Taken Reinvents the Thrill of Treasure Hunting

Handmade mugs by Turning True Studios, dried flowers by Violet Floral Designs and a vintage teapot at Taken | Photo courtesy Vanessa Milio

Rejoice, Savvy shoppers … don’t miss a new place to pique your curiosity for objet d’art and treasures you never realized you needed but shouldn’t pass up. This new shopping destination is Taken at the Courtyard Shops at Dulaney Plaza in Towson.

Vanessa Milio, owner, Taken | Photo by Marlayana Demond

Owner Vanessa Milio invites you to journey through Taken’s eclectic finds eagerly awaiting a new home—yours.

Taken started its life in December 2015 as a pop-up shop model. Her pop-up operated about 10 times per year in Central Maryland. “We would either partner with an existing business and take over a space for two days, or we’d partner with a commercial real estate broker and take over the space for
a month,” she explains.

A brick-and-mortar location that’s been “months in the planning and years in the making,” as Milio describes, Taken opened its doors in November 2020. Surrounded by women-owned small businesses in the Courtyard Shops, Taken offers exquisitely curated, quality-crafted products from a network of Maryland-based makers and creators, including Patapsco Valley Pottery and 605MOD.

From the moment you enter the space, you feel as though you’re walking into Milio’s living room. Curated products crafted by artisans are everywhere. Vintage furniture and items ideal for gift giving beckon the eye at every turn. With an ever-changing inventory, you almost have to check in weekly so that you don’t miss new arrivals.

“From the incredibly talented artists and makers who give a bit of themselves in everything they create to the fun vintage pieces with their storied past that become reinvented for a new audience, Taken is full of great stories,” Milio says. “We want to create that connectedness to the person behind an object—the maker’s story.”

She strives to share products with her customers that promote sustainability and connect to a greater social mission. For example, notecards created by Abiola Haroun from Afrotika feature remanants from the production of clothing in Africa in their design. Purchases of the cards support the Andrew Foster AfriDeaf Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of African deaf children.

Taken is a home decor shop curating art, kitchenware, bath products and gift items. | Photo courtesy Vanessa Milio

Stop in this spring to view the works from 10 new makers. Pieces will include art from two artists who focus on the natural world, leather-bound tote bags featuring watercolor illustrations by David Scheirer, hanging planters and new barbecue sauces and spice rubs.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Milio will continue to offer contactless virtual shopping. All that Savvy shoppers need to do is sign up for a 30-minute browsing appointment. A Taken team member will connect with them via Zoom and guide them through a personal tour of Taken’s treasures.

Even with Taken open, Milio says that she won’t completely abandon the pop-up concept that nurtured the beginning of her business. “We’re still committed to bringing high-quality, curated products to people where they are.”


Courtyard Shops at Dulaney Plaza, 740 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson. shoptaken.com

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