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Stockists in Quarantine

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As we near a month of the stay-at-home order in Maryland, I checked in over email with some of the BmoreArt magazine stockists about how they’re forging forward in the days ahead. We’re impressed as always with the ingenuity and drive of these small businesses we’re lucky to call our friends and want to share with you how they have figured out how to get you a book (or your favorite local arts magazine!) by bicycle, a candle making class over Zoom, and a plant consultation on Google Hangout. Read on to learn about getting vintage clothing and masks delivered to your porch, picking up local coffee and charcuterie, and keeping your children and yourself entertained with remote book clubs and story hours.

Bookstores

The Ivy/Bird in Hand

Bird in Hand

How has shelter-in-place changed how you are operating your business from day to day? If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options?

The Ivy Bookshop’s physical location is closed. But, luckily, we were able to shift to an entirely remote distribution process, so we can still get books in readers’ hands! We ship books directly to your doorstep now. Just call us at (410) 377-2966, and a bookseller will call you back promptly between 10–5 p.m. every day to offer recommendations or guidance. Or you can go directly to our website

Bird in Hand is still open each day from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. as the Bird General Store. We offer to-go prepared food and drink options, as well as Market Bags, which you can fill with fresh produce, locally sourced meats and cheeses, various sundries, beer, wine, coffee, and a variety of goods by local makers. And, of course, you can toss in books and games from The Ivy, too! Order online or call us at (410) 814-0373. If you want a copy of the latest BmoreArt magazine, you can give Bird in Hand a call, and we’ll have a copy waiting for you on the patio when you drive by to get it. Contact-free!

Have you had to let go or furlough any of your employees? Are offering your employees any support at this time or have they created any collection fund you can share as a link?

Thankfully, we’ve been able to keep on the majority of staff for both businesses, though we do have some staff on furlough. We encourage people to check out the Book Industry Charitable Foundation and the Baltimore Virtual Tip Jar, which are doing great things.

Any details you’d like to share about special offerings you’re doing just during quarantine or online programming you are running in the coming weeks?

The Ivy Bookshop is hosting a series of virtual events during the quarantine. Tuesdays are “Read w/ The Ivy,” a virtual book club with visits by authors. Wednesdays are book launches for local authors whose books have come out during this surreal, socially-distanced time. Thursdays we’re co-hosting a program with The Pratt called Writers’ Cribs! In homage to the old MTV show, we’re sitting down for conversations with authors and asking for side-tours of their homes. On Fridays, we’re featuring programming for young people with author talks by great kid-lit authors. Check out our events calendar for more information! 

Anything else you’d like to share with BmoreArt readers?

Our incredible appreciation to our community. We miss everyone, but we love getting to exchange phone calls and emails, and see familiar faces through the windows at Bird in Hand or on Zoom.

Greedy Reads Remington/Greedy Reads Fells Point

Greedy Reads Remington

If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options? 

You can support Greedy Reads by buying digital cards to use when we reopen here or by shopping online for mail delivery to your home. You can also audiobooks at libro.fm and choose Greedy Reads as your storefront.

Finally, you can join one of our virtual book clubs—we’re doing monthly romance, science fiction, and nonfiction clubs, in addition to our ongoing Greedy Reads book club, and our weekly Moby-Dick club, where we’re tackling it 50 pages at a time!

We’re also doing periodic flash sales of curated mystery book bags, as well as themed book bundles. The best way to find out about these is to follow us on Instagram!

The Kelmscott Bookshop

Kelmscott Bookshop

How has shelter-in-place changed how you are operating your business from day to day? If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options? 

We went from being an open shop to “by appointment only” in February of this year, however now we are no longer accepting appointments. We ARE still filling online orders though! We are still shipping books and we are currently offering limited, local delivery options. If you are interested in local delivery, please email us to arrange it and will do our best to accommodate you. Books can be ordered directly through our website, including the last two issues of BmoreArt. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram for special offers, shop cat pictures, and for books not available through our website.

Have you had to let go or furlough any of your employees? Are offering your employees any support at this time or have they created any collection fund you can share as a link?

We have only one full-time employee right now and she is still receiving a regular paycheck. Fortunately, there is plenty to do even with the shop being closed, so she is still working a normal 40-hour week (mostly from home). We are supporting her by being cool with her taking off when needed to care for her 2-year-old son who can no longer attend daycare.

Any details you’d like to share about special offerings you’re doing just during quarantine or online programming you are running in the coming weeks?

We are very actively posting on Facebook and Instagram (much more than usual) during the quarantine and are also sending out several e-newsletters per month, which feature new arrivals, upcoming events, shop news, and sales. You can sign up to get our e-newsletter by entering your email under “Newsletter Signup” at the bottom of every page of our website or by emailing us at info@kelmscottbookshop.com. You can also sign up for new arrival notifications specific to your area(s) of interest.

Anything else you’d like to share with BmoreArt readers?

Several customers have expressed concern for our two shop cats, Sinclair and Pierre. We would like to assure them that both cats are doing just fine and are being cared for by our staff in their homes.

Charm City Books

Charm City Books

How has shelter-in-place changed how you are operating your business from day to day? If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options?

Charm City Books has a fully operational online store through our website where customers can place orders for books, puzzles, activity books (stickers, crosswords, coloring books, etc.), supplemental learning materials, card and board games, as well as a variety of whole bean coffee roasts from Thread (though we encourage ordering directly from Thread Coffee who also deliver). At checkout customers can select to have their books shipped anywhere in the country for $5 or less (depending on the location and the weight of the package). Customers living in Baltimore City and nearby counties that are within about a 20-minute drive of the store can have their packages delivered for free, with the option to make a donation towards gas for the book fairies.
BmoreArt is still available for purchase during the quarantine. It has a prized place in the center of our Local Authors Shelf! So place an order today and have it at your doorstep tonight.

Have you had to let go or furlough any of your employees? Are offering your employees any support at this time or have they created any collection fund you can share?

Right before the executive order to close or limit the operations of all nonessential businesses we had begun the process of hiring and training two part-time booksellers. The store is operated by the owner and myself (we are a wife and husband team) and this was a big step towards us welcoming in new team members and giving us the ability to expand our outreach work partnering with schools. We had to postpone hiring these two people until it is safe to bring them back into the shop. Fortunately, neither of them were depending on the position as a primary source of income, it was more the joy of working in a bookstore. 

Any details you’d like to share about special offerings you’re doing just during quarantine or online programming you are running in the coming weeks for your customers.

We are now holding our two book clubs, The Tiny Book Club (books 200 pages or less) and our Book S!u+z Romance Book Club online through zoom meetings. The next meeting of Book S!u+z is April 24th at 7 p.m. featuring the book Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams and our next meeting of The Tiny Book Club will be May 9th featuring Enter The Aardvark by Jessica Anthony.

Our Pay it Forward initiative continues at Southwest Baltimore Charter School with Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi. Typically we collect a variety of books requested by the students and teachers of a particular class. For the month of April we are working to collect 100 copies of Stamped so that every seventh and eighth grade student and teacher can have their own copy of this vital work. 

Lastly, we are working with volunteer services at University of Maryland Medical Center to create care packages for essential workers and their families. Similar to our Pay it Forward program, people have the opportunity to purchase a care package at a discounted rate and we will deliver it to University of Maryland Medical Center Volunteer Services center. 

Anything else you’d like to share with BmoreArt readers?

Please follow us on Instagram @charmcitybooks and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Folks can try out our Virtual Bookseller on our Instagram page. Every Wednesday through Friday our expert bookseller Megan Graves provides personalized recommendations based on some criteria like books you’ve read recently or genres you enjoy. If you order one of the books she recommended you will get an advanced reader copy of another book for free!  

In addition to that personal, one-on-one experience we are filming and posting a virtual bookseller kids book series. The recommendations range from great bilingual story books, to supplemental learning materials, to great exercises for helping kids (old and young like) manage stress and settle down for a good night’s slumber. 

Lastly, we have started an interactive story time video series on our YouTube channel. Kids and parents can read, sing, and dance along with Miss Daven, Whiskers the Cat and all their friends when they tune into Once Upon a Story Time at Charm City Books. 

Galleries

Ink Spot Press

Ink Spot Press

How has shelter-in-place changed how you are operating your business from day to day? If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options?

We’ve had to temporarily close our workshop and gallery, Ink Spot Press, until the end of quarantine. We’re trying to stay active and interactive online, though. Our current show, which nobody has yet seen, as the opening coincided with the start of quarantine, is RICHARD HELLMAN: THE MAGIC FOREST REVISITED, experiments in viscosity etching. Customers can buy from the website and we welcome questions by phone or email. You can purchase the latest issue of BmoreArt by mail order as well.

Have you had to let go or furlough any of your employees? Are offering your employees any support at this time or have they created any collection fund you can share?

Our master printer, Ian Jackson, is freelance. He’s working for us remotely to design online catalogues for our printmakers.

Any details you’d like to share about special offerings you’re doing just during quarantine or online programming you are running in the coming weeks?

We are working with Maddy Becker of Mad Queen Productions to have Richard do an online interview about his process. 

Anything else you’d like to share with BmoreArt readers?

Everyone out there: Please contact us! We’re lonely! And if you don’t mind, go to the website for a full catalogue of Richard Hellman’s show, with prices, a catalogue of Ian Jackson’s drypoint etchings, and our Instagram feed with action shots of the studio in happier times! 

Y:ART Gallery

Y:ART Gallery

How has shelter-in-place changed how you are operating your business from day to day? If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options?

During these difficult days of sheltering in place, Y:ART Gallery, like many other small businesses, has temporarily suspended gallery and gift shop hours. The Figure exhibition, featuring artists Daniel Brown, Donna Feldman Davis and Josh Nozick, was to kickoff on Saturday, April 18th with an opening reception; however, the show had to be postponed and a new date is in the works. Furthermore, The Land exhibition has befallen this same unfortunate fate and will be rescheduled. Y:ART Gallery’s group show, a fun, summer exhibition, entitled Let’s Get Campy! is scheduled to run from June 24th to July 25th with an opening reception on June 27th. Currently, Y:ART is proceeding with caution with great hopes that a good time will be had by all on the last Saturday in June.

While the gift shop and gallery are physically closed, Y:ART is virtually open. We are selling! We are delivering! Since this terrible pandemic began, Y:ART’s goal has been to continue supporting the artists, crafters, and jewelry makers who we represent. We have begun posting an ARTIST OF THE DAY on both our Instagram and Facebook accounts. We have put together small slideshows to showcase the magnificent artwork that is available at Y:ART. One of the gallery’s newest artists, Rena Diana, was chosen to be the Artist of the Month for April. Rena, an accomplished abstract painter, is currently featured on the Y:ART Gallery website, in slideshows, and on our social media platforms. To purchase from Y:ART Gallery & Gift Shop, please visit our website then call us at (443) 928-2272 to make arrangements. You can buy the current and several back issues of BmoreArt online through our website.

Have you had to let go or furlough any of your employees? Are offering your employees any support at this time or have they created any collection fund you can share?

Y:ART Gallery & Fine Gifts has not had to furlough or let go of any of its employees; however, the number of work hours has been dramatically reduced. Employees are working from home and doing their best to promote Y:ART Gallery’s virtual presence online. All employees have been encouraged to seek financial retribution via government programs that best suit their current needs.

Any details you’d like to share about special offerings you’re doing just during quarantine or online programming you are running in the coming weeks?

During this age of COVID-19, Y:ART Gallery will be donating 10% of its sales during the months of April and May to the Maryland Food Bank in an effort to help end hunger during this critical time of social distancing and self-quarantining. We encourage our fabulous customers to support this effort.

Anything else you’d like to share with BmoreArt readers?

Most importantly, we are all in this together. Y:ART Gallery would like to thank everyone for their past, ongoing and future support. The artists and crafters we represent are actively creating and excited to sell their work. Y:ART Gallery & Fine Gifts may physically be closed, but we are still here for you! Follow us on Facebook, or Instagram.

The Peale

Nettrice Gaskins exhibition in Second Life

How has shelter-in-place changed how you are operating your business from day to day? If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options?

The entire Peale team is working from home now, but able to remain connected and we are running events online (see below). We are still selling Out of the Blocks question decks online and are able to fulfill those orders by mailing decks via USPS (yay, USPS!). We use PayPal for all online sales as well as donations to the Peale. We are also exploring how we can support other Baltimore makers, artists, and storytellers in selling online. We are not selling BmoreArt magazines during quarantine.

Have you had to let go or furlough any of your employees? Are offering your employees any support at this time or have they created any collection fund you can share as a link?

The Peale has not furloughed any of the team; everyone is still working, just online. We are of course applying for every grant and funding opportunity available to ensure that we will be able to continue paying everyone, as well as developing new online revenue streams to add to the Peale’s ongoing sustainability.

Any details you’d like to share about special offerings you’re doing just during quarantine or online programming you are running in the coming weeks?

The Peale is now running history talks online, and had our largest audience ever for a talk about Maryland suffragette history in Baltimore National Heritage Area’s series, “It’s More than History” series on Friday, March 27. These are free online, and the next is April 24.
We are also offering virtual tours of the Peale; the first was given on March 31 as part of the MW20 Online conference. It is recorded online here. We are planning to run another with Baltimore Heritage at the end of this month.

Also as a result of our work with the MW20 Online conference, the Peale is creating a digital exhibition and meeting space in Second Life. Nettrice Gaskins is a Baltimore-born artist, now based in Boston, who mounted an exhibition of her work in Second Life and was also a keynote speaker during the conference. The Peale will be extending the run of this show and offering related programming shortly. You can see some of Nettrice’s work in the Auditorium here

We have also launched a fund for storytellers that is receiving donations that will allow us to commission Baltimore storytellers to continue recording and sharing their authentic stories. In particular, at the moment our team member Daisy Brown, a photographer, is developing a project called Stoop Shoots in which she is able to take photos of people in East Baltimore on their stoops (from a safe distance!) and they are able to add a voice recording sharing their story of Baltimore and/or their experiences of the COVID-19 crisis. We are about to launch a free phone number people can call to record their stories in an effort to help bridge the digital divide between those who have computers and internet access at home, versus those who cannot contribute, through our free app and website interfaces. 

Anything else you’d like to share with BmoreArt readers?

As a platform for Baltimore stories and storytellers, the Peale remains committed to helping people share their authentic stories of the city. We have already helped share more than 1,500 Baltimore stories and are here to help storytellers and Baltimore’s arts organizations amplify their practices online. We will also be continuing our capacity building workshops for storytellers, to include fundraising for storytellers during the pandemic (next week!), online inclusion (May), and online immersive storytelling (June). Stay tuned for details! 

Shops

KSM Candle Co

KSM Candle Co. Photo by Curtis Jews

How has shelter-in-place changed how you are operating your business from day to day? If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options?

Part of what we do at KSM Candle Co is create a space where people could gather with friends or make new ones in our candle making studio. Now because of the restrictions on gathering, we’ve been forced to suspend our workshops until the restriction is lifted. We currently offer shipping as our only option because we are not an essential business and therefore cannot encourage people to leave their homes. You can still order BmoreArt magazines through our website.

Have you had to let go or furlough any of your employees? Are offering your employees any support at this time or have they created any collection fund you can share?

We were actually in the process of hiring when this all happened. So we have suspended those efforts for now. 

Any details you’d like to share about special offerings you’re doing just during quarantine or online programming you are running in the coming weeks?

We have added candle making kits to our shop along with an IGTV video for people to follow along. Additionally, we’ve started teaching Virtual Candle Making workshops through our website where people can sign up, and enjoy an interactive experience with myself and other participants. We offer these classes Friday, Saturday, and Sunday currently. Once the class is scheduled, all of the materials are shipped to the participant and a code to log into a Zoom class is sent with a confirmation. We are also offering private class options so if individuals wanted to keep the class to just folks they know, we can accommodate that too.

B.Willow

B.Willow

How has shelter-in-place changed how you are operating your business from day to day? If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options?

As a store that relies heavily on customer interaction with both our employees and our physical store, the choice to close our doors was a difficult one. We transitioned to an online store quickly, and now offer all our nursery plants, studio made merchandise, and plant care items on our website and Instagram. We offer free delivery for orders over $25 within 20 minutes of the shop. BmoreArt magazine is not available for purchase from us during this time. 

Have you had to let go or furlough any of your employees? Are offering your employees any support at this time or have they created any collection fund you can share?

Out of our staff of five, only our owner, Liz and shop manager, Emma, are working at the shop at the moment. Our two assistant managers are working part-time at home, and we’re constantly trying to transition our shop work to WFH. We’re taking donations and gratuity that all go directly to our non-working staff. You can donate here

Any details you’d like to share about special offerings you’re doing just during quarantine or online programming you are running in the coming weeks?

We’re working on getting some online programming out there and continuing to increase our virtual interaction with our customers. This includes a more active social media with short how-to videos, things we’d usually be able to teach our customers in person. We offer a 15-minute virtual plant consultation, through FaceTime or Google Hangouts, so customers can ask us about the health of their existing plants or ask us what plants could work in their space. This is something that’s actually been really helpful for us, something we would’ve never thought of without the quarantine in place. As opposed to hoping our customers know or have photos of the light in their space, we’re able to easily tell for ourselves. We can physically see what may be wrong with a customer’s plant instead of them describing it to us over the phone. 

Anything else you’d like to share with BmoreArt readers?

We’re so grateful for Baltimore for carrying us through this crisis. The amount of support we’ve received as we work our way through this is incredible, we’re very lucky to have a small team that’s able to support one another and understand the struggles of small business in times of crisis. We’ve seen small businesses supporting one another, people slowing down and getting back into nature, and spending extra time with their plants at home. We’re currently working with any participating hospitals to donate plants to health care workers. If you’re interested in participating, please reach out to us!

Get Shredded

Get Shredded

How has shelter-in-place changed how you are operating your business from day to day? If you are still selling anything, what is the best way customers can buy from you? Are you offering pick-up or delivery options?

The Get Shredded Vintage brick and mortar has been closed since 3/13/2020, and since then we’ve moved online. Most importantly, we’ve been making face masks for adults and children, available for purchase through our Instagram and soon-to-be website! We have really fun styles or plain styles so that you can get what you need and feel good about the way you look while staying safe. Our Etsy gets new garments and homegoods uploaded daily (with code OHHELLNO for 15% off!!), and we’re running story sales on Instagram a few times a week. We’re offering shipping, porch delivery, or pickup in Charles Village to make it easier for you to support local without breaking social distancing. You can request a copy of the latest BmoreArt magazine from us and we will arrange delivery.

Have you had to let go or furlough any of your employees? Are offering your employees any support at this time or have they created any collection fund you can share?

My one employee is furloughed, but will get her job back as soon as we can open again. I’m paying her a cut of all sales to hold her over until unemployment kicks in (where ARE they??)—so the best way to support is to shop on our Instagram and Etsy so that we both stay afloat!

Anything else you’d like to share with BmoreArt readers?

We’re moving our shop from Charles Village to Remington after the quarantine, so keep your eyes peeled for that! Also, make sure to check out our face masks on our Instagram! They’re all made to order with plenty of fun options! What’s been keeping me going is knowing that common problems lead to common solutions. Disaster brings people together, mobilizes causes, and highlights work that needs to be done. We aren’t alone in this, and it’s not always going to be this way. 

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