An annual tradition celebrating Baltimore’s homemade goods returns tomorrow, with the opening of the Made in Baltimore pop-up shop in Station North. And in this go-round, the store will be open for nearly half a year.
It will be located at 22 W. North Ave., the space left vacant by the gone-but-not-forgotten Liam Flynn’s Ale House. The shop will be up and running through February 2019, selling items from more than 50 local companies and hosting workshops from makers.
The grand opening is tomorrow, from 5 to 9 p.m. Thereafter, it’ll be open every week from Thursday through Sunday, noon to 7 p.m.
The Made in Baltimore pop-up tradition began in 2015, with the first holiday shop appearing at the former Space Camp art gallery. This will be the sixth and largest-ever Made in Baltimore store, according to a release.
Made in Baltimore initiative director Andy Cook said the vendor list includes the Harbor East-based HomeGrown Baltimore trio of Knits, Soy & Metal, B.Willow and Cedar & Cotton, which will be curating their own section of the store together. It also includes Mill Centre-based SewLab USA, Station North’s Tiny Dog Press, Open Works in Greenmount West and Regal Clothes, to name just a few makers.
“Our mix of products is varied,” Cook said. “A lot of clothing, a few furniture items, a lot of bath and beauty products.”
Jack Danna, director of commercial revitalization for the Central Baltimore Partnership, which is joining the Station North Arts and Entertainment District in sponsoring the store, said its return “affirms North Avenue’s promise as a retail and creative hub.”
Cook has spearheaded Made in Baltimore since 2015, when under his leadership the Industrial Arts Collective launched a pop-up store offering goods from local hobbyists and makers. Cook applied successfully for a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration in 2016, after which the city’s Department of Planning made it a city initiative and appointed Cook director. Since then, he says, it’s “definitely grown in scale and reach” and become “more of a professional network” for local businesses.
The rollout of the city-operated Made in Baltimore program early last year included making a decal for certified stores. The sticker is available to any business that produces a product here in Baltimore or sells at least three locally made items, and can be put on packaging or the storefront itself. (Click here for a list of Made in Baltimore member companies.)
Mayor Catherine Pugh had expressed interest in making the Made in Baltimore shop a permanent fixture last year, when it set up at the old bank building at North Avenue and N. Charles Street (now serving as Gov. Larry Hogan’s Baltimore field office for his re-election campaign).
That plan didn’t come to fruition, though a five-month run for the store stretching past the holidays is certainly a step in that direction.
And the organizers are taking that extra time to offer more programming for shoppers. Danna said the 2017 pop-up taught them to keep a robust events schedule to better engage customers. In addition to the aforementioned workshops, the sponsors and Made in Baltimore are planning to host events like performances, tastings and happy hours, he said.
This story has been updated.