Store Opening

January 14, 2007|By [SUSAN REIMER]

ARTINI: ACCESSORIES WITH A TWIST

40 Randall St., Annapolis

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 410-267-0040

Co-existing in cheerful symbiosis in Annapolis is a dry cleaner and a women's accessories shop. Only in the scarce and cramped quarters of the city's historic district could Artini and Cleaning by Riley work out of the same 1,000 square feet.

"Cleaning by Riley has been here forever as a drop-off and pick-up location," said Artini co-owner Colleen Joseph. "They asked us to continue when we took over the shop and we happily agreed."

It is the perfect working relationship. Naval Academy people, boat show people and bed-and-breakfast visitors still have a place to take their laundry. And some of those regulars have become customers for Joseph and her girlhood friends and partners, Alice Estrada and Cheryl Belote.

"It was a great way to meet all our neighbors," said Joseph, whose shop is just outside the Naval Academy's main gate.

Joseph, a jewelry maker with a strong background in retail and marketing, returned with her family to Annapolis after years away. She drove from Los Angeles with Belote and Estrada and they talked the whole way about opening a shop downtown.

The partners took over the lease previously held by Cleaning by Riley in September. In a single weekend, with help from family, they redesigned and redecorated the shop with Joseph's favorite leopard-skin and pink motif.

Joseph has banned crabs and sailboats from her shop. "Preppy has been banished," she said. Instead, she sells jewelry, handbags, belts, jackets and wraps with maximum bling and a maximum price range. Everything seems to be encrusted with Swarovski crystals, but you can find a pair of $20 earrings next to a $450 rabbit-skin coat. And in the back room hang freshly laundered shirts waiting for their owners.

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