Less than two years after flash flooding wreaked havoc in Ellicott City, the historic downtown area was once again devastated by water in late May. The back-to-back incidents have raised questions about the future of the city. Among those businesses living with uncertainty is Simple & Feminine, a new boutique opened by 22-year-old blogger-turned-entrepreneur Brianna Volatile of The Brunette’s Diary. Her Ellicott City boutique, co-owned with her mom and housed in a three-story 18th-century home, was stuffed with an ever-rotating selection of clothing and accessories befitting its name — but very little stock survived. “Dream come true is an understatement, and in the matter of a few hours, everything was gone,” she wrote on Instagram. “I am in so much pain for Ellicott City. I don’t know what’s to come for S&F, but I do know that we will get through this and come out even stronger. As devastated as I am right now, I am more determined to continue on with my dreams and vision.”
Another new store, Sweet Suds Bath Boutique, had just moved onto Main Street from its previous home in the small cottage-like space off Lot D. “While I don’t know what can be salvaged, I do know that I’m going to try my hardest to bring Sweet Suds back to this wonderful community,” wrote Autumn Lewis on the SS Facebook.
Others were more fortunate. While on the same trip to see S&F, Savvy had finally stopped into The Pink Cabbage, which her friends had been talking about for years for its country-cute collection of antiques, rustic-style furniture, homemade goods like soaps and jams, jewelry, clothing and more. The store is on Frederick Road and did not sustain any damage itself. Still, it’s not easy. “Our hearts go out to the businesses devastated by the flooding,” says owner Jody Perez. Savvy and the whole STYLE team echo the sentiment. Whether they stay or go, we hope that those affected are able to rebuild in whatever way they see fit.
Any fashion designer worth her mettle must think of her clothing as art, but Baltimore swimwear brand Unify the Ties takes the opposite approach. While artist Taylor Callinan has always been inspired by the beach, her paintings came first. After going through a difficult time in college, she says she turned to the canvas. The works she created soon became the print for her first fabric, then the crux of her first collection (which debuted in 2017). “I wanted to merge art with fashion,” she says. “It’s not just about going to the beach. I like to say it’s from the beach to the streets to everything in between.” While the swimwear is lovely, Savvy’s particularly drawn to the less-waterproof options, including the interestingly shaped jersey jumpsuit and haute-hot nylon wrap pants. unifytheties.com