By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(May 24, 2018) My Backyard, a new store in the Manklin Creek Station Shopping Center in Ocean Pines, carries items for the backyard in a setting resembling — what else? — a classic backyard complete with real fences, picnic tables, fire pits, birdbaths and other accessories.
Owner Maureen Kennedy, a self-described people person with a flair for retail, has owned a home in Ocean Pines for several decades, but only moved to the community full time just recently.
“I ran a heating and air-conditioning company for both my husband and my son at different times, and then once they got established enough, I said it was time to do my stuff,” she said. “[The store] is my bucket list thing, because I’ve always wanted to do this.”
As for the backyard setting, Kennedy offered, “I like being outside. I like nature. It’s just something I like!”
Along with backyard fixtures and furniture, the shop also carries birdfeeders and birdseed, gardening supplies, homemade soaps, and local honey in flavors such as wildflower, clover, blueberry and butter bean.
“It’s from a farmer here in Parsonsburg,” Kennedy said of the honey. “He also supplies some other local honey down in the Eastern Shore of Virginia.”
My Backyard opened about three weeks ago.
“Every day it gets a little better,” Kennedy said. “I get more people in every day, the more people get to know who I am.
“The first thing I do is ask them if there’s anything they’re interested in and then, after that, I kind of let them look around. They’ll ask me some questions about birds or birdfeeders, but I’m not a high-pressure person,” she continued. “I like to let them look around and I’ll recommend some things if they’re interested.”
Kennedy decorated the shop and the awnings in the front window, with some assistance on the fences and front desk her from husband, “the builder.” She stained one of the fences herself to make it look more authentic.
Along with being display pieces and merchandise, some of the items would later serve a different function, she said.
“Back where the picnic table is, in the fall we’re going to have workshops for kids and some things for adults to make holiday decorations,” she said. “We’re going to have little workshops.”
Eventually, she hopes to add more local items, including fresh herbs and eggs.
“I’m trying to integrate with people that do things locally, so I want to give back to the community in that way,” she said.
Visit My Backyard in the Manklin Creek Station Shopping Center on 11312 Manklin Creek Road, Unit 1B. Store hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Our prices are competitive and we’ve got great parking here, and you’ve got someone to talk to you to help you find something you need – unlike the big box stores. So, there’s a little bit of the personal touch here,” Kennedy said, not to mention the close proximity to a popular local restaurant, DeNovo’s.
“Eat some ice cream, then cruise on up and look in the windows, or come on in!” she said.
For more information, call 410-208-1479 or visit www.gotomybackyard.com or www.facebook.com/pg/mybackyard.soceanpines.