Spotlight on Federal Hill Businesses | Sugar Boat Goods

"Being part of the economic lifeblood of Baltimore is important to me. My goal is to keep the capital in Baltimore or nearby. I buy local, source local, even my fixtures and furniture are as local as I can get them. It’s harder, it’s more expensive, it’s slower, but I’m committed to it. The farthest I’ll go is about a 100 to 150-mile radius. I have very few exceptions. The merchandise has to be sustainable, environment-friendly, 100% recyclable or upcycled. It’s a mission-driven store filled with thoughtful, real-life goods that are beautiful, affordable, and sustainable."

Sugar Boat Goods

Owner: Joyce Lombardi

“I was a child abuse lobbyist and lawyer, and during the pandemic, I was on the phone with parents breaking down in tears about atrocious things that spiked during lockdown.
The direct service part of the job eventually took its toll on me. The child protection system has problems with no easy fixes. After a while, I had to take a hard look at myself. There wasn’t much more I personally could do. I really loved my old job and boss. I had helped a lot of people, had done some things I was really proud of; it seemed right to end on a high note. So I ended my 15-year legal career.
I wanted to go back to the private sector. I like the way money works, retail, manufacturing, supply. I think small shops are the lifeblood of a city and I wanted to be involved in that.
I’m a huge fan of shopping locally and I always admired small business owners. I’d met a lot of them after being in Baltimore for 20 years. I was curious and asked them lots of questions about how they made it happen. I listened to their stories.

One day while getting my hair done at Beehive, the two women owners 100% encouraged me to go for it by opening my own shop. I wanted the courage to captain my own ship. I wanted to create a world for other people to shop in that supported my values. I am definitely not the only one who wants zero waste, sustainability, local artists, and local shopping.

I’ve lived through all the phases of weddings, baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, graduations, divorces, and funerals,so a gift shop suited me. Federal Hill has some really good retail already and I believed there was an opportunity for adding one more gift shop like the one I envisioned to complement what's already here. I also started gift-making workshop to celebrate local DIY-ish handmade fun, tactile ways to come together and play with scent and color.

I knew I wanted to be in Federal Hill since I live down here now. So I drove around until I found the perfect space. The women-owned businesses that anchor Federal Hill speak to me. That’s city life, that’s grit and verve, that’s Baltimore. I also like Fed Hill because black and white people come together. That doesn’t happen in all neighborhoods so I’m really excited about that. Also, the water brought me here. I enjoy being near the water. You can smell the molasses from the refinery at Domino Sugar, and see the ships unloading from the dock, so I named the store for the sugar ships that connect us to the world.

Being part of the economic lifeblood of Baltimore is important to me. My goal is to keep the capital in Baltimore or nearby. I buy local, source local, even my fixtures and furniture are as local as I can get them. It’s harder, it’s more expensive, it’s slower, but I’m committed to it. The farthest I’ll go is about a 100 to 150-mile radius. I have very few exceptions. The merchandise has to be sustainable, environment-friendly, 100% recyclable, or upcycled. It’s a mission-driven store filled with thoughtful, real-life goods that are beautiful, affordable, and sustainable."

 

About Sugar Boat Goods

We are a South Baltimore shop that provides thoughtful, sustainable home goods and gifts made by nearby artists and crafters.

Business Location

910 S. Charles St, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 429-7050

 A Big Thank You To our Sponsor South Baltimore Gateway Partnership

All content created by Baltimore Small Business Stories

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Chenlin
Author: Chenlin

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