Different Looks, a Pennsylvania-based distributor of ribbons, bows, wrapping paper and gift bags, has decided to relocate to the Baltimore area, opening a headquarters in White Marsh and a warehouse distribution center near the city's port.
The company, a subsidiary of Pennsylvania-based Berwick Industries, has leased 7,000 square feet of space in White Marsh next to White Marsh Mall for a headquarters and showroom.
The company has leased an additional 75,000 square feet of warehouse distribution space at the Point Breeze Business Center in East Baltimore, near the Seagirt Marine Terminal.
The port was apparently a major draw for Different Looks, which expects to import approximately $6 million worth of goods this year and export some $1.5 million worth.
Frank Ryan, Different Looks' executive vice president and chief operating officer, said yesterday that the company also was drawn to Baltimore because of "tremendous" banking relationships it was able to establish with First National Bank, Philadelphia National Bank and Mercantile Bank & Trust in the city.
In addition, Ryan said, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and David Gillece, president of the Baltimore Economic Development Corporation, were "incredibly hospitable" toward the firm.
"That's really what convinced our president [Henry Doherty] that this was the move to make," said Ryan, who was born and raised in Baltimore. He also credited the Maryland Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Baltimore County economic development office with being instrumental in the move.