s very inspiring.”
Martin emphasized that the newest Shop Made location is a “fantastic” way to promote more artists in the local community.
“It’s going to be a really excellent addition to the neighborhood. I feel like it’s going to be a great creative hub,” Martin said. “I think Shop Made Maryland, the Shop Made brands in general, do a really great job of showcasing all the creativity in the area.”
Diversions reporter Sophia Slaughenhoupt contributed to this story.