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Hampden skincare studio moves to Lauraville retail incubator

With her organic and vegan skincare products on the shelves, Shelley Birnbaum's ReNew Botanicals has become the first tenant in the Hamilton-Lauraville retail incubator.
 
Owner Shelley Birnbaum previously had a small skin care studio in Hampden, but wanted more space so she could add her retail line of products.
 
“I just had my skin care studio and that was by appointment only. I didn’t have retail or anything like that.  I was making my products at home. So I really was looking to have everything under one roof,” she says.
 
The Lauraville resident got in touch with Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street and ended up as the incubator’s first tenant, occupying 750 square feet last month.
 
Birnbaum has also launched a baby line called Baby Botanicals. Birnbaum declined to discuss her investment, but says she was helped by an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
 
“It’s wonderful to be close to home. It’s exciting to be part of this project to help revitalize the Hamilton retail district.”
 
Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street is assisting Birnbaum by reviewing her business plan, helping her obtain permits, preparing financial statements and promoting her retail line through Facebook, email blasts and blogs. The incubator is a former volunteer fire station and one-time Hamilton Democratic Club at 3015 Hamilton Ave.
 
Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street purchased the 3,250-square foot building for $64,000 last year. Now, the first floor has been renovated and given new life as a place where small, local businesses can be nurtured until the owners are ready to move into a storefront of their own.
 
Writer: Amy Landsman
Sources: Shelley Birnbaum, owner ReNew Botanicals
Regina Lansinger, director Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street

Lauraville Salon to Cater to Women of Color

A new salon hopes to pamper women in Lauraville with makeup, cosmetics, lingerie, manicures, and pedicures. The 1,000-square-foot Aboni Amour will open Dec. 2 at 4600 Harford Road. 
 
Owner and Baltimore-native Ebony Tyson launched her makeup line, Aboni Cosmetics, last year and plans to feature the products such as foundation, lipstick, lip gloss and blush at the new location. The cosmetic line was previously sold exclusively online.

"I started the line because it's really hard for women of color to find makeup and colors that compliment our skin," Tyson says.

Tyson had been looking for a site to expand her makeup line. After hearing about the location in Lauraville, she decided it would make a good fit for her business. Tyson says she wants to offer a place for women to be pampered and have fun and wants her customers to see and feel the makeup on their skin before purchasing it.
 
For Tyson, the path to creating a makeup line and starting her own salon is personal. While in college, Tyson worked as a consultant selling makeup through a company, but the makeup she was selling didn't exist for women of color. Tyson, who is African-American, set out to create her own makeup line that catered to women with a myriad of skin tones.
 
Tyson taught herself how to create makeup using online tutorials and says her makeup line is all natural, healthy for the skin and safe for use with very sensitive skin.
 
The company is currently hiring two or three makeup artists.
 
A grand opening event will take place at the location on Dec. 1 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
 
Source: Ebony Tyson
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, alexandra@bmoremedia.com
 
 

Hamilton Hatches Retail Incubator

The Hamilton and Lauraville neighborhoods in Northeast Baltimore is known for its eclectic residents and top-notch restaurants.

But soon, it could be known as a place to shop some community leaders succeed in their vision of turning an old firehouse into a launch-pad for budding store owners. 

Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street purchased the old Hamilton Volunteer Firehouse at 3015 Hamilton Ave. last month for $65,000, says Regina Lansigner, director of Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street.
 
The organization plans to renovate the 3,250 square-foot building and use the first floor storefront as a business incubator. Business mentoring services will be provided to prospective entrepreneurs, and the main street association will help businesses move into a new storefront location in the community.
 
The first floor of the building will be used as a retail business incubator and office space will occupy the second floor.
 
The building was recently hit by a car and suffered some structural damage, and Lansigner says renovations and the budget for the project are on hold until the repair estimates are received. The organization hopes to raise renovation funds through events, donations, and grants. 

"Those who are aware of our plans to incubate business are excited that we might be able to fill some of our small storefronts with the type of retail that will be useful to the residents.  We need clothing, shoes, and housewares," Lansinger says. 
 
Lansigner says a business incubator concept has been in the works in Hamilton for several years. The neighborhood farmer's market has been used as an incubator in the past.
 
The incubator should be open by next spring, Lansigner says.
 
Money to purchase the building was raised through appeals to board members, business owners, and neighbors who loaned money to the organization, Lansigner says.
 
Baltimore Main Streets are a part of the Baltimore Development Corp. and work to revitalize neighborhoods through promoting small businesses in communities across the city.
 
 
Source: Regina Lansigner, director of Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street.
 Writer: Alexandra Wilding, Alexandra@bmoremedia.com
 

Hamilton's Clementine Restaurant Opening at Creative Alliance

One of Hamilton's best known restaurants is expanding to East Baltimore.
 
Clementine, the Hamilton restaurant focused on farm-to-table foods and meals will open a new location, Clementine at Creative Alliance May 17, says Clementine owner and chef Winston Blick.
 
The 49-seat bistro will be a slightly more upscale and 'downtown' version of Clementine in Hamilton, which does rustic comfort food, Blick says.
 
The restaurant will be a partnership between The Creative Alliance and Clementine, with Clementine managing the restaurant. The Creative Alliance built out the restaurant and recruited Clementine to fill the space, Blick says.
 
More than four years ago, both parties were interested in a partnership, but Blick thought the space was too small and Blick ended up opening Clementine in a space in Hamilton. Ironically, the restaurant is the same size as the original Clementine prior to its renovations two years ago, Blick says.
 
"The great thing about this is that we have the chance to do it again," Blick says.
 
As for the cooking duties, the current sous chef at Clementine, Jeremy Price, will take over as chef at the new location. Jill Snyder, formerly of Woodberry Kitchen and Top Chef season five contestant, will become the executive chef at Hamilton's Clementine, Blick says.
 
Blick says he's slightly removed himself from daily cooking to work on menus and bringing in fresh, local produce and meats for his restaurants from area farms.
 
Some of the farms that partner with Clementine include Prigel Family Creamery, The Zahradka Farm, and the Hamilton Crop Circle.
 
Blick's other venture, a market called Green Onion, will open this week or early next week up the street from Clementine in Hamilton. The market will carry local dairy products and meats, dry goods, and other locally made products like laundry detergents, jams, and jellies. The market will also bring in chefs such as Snyder to offer classes and workshops.

Blick told Bmore Media that the shop is a cross between Atwater's and Milk and Honey Market
 
Sources: Winston Blick, owner of Clementine
 
Andre Mazelin, theatre and rental manager at the Creative Alliance.
 
 
Writer: Alexandra Wilding, alexandra@bmoremedia.com

IT Support and Hair Braiding Come to Hamilton-Lauraville

From children’s hair-braiding to a market stocked with locally grown produce, Hamilton-Lauraville is home to several new and soon-to-open businesses.

Last week, Kinkx Studio, a kid-focused braiding studio opened at 2926 E. Cold Spring Lane. The studio serves children aged three to 14. The studio relocated from Charles Village from an office building to attract more traffic, says owner and CEO, Angelique Redmond.

The studio recently offered a deal on Living Social and more than 100 deals have been purchased, Redmond says. The studio also provides free movies, music, games, and refreshments for its young clients.

Redmond invested about $10,000 in the move, and the business currently has three employees.

On May 1, Supportech MD Inc. will open at 4517 Harford Rd. The business provides computer support for small businesses and will also offer drop-off computer repair services. Previously located in Towson, the relocation gives the business more space for the price, says owner John Lemonds.

For those looking for fresh, local food options, the long-anticipated Green Onion Market will open this spring, likely in May, says Regina Lansinger, director of Hamilton Lauraville Main Street.

Last year owner Winston Blick compared the market to a cross between Atwater’s and Milk & Honey Market.

Sources:
Regina Lansinger, director of Hamilton Lauraville Main Street
Angelique Redmond, owner of Kinkx Studio
John Lemonds, owner of Supportech MD Inc.

Writer: Alexandra Wilding, alexandra@bmoremedia.com

National Main Streets Conference Headed to Baltimore

Baltimore's neighborhoods will have a staring role in next month's National Main Streets Conference, as Charm City becomes the first city to host the conference twice. The yearly conference was last held in Baltimore in 2005.
 
Conference organizers hope to send a message to attendees that small businesses and main streets across the country are thriving and local development is on the rise. The conference, titled "Rediscover Main Street,” will be held April 1-4 at the Baltimore Hilton.
 
Baltimore's small-scale development, from urban gardens to craft brewing, will be featured throughout the conference. Organizers plan to use the city as a "living laboratory" for what makes successful neighborhoods, says Mary de la Fe, program manager for conferences at the National Trust Main Street Center.
 
Baltimore has been successful in creating and sustaining innovative practices within neighborhood economic development and the hope of the conference is to highlight some of the success that Baltimore has had, de la Fe says.
 
"We really try to make sure we're showcasing the city, the preservation efforts and the uniqueness of the city," de la Fe says.
 
The conference, an initiative of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, will be co-hosted by Baltimore Main Streets, part of the Baltimore Development Corporation.  Currently, 10 main streets exist within Baltimore including the Fells Point and Hamilton-Lauraville Main Streets.
 
The main street model was developed in the 1980s as an approach to economic revitalization and has since been implemented in over 1500 communities across the nation. The approach focuses a combination of historic preservation, supporting and recruiting businesses, organizing a volunteer base, and neighborhood promotion.
 
Around 1,300 professionals who work in local economic development are expected to attend the conference that will provide educational tours and workshops to help managers of main street programs maintain or create vibrant, sustainable downtowns.
 
Amy Cortese, journalist and author of "Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit from It," will provide the keynote address.
 
While the majority of the conference is open to registered participants only, a free overview of the main street approach will be held Sunday, April 1, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m at the Baltimore Hilton and is open to the public. 

Source: Mary de la Fe, program manager for conferences at the National Trust Main Street Center.
Writer: Alexandra Wilding

Performance Theatre Workshop moving to Hamilton

All the world's a stage for residents of Baltimore's Hamilton neighborhood. So, it may be no surprise that after 15 years in Federal Hill, Performance Theatre Workshop is moving to 5426 Harford Road in July.

Productions at the new space will begin Fall 2011, after theater staff have raised the $500,000 needed to purchase and refurbish the former Provident Bank building,  Marlyn Robinson, one of the company's artistic director says.

Leaders at the nonprofit will begin a capital campaign in the near future, raising money from individuals and foundations so they can move into the historic building, which dates to 1928. Baltimore architects Ziger/Snead LLC -- who have worked with MICA and Centerstage -- will design and restore the building.

The new space will give Performance Theatre 80 seats, versus 30 at its spot at 28 E. Ostend Street, near Cross Street Market. "We needed to serve more people," since at times, the theater was at capacity, Robinson says. The spot also offers ample parking and access for the disabled, something that was lacking in its Federal Hill space.

Robinson expects that the area's young families and throngs of artists will be interested in the theater's productions.
"It's an area that very much wants to develop and grow," Robinson says. "We think that is a welcoming and interested neighborhood."

Two neighborhood associations invited the theater troupe to move to the area, Marc Horwitz, also an artistic director for the company, says.

The Hamilton and nearby Lauraville neighborhoods have attracted a host of new restaurants and cafes in recent years, including Clementine, Hamilton Tavern and Red Canoe Bookstore Café.

Originally based in Pennsylvania, Performance Theatre Workshop has a strong educational mission and hosts workshops and post-theater discussions. Theater officials hope to help train Hamilton high school students. "I'd like the theater to grow into a magnet for the schools and receive training from professionals," Horwitz says.

The troupe's most recent production was the "Puppetmaster of Lodz," a play about a Holocaust survivor that the theater runs every seven years. Next season, it plans to hold its plays in various performance spots throughout the city until its new Hamilton space is ready.

Wanna know more? Read more about the area's Arts and Culture scene.

Sources: Marc Horwitz, Marlyn Robinson, Performance Theatre Workshop
Writer: Julekha Dash

Red Canoe renovation puts bookstore and cafe in same boat

When Nicole Selhorst wanted to feed more hungry customers during the cold winter months last year, she didn't have the space to seat all of them at Red Canoe Bookstore Cafe.

But now she's got the space -- and new menu items and products -- to keep them longer at her Lauraville business. After a renovation, that is now in its final stages, Selhorst will seat twice as many patrons at the Lauraville business.

Selhorst added 20 more seats by merging the bookstore and cafe areas that had been in two adjacent rowhomes so seats are spread throughout the space. Patrons now also get more food options, with pizza and grilled sandwiches. Red Canoe now has a fireplace on the first floor to keep customers cozy inside during winter.

In an appeal to families, the bookstore and cafe now sells more childrens toys.  An expanded book selection includes more title that appeal to kids and young adults.

Selhorst has already been building up a fan base among families. In conjunction with Loyola University Maryland's radio station WLOY, Red Canoe hosts regular events that get children to read and write stories.
"We are able to really build up a community of families," Selhorst says. "I see us growing."

The bookstore is among a growing crop of small businesses that have sprouted in the Hamilton/Lauraville area. Selhorst praises the neighborhood's diversity and the fact that it has drawn a number of artists, authors and activists intent on making the area a better place to live.

"It's a wonderful, growing community," Selhorst says.

Source: Nicole Selhorst, Red Canoe Bookstore Cafe
Writer: Julekha Dash



Opening soon? Tell us about it!

Whether you're a business owner, community organization or just a neighborhood regular, if you have a business opening or that has recently opened tell us about. You could find your new business featured in our development news section.

Parks & People offering $1K grants to create green spaces

The Baltimore-based Parks & People Foundation, is offering up to $1,000 for groups interested in greening their neighborhood. The monies, part of a partnership with the Baltimore Community Foundation and the Cleaner Greener Baltimore Initiative, provides up to $1,000 in Neighborhood Greening Grants for those planning projects that will plant trees, create community gardens, clean up and restore vacant lots, clean up neighborhoods, create green schoolyards, improve water quality improve and provide environmental education activities. Grant funds may also be used for tools, plant material, equipment and other needed supplies.

One of the goals of Baltimore City's Sustainability Plan is to increase accessibility to green spaces so that they are within ¼ mile of every resident. This program helps move another step closer to attaining that goal, according to the organization.

Parks & People has found that when outdoor spaces are healthy, utilized, vibrant and green, community residents are more engaged and invested in their neighborhoods. This is the type of sustainable environment that we work to create in neighborhoods, particularly underserved neighborhoods, throughout Baltimore, the group says.

Source: Parks & People
Writer: Walaika Haskins
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