Liza Jarrett, the owner of the women’s clothing boutique Liza Byrd, moves her popular shop from Stevenson Village to the Shops at Kenilworth this Saturday, October 1.
When you’re in your garage, do you ever look down and cringe at the cold, dirty, ugly floor beneath your feet? Lauren McQuaid, of Baltimore’s Granite Garage Floors, wants to make that downward gaze a less painful experience.
Granite Garage Floors outfits garage floors with high quality epoxy coating systems that make ordinary garage flooring look – and last – like granite. The floors are easy to clean, durable, and look great, making them both popular and smart. Read More →
There’s no question about it: bicycling is good for your health and it can be a whole lot of fun. But historically, it has not been the sport with the best-looking outfits. Read More →
In the two years since it opened, Sprezzatura in Stevenson Village has earned a reputation among Baltimore’s best gift-givers as a place to find sophisticated and well-designed items – to give as gifts or keep for themselves.
The duo behind the shop, husband-and-wife team Pam and Brent Berwager, pride themselves on their shop’s collection of high quality, interesting products. Here, they share a bit about what goes on behind the scenes at Sprezzatura and some of their favorite items in the shop right now:
How did you get started at Sprezzatura? What made you open the shop?
We recognized a need in Baltimore for a shopping experience that emphasized good design, attention to detail, and personal service in the areas of home décor, art and fashion.
What is it like working together as a couple?
Our business engages us seven days a week, so being both husband and wife and business partners provides certain distinct advantages: each of us has in the other a collaborator who is available 24 hours a day.
What’s the story behind the name Sprezzatura?
Valentino once said that Jackie Kennedy exemplified the notion of Sprezzatura; in a nutshell, it’s about living a life where one cares about, and is successful at, fashioning a life that values good taste, and a sense of balance in design. Overall, we would define Sprezzatura as an informed and enlightened approach to personal style.
Why did you choose Stevenson Village as a location?
What drew us to Stevenson Village initially was the beauty and pastoral nature of surrounding Greenspring Valley. It never disappoints and it always inspires.
How do you choose what to carry in the shop? And what makes your selection different from other local stores?
Over the course of a month, we look at hundreds of potential products to carry in our shop and only a few are actually selected. One might say that our criteria is subjective, but we look for timeless design, clean line, sophistication, superior construction and of course, beauty.
What is your favorite thing in the shop right now?
We have a number of favorite things in the shop – it’s hard to narrow it down to one thing. It depends on the season, too. Now that we’re in the holiday season, the thing that we like the most are our boxwood wreathes. They come in squares and rounds and different sizes; there’s also garland. Both the wreathes and garland are preserved, so they will keep their look for many years.
What is your go-to holiday gift recommendation?
Our Foo Dogs. We work with a high-end Chinese porcelain studio and we get very high quality work. Right now, the go-to thing for a gift is one of our variety of Foo Dogs. They are porcelain and in different colors. For example, one pair is white and another pair is blue in tone but has many colors.
A Foo Dog’s job is to guard the home and garden – and we think they’re a great complement to any home décor.
Sprezzaturra is located in Stevenson Village at 10429 Stevenson Road in Stevenson, MD. For more information, visit www.sprezzatura.us.
A much-loved institution in the Baltimore region, Donna’s Coffee Bar & Café has been a favorite Cross Keys destination since 1999. The cute café is an ideal stop for shoppers who want to rest their feet over a cup of coffee or a salad, or for discerning diners looking for a more leisurely meal and an expertly mixed cocktail.
Owners Alan Hirsch and Donna Crivello are serious about great food and drinks – and about providing a great atmosphere to enjoy everything from coffee to a multi-course meal. Here, Hirsch shares some of their philosophy and his favorites, plus a look at what’s exciting at Donna’s right now:
How did you get into the restaurant business and get involved with Donna’s?
I had sold my first business and began thinking about the European approach to food, in Baltimore, as a business opportunity. A mutual friend introduced me to Donna. The rest, as they say…
What is your favorite thing on the menu at Donna’s?
If forced to pick one item, I’d pick our dinner entree, chicken Milanese, with pomegranate roasted tomatoes and zucchini. Pretty basic stuff, but really well done, and satisfying. And healthy, too.
What holiday meals or plans would you recommend for Donna’s diners?
Our Feast of the Seven Fishes is Christmas Eve. It’s always a great meal and a lot of fun. It’s 6 courses, with more than 7 different kinds of fish. You are virtually guaranteed a good year next year if you eat here Christmas Eve!
We also do a wonderful prix fixe menu every Thursday through Saturday for just $30. It’s three courses, always something special, and a great deal.
What celebrity could you imagine dining at Donna’s?
The President, Frank Underwood.
What’s new and exciting at Donna’s? This could include dishes, events, changes in the space, etc.
We hope to have some big news about some new ventures in a month or so. But I like to think the food is always worth getting excited about here!
Donna’s Coffee Bar & Cafe is located at 40 Village Square in the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore. For more information, visit www.donnas.com.
For denim-loving Baltimoreans – both men and women – Jean Pool has been a must-shop boutique since its opening in 2006. Owners Scott Wable and Josh Dunkin adopted the slogan “West Coast Meets East Coast” to explain their casual-cool aesthetic that includes a wide variety of well-known denim brands, plus accessories and clothing that pairs well with jeans.
Here, Wable shares a bit about the history of the store, great gifts for denim-lovers and what’s hot right now:
How did you get involved with Jean Pool?
I’ve been in the garment industry since I can remember – from running Tommy Hilfiger stores to Old Navy and doing visuals at Nordstrom. I opened Jean Pool in 2006, when I realized the Baltimore girl needed a denim store to fit into everyday life with great tops and accessories. I also carry men’s denim.
What is your favorite item in the store right now?
It’s hard to say – I like everything that I buy! Denim is still my “thing,” though.
What is your go-to recommendation for holiday gift?
I love the the Hanky Panky gift sets ($55 for a set of three) and Cartier “knock-off” bangles ($34). Hermes-inspired handbags ($499) that are made in Italy are also a great way to accessorize your jeans.
What style icon or celebrity could you imagine shopping at Jean Pool?
Jennifer Aniston – she looks good in jeans and tees and she’s built like most of my customers. Easy and effortless, she always looks amazing.
What’s new and exciting at Jean Pool? Any great trends for fall/winter?
Black, white and gray seem to be the favorite colors this season. There’s a lot to choose from!
Jean Pool is located at 92 Village Square in the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore. For more information, visit their Facebook page.
Bowers & Snyder has been a constant fixture on the Baltimore eye care and eyewear scene since its opening in 1947. Today, Brad Bowers, the son of the company’s founder, works with a team of opticians and eye care specialists at four stores throughout the region, including one in Cross Keys, which opened in 1990.
Here, Bowers discusses what he likes most about his job, good (and useful!) holiday gift recommendations and which celebrities have hit Bowers & Snyder for a bit of eyewear help:
How did you get into the optician business?
I’m second generation – a Bowers. My dad started the company in 1947. I started working with him in 1966 and have been here ever since. Read More →
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