By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(April 12, 2018) The former Bungalow Love on 9 South Main Street in Berlin has officially become Snapdragon Boutique and Gallery.
Owner Tracey Bell took over the storefront last June and kept the name of the previous business, founded by Heather Layton.
Bungalow Love opened in 2009 on William Street and moved to Main Street in 2015. Layton said last year she would spend more time with her children. She has continued to chair the Berlin Arts & Entertainment Committee and to provide terrarium classes and other services as Gypsea Tide.
Bell recently decided to revert to the name of her former business, once based in West Ocean City, and received approval from the Historic District Commission last month for new signs.
“I had been thinking about it,” Bell said. “I had Snapdragon for 12 years and I just felt like I really needed to get back to that.”
A Pennsylvania native, Bell moved to the area about 40 years ago.
“I’ve been changing [the shop] a bit to focus more on made in the U.S. and artists from the U.S., and just functional, utilitarian things that I think are fun and useful,” she said. “It’s what I focused on [in West Ocean City] and Maryland is certainly a big part of the ‘made in the U.S.’ [theme].”
Bell said she moved to Berlin because she “liked the small town aspect of it and met some terrific friends [there].”
“I had thought about it for a long time and the opportunity came about, and I said, ‘OK, I’m ready,’” she said.
Along with the small-town feel, Bell said another big difference between West Ocean City and Berlin are the hours of operations. Current hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
“I was there until 10 at night in West O, because there were so many restaurants. That’s been a good thing for me,” she said.
“I think the community [has also been a benefit] because I did not have it in West O, because I was just kind of a standalone among all the fishing boats and restaurants,” Bell added.
She said traffic has been good, but not great, so far, although the recent opening of two new shops next door, Attics of My Life and Bird of Paradise, has helped.
“It hasn’t really been what I expected and other people who have been here longer have told me … this has been the worse winter they’re ever had,” Bell said. “Oh, cool. I just got here … that’s been a challenge and it’s kind of questioned my moved, but I’m sure it will be fine.”
Making the situation more difficult, Bell said she developed a severe case of vertigo about two weeks after moving to Berlin.
“That’s really stopped me in my tracks,” she said. “I haven’t been able to work on my jewelry and my soldering as much. If I ever write a book I’m going to write, ‘Soldering with Vertigo – This is an Adventure.’
“It’s little by little getting better … and hopefully it’ll clear up,” Bell continued. “I also hope to advance my skills in jewelry and silversmithing. I’ve certainly got space to work on it.”
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