Radcliffe houses a wide selection of fine jewelry, luxury watches, and accessories from respected brands such as John Hardy, TAG Heuer, Charriol, and more. Shoppers can turn to nearly 100 well-trained employees for help navigating extensive product displays throughout their 10,000 square-foot Towson space and 17,500 square-foot Pikesville space. Classic pieces, such as the simple Radcliffe sterling-silver hoop earrings ($70) and Honora 5.5 mm freshwater white pearl studs ($60) are found alongside more exclusive finds such as the Meisterstuck pen pouch ($135) by upscale writing-implement purveyor Montblanc. On-site gemologists also provide free appraisals for all new goods purchased in the store upon request.
Bakers Park's cakesmiths are visual artists, using buttercream and fondant like a painter uses watercolors and buttercream. They draw from a large palette, mixing batter into flavors such as chocolate or red velvet. Eventually, all of these components come together into an elaborate design, such as a birthday cake shaped like a giant cheeseburger, or a baby shower cake that looks like a kid's shoe. And while they specialize in these sorts of cakes, not everything the bakers create is destined for a party. They also make cookies, cupcakes, pies, and other everyday treats.
Though their processes are meticulous, there are no secret recipes at Bakers Park. The bakers happily teach the tricks of their trade to curious would-be confectioners during cake classes.
Family owned and operated since 1914, Smyth Jewelers lavishes customers with expertly cut gems and attentive service. Fill Valentine's present voids with designer necklaces ($32.50 and up), adorn lonely lobes with earrings ($28 and up), or add panache to foosball matches with sparkling rings ($50 and up). The caring staff will not force shoppers into splurging on baubles, but rather will introduce them to pieces that fit their needs in design and price. Smyth also purveys gifts such as silver platters, wine coasters, crystal decanters, and decorative bowls to fill with fruits, pocket change, or collector edition condiment packets. Perusers of higher-end items may fuse two Groupons to put towards purchases over $300, selecting from shinables such as the 18-karat diamond stud earrings clasped in white gold ($340). Smyth's six certified gemologists ward off showy intruders, admitting only GIA or AGS approved gems with the most refined facets and credible qualities.
Longtime friends and shoe sidekicks Janie Griffin and Emilie Blaze are the slipper specialists behind The Little Shoebox’s sizeable selection of brand-name ladies' shoes. Like an indecisive metamorph, the selection of fabulous flats and popular pumps is always changing, but includes unique designer names not typically found in department stores, such as Bettye Muller, Kors, Martinez Valero, and Pour La Victoire. Keep foot hinges from rusting in winter with a pair of Vivien Westwood black ankle boots ($150). Toes can stay stylishly snug in Kors Winston Brown shearling clogs ($195). Eliza B’s black patent ballet flats ($135) will have you pirouetting in any outfit, while the eco-friendly cork flats ($110) keeps walking comfy with a wedge-shaped heel that preps customer for the day when it becomes socially acceptable to wear pie on one’s feet.
For more than 70 years, Cy's of Catonsville has outfitted customers of all ages and swimming abilities in handpicked suits and accessories from renowned brands such as Speedo and TYR. Friendly sales personnel assist shoppers in selecting the ideal attire, be it Speedo Vanquisher goggles ($18) or female practice swimsuits ($40) for use in training or quick costume changes during underwater prom. Aqua Cell swim belts ($40) boost buoyancy, and the Finis Zoomers training fins ($36) employ a patented short-fin technology to enhance swimming kicks and help wearers reach out and pet ducks during 400-meter races.
Poppy and Stella’s knack for curating a stylish, eclectic inventory has not gone unnoticed. “The people behind Poppy and Stella just get shoes,” according to the Baltimore City Paper, who named Poppy and Stella the Best Women’s Shoe Store in 2009. In 2011, CBS Baltimore praised Poppy and Stella for its “atmosphere, selection and service.”
That atmosphere is found in a tidy, eclectic boutique, where customers can peruse a stylish array of designer shoes, boots, handbags, and apparel from brands such as Dolce Vita, Pour La Victoire, Sam Edelman, and Frye. Throughout the store, neat displays highlight both seasonal trends and classic designs, all of which can keep friends and neighbors from giving you disparaging nicknames like “old-shoes Jack.”