Carroll Woman Business Spotlight – Patty Bridner, The Maryland Store
Carroll Woman Business Spotlight
Patty Bridner | The Maryland Store
How long have you been the owner of The Maryland Store? Are you the original owner?
We started our company online in 1999 as Maryland Delivered. We had the opportunity to share the beautiful building we currently occupy (an 1891 brick church) in 2002 with a lady who sold antiques. In 2008, we were able to expand into the entire building. We remodeled and renamed the store as The Maryland Store. We sell thousands of Maryland-themed products and still have an antiques section in the back that we call Church Mouse Antiques.
What do you love about running the store?
I love our customers. Sure, every business owner says that, or should, but I truly do. If I‘m having a stressful day, all it takes is a customer smiling while they pull out their cell phone to show me a picture of their grandchild or telling a story of how our products made their friend’s birthday extra-special. Many of our customers become friends. Also, I love our staff. They are the best group of five lovely ladies and two wonderful guys you could ever imagine. They bring brightness and joy to our customers, and my life has been blessed by their presence both professionally and personally.
How do you find so many local products?
Over the past 15 years we’ve built a network of vendors that range from crafters who make one item to family run Maryland companies that have been making great items for generations. We support Maryland, and Maryland supports us.
Do you have any specials or holiday plans for the season?
The holidays are our favorite time of the year! It’s a lot of fun! We have events that not only introduce new items, but we think of them as ways to thank our customers for supporting us. Decorations go up, and we have our Holiday Open House Nov. 8th, featuring Maryland Made Foods for sampling. Our Christmas Open House is on Dec. 6th featuring all Sweet Treats! Local Boy Scout Troop 2007 sells decorated wreaths in our parking lot several weekends in December. We have taste testing and many other fun surprises weekly!
With all of the large stores in the area, how do you stay strong and connected with your customers?
Of course we use email and social media to stay in touch, but our number one connection is the smile and kind words that our customers receive when they walk through our door. We are truly happy to see them. We create a friendly, pleasant, and relaxing environment and we try to help in any way that we can. Carry your purchases, with pleasure! Special order an item, of course! Seeing our customers leave with a smile (and sometimes a shopping bag) is priceless.
What would you like other women in business to know about running a business?
If you think positive, act positive, and feel positive…positive things will happen for you and your business. Stay true to your vision, but be willing to change and delegate when needed. Slow and steady wins the race!