Vintage and other shopping in Ellicott City
It was the first mild day in over a week so we ventured out for a day trip to historic Ellicott City, Maryland. This quaint, two traffic light town is nestled along the Patapsco River that narrows to what looks like a babbling creek among the foothills outside of Baltimore. It was founded by two Pennsylvania Dutch men in the 1700’s and was once the first station along the famed B&O Railroad. Today, it makes a lovely jaunt for a day of trinket shopping and lunch.
My first stop was a locally owned coffee shop tucked next door to the old trolley stop which is now a restaurant of the same name. Home baked goods and green tea were the perfect remedy for a bit of car sickness from the winding roads on the trek up from Annapolis. The first shop to catch my eye was Vintage Bliss, whose tagline reads, ‘Beautiful Home. Beautiful you.’ It was an eclectic and charming space with three floors overflowing with meticulously displayed goodies from jewelry and clever gifts to shoes, clothing and decor. Lots of unique gift items make it perfect for a tourist shopper wanting to pick up something little. I purchased a heavenly scented soap wrapped in decorative Eiffel Tower paper from Tokyo Milk, a favorite brand of the celebs and magazine editors. The Tiffany blue bag was stapled with a vintage photo bearing the shop logo and tied with a pretty pink ribbon ~ a girlie experience from start to finish.
Next stop was Sweet Elizabeth Jane in the old Caplan’s Department Store that still boasts the retro store sign on the front of the building. Once inside, I was blown away by the vast assortment of goods, true to the genre of store that was originally housed there. The motto of the shop is ‘Urban Girl ~ Happy Home ~ Vintage Soul’ and it definitely delivers. From kitchenware, to party favors, linens, books and clothing, there was plenty to keep my hubby and I busy. You can’t help but notice the very Anthropologie inspired merchandising that is executed with perfection as I described to the sales girl when I asked if this was a chain. She informed me it was independently owned and that Anthropologie was, in fact, the owners favorite store. I would say Sweet Elizabeth Jane has more of a retro vibe than Anthropologie which seems to be a tribute to the former Caplan’s Department Store, right down to the old fashion swirled lollipops at check out. I was pleased to see the mark up is very reasonable ~ no price gauging here. The shop was very busy and would again be a great spot for finding unique gifts. I picked up Splendid-esque grey, striped henley with yellow trim by M Rena for $50 and will be sure to stop in next time I am in the area.
A glass of wine and some antique shopping rounded out the afternoon and left me hoping some of the empty store fronts (an unfortunate reminder of the economic times) will soon be filled with more unique shops as I will definitely pop back up here for another afternoon of something different just off the beaten path.