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My office’s annual Christmas party was at Ram’s Head Tavern in Savage Mill this year. Ever since Sweet Pea has been in the Tasmanian Devil phase of her life, I have not visited Savage Mill and its unique blend of boutique stores. So, as I enjoyed the luncheon and failed once more to score an acceptable White Elephant gift, I was giddy with the anticipation of the chance to shop afterwards. Well, Savage Mill did not disappoint.
The biggest, and most pleasant surprise, was the little toy store that, in the past year or so, has transformed into a huge Melissa and Doug superstore! Parents! This little toy store is amazing.
There were so many Melissa and Doug products that I had never even heard of. Plus, they seemed to be reasonably priced. I picked up a Fire Engine block puzzle and a set of Farm-themed play magnets. Both of these items are toys I had never even seen on Amazon. If you like Melissa and Doug, you will want to check Lucy & Ethel’s out.
Of course, Lucy & Ethel’s did not start out as a toy store. It started out as a boutique for sweet, funny, pretty, and just all around lovely accouterments for women. After you shop for your kids, you can meander to the other side of the store and check out the lovely scarves, handmade soaps, jewelry, etc…
Across the aisle from Lucy & Ethel’s is one of my all time favorite stores, The Queen’s Ink. The best word to describe this store is beautiful! I am a paper crafter and The Queen’s Ink takes paper crafting to a completely different level. Paper that looks so luxurious it could be mistaken for material. Unique stamps, inks and pens, and a wide assortment of crafting supplies that you would be hard pressed to find in a crafting box store (not that I don’t love the big craft stores). In addition to what they sell, The Queen’s Ink also offers classes. I have yet to take one (hello, newborn years) but it is on my Howard County ‘must-do’ list.
There are a number of stores I love in the New Weave Building. I stop in Bearing Gifts at least once a year because they carry Boyd’s Bears collectibles. I did find a few very cute bears to add to my collection (I am addicted to all things Teddy Bear) but was disappointed to discover that Boyd’s Bears is going into hibernation (or being discontinued if you prefer the more abrupt way of putting it). Boo! Fortunately for Bearing Gifts, they are chock full of super cute collectibles, plus fun and quirky home décor that is both cute and in many cases, functional.
Across the hall from Bearing Gifts are two really neat stores. I do not really shop in The Family Game Store, but if I were a gamer this store would be one of my favorites. They specialize in strategy games like Settlers of Catan (they carried it way before Target did- ha!) and other unique games, but also carry popular family games. Next door is probably one of the best used book stores in the area, Curmudgeon Booksellers. This book store is what a used/secondhand book store should be. The books are overflowing but very well organized. There is a decent children’s section, tons of bestselling and popular fiction, vinyl records (a pretty decent collection too), and a very nice literature section that features many of the classics.
At the end of the New Weave Building, Artcraft stands as a beacon of total awesomeness. I have found many a unique gift at this store and I believe they feature the work of artisans. I love window shopping here and when I am looking for a unique gift, Artcraft is often the place I will find it.
If you still have Christmas presents to buy this holiday season. I would definitely check out Savage Mill. Stop at the Ram’s Head for lunch (or Bonaparte Breads for breakfast), and then meander through this fantastic collection of boutique stores. There are many more stores than what I mentioned. These are just my favorites.
Thanks for reading and happy shopping!