Store Opening

May 13, 2007|By [SUSAN REIMER]


188 Main St., Annapolis, 410-295-5677 / Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Saturday / noon-6 p.m. Sunday

What happens when a busy attorney realizes she is happiest "playing in the dirt?"

She opens a tiny storefront in Historic Annapolis and fills it with decorative arts for the garden: wind chimes, hummingbird feeders, garden lights, candles, pots and planters, birdhouses and whirligigs.

"I just kind of woke up one morning and realized that I was happiest in my garden. I wanted that feeling all day every day, and I didn't find that happiness at work," said Ellen Schwanebeck, 35, who graduated from Syracuse law school and worked as an antitrust attorney in Washington for eight years.

Working retail isn't the same as sinking your hands into the soil, but the wind chimes and the indoor fountains -- and the regular company of her dog, Katie -- "gives me the same feeling of tranquillity as being outdoors," said Schwanebeck, who opened her animal-friendly shop just in time for Annapolis' annual Midnight Madness at Christmas.

Most of her inventory is made in the United States, she said, "because I am hearing customers saying that is important to them."

As the shop's name implies, Schwanebeck has "a thing for dragonflies," and the shop is filled with whimsical copper and glass representations.

With the door open to busy Main Street and the warming summer breezes, there is the feeling that a real one might wander in.

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