Hello & Goodbye,
I’ve made the decision to close Taken completely, and in doing so have been reflecting on the maker space, the world of pop-ups, and what it means to be a creative today. It’s hard to believe how much the world of makers has changed in eight years, and that’s a good thing.For perspective, at our first shop in November 2015, the process included product drop-off, merchandising and staging, a 4-hour sale window, then closing, packing and product pick up…. all in one day. Things adapted, and we came up with a better rhythm for shop days, including longer windows for set-up and breakdown, storage of products for “seasons” and systems for keeping track of everything. Shop storage moved from my dining room to a family barn, to a storage unit – all in a few years of growth. In total, Taken popped-up 44 times over eight years, showcasing local makers in six Maryland counties and Baltimore City. In addition to operating a brick-and-mortar location for three years and having an on-again, off-again relationship with on-line sales.
None of it would have been possible without the depth of talented artists and makers that call Maryland home. Bringing the creative vision of over 150 artists and artisans was the dream from the beginning; to connect the people who make beautiful things with the people who want to buy beautiful, locally-made things.
Fast forward to 2024, and it’s hard to believe how quickly the landscape has evolved; customers have been educated about shopping small, and there is support in place for small businesses at every stage of their development. We all know the landscape changes – the absolute dominance of social media platforms, the lingering effects of a global pandemic, and an ongoing awakening to the impact of over-consumption on our planet.
For me, Taken was always a dream come to life and a creative process itself. It presented an opportunity to create experiences for customers, showcase talented people and curate a collection that mixed sustainability with gift-giving in ways that felt attainable. I have learned a tremendous amount about owning a small business, about navigating a dream with the day-to-day rhythm of family life, and about my own creative process. For me, this chapter has come to an end, and it’s time to close out this story.
I remain committed to the same VALUES that I had when I opened the doors, I’ll share them with you as I close them for this final time.
- Your home reflects you and your family, EMBRACE every imperfect piece of that story. Fill your home with things that inspire you, bring you comfort and function best for whatever stage of life you are navigating. It is a fluid process, and that’s a good thing.
- Where you spend your dollar matters, not only for you but for the flavor and diversity of our neighborhoods. Choosing to support LOCAL businesses goes beyond the gift shop, think about the hairdresser, the restaurant, and the accountant.
- Supporting creatives means paying people their WORTH. Being an artisan requires vision, hours honing your skills, finding your voice, and executing pieces. We devalue that experience and expertise when we expect to get something “for a deal”.
- We all need to examine our consumption and its IMPACT. Seeing the timeless beauty in secondhand goods adds depth to our design styles and, more importantly, reduces the impact on the planet in the production and disposal of new goods.
No doubt I will see you all around town, shopping local, supporting makers and championing small businesses.