Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ace Hardware of Federal Hill Joins 'Made in MD' Program

Beginning August 1st, Federal Hill Ace Hardware (1214 Light Street) will participate in the ‘Think Local First Initiative’ and ‘Made in MD’ programs, which collaborate with local entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their handmade products at brick and mortar stores.

Marc Friedman and Gina Schaefer, co-owners of A Few Cool Hardware Stores (nine privately owned, non-franchised Ace Hardware locations throughout Washington DC and Maryland), first partnered with Think Local first DC in spring 2013 in order to meet the customer demand for locally sourced products. Due to their success, they’ve decided to expand the program to their Maryland stores.

“The Made in DC program was so well received that we wanted to expand it to our Maryland stores,” says owner of Federal Hill Ace Hardware, Gina Schaefer. “We love the idea of sourcing products locally, and we know our customers do too. It is our responsibility as a local business to take action to provide those opportunities for the vendors and promote economic growth in their communities.”

Interested vendors who wish to display their merchandise in Federal Hill Ace Hardware can fill out an application on their website You must be a Maryland resident to qualify. Supplemental materials are required. Submit your completed application to by 5pm on Friday, July 5th.

Briana Lopes, Intern

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Federal Hill Tech Center Launches Summer Camp

City Council President Young (center) and 
Digital Harbor Foundation Co-Executive Director 
Andrew Coy (right) watch as a student uses a 3D printer
 at the new Digital Harbor Tech Center. 
Photo courtesy of Council President Young's office.
Federal Hill’s Digital Harbor Tech Center will launch its first ever Summer Maker Camp, in partnership with the non-profit The Maker Education Initiative and with support from its founding sponsors Pixar Animation Studios, Intel, O’Reilly Media, and Cognizant (an information technology firm).

This unique program, comprised of four 2-week long sessions, will focus on engaging children ages 7 - 17 with technological innovation through hands-on exploration and mentorship. The mission is “to create more opportunities for young people to make, and, by making, build confidence, foster creativity, and spark interest in science, technology, engineering, math, the arts and learning as a whole,” according to their website.

Director of Curriculum Stephanie Grimes says the students that have already been through the school-year program (formerly Rech2Tech) have helped build what will be the new summer camp, literally helping mentors paint and renovate the facility, which is now equipped with a sound studio where students will learn about audio production. “We’re learning a lot from them. Hopefully they’re learning a lot from us,” she says.

The first summer session, “Circuit Adventures,” runs June 17-28 and teaches students how to create lamps, flying propellers, moving motors and musical projects through hands-on activities. “Digital Design & Fabrication” (July 8-19) will explore 3D design composition through use of legos and vinyl with the advanced technology of 3D printers.

During “Game Development,” July 22 - August 2, tech couches will teach kids how to develop their own digital game. “Aerial Pursuits,” the last camp session ending on August 16, will guide students through the exploration of flight as they learn about rocketry, paper planes and remote controlled aircrafts.

“We’re hoping to be able to carry these themes into the fall,” says Stephanie, “sort of that hands-on, immersive exploration.”

Each two-week Summer Maker Camp session has 20 spots, and although there is a fee, scholarship aid is available for those students who qualify.

“We’re agile enough that we can pivot with them, and we work hard to get the funding, tools, and resources they need,” says Stephanie. “For example, one of the kids broke their headphones, and they were like, ‘I can’t afford new headphones, I need to fix these,’ and we’re like, ‘here’s a soldering iron, fix them.’”

Briana Lopes, Intern

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Armoire: Welcome to Federal Hill!

The Armoire of Federal Hill, a cache of gently used women's and men's designer bargains, has moved from its previous home at 735 S. Hanover Street to 905 Light Street. Owner Rob Biancuzzo, who opened the consignment shop last October after working in the medical field for years, says he’s excited about his new space. “I think we did better in our first week than we did in a whole month at our previous location,” says Rob, “it just feels right.”

Unlike your standard thrift or second-hand store, The Armoire is a consignment shop. Consignors bring in the items they wish to sell. Armoire and said seller agree upon a price, and the shop houses, displays, and ultimately sells the items on behalf of the consignor. In essence, anyone who has desirable, seasonal, trending clothes, shoes or accessories in good condition can profit from their retired wardrobe with very little effort!

Considering that The Armoire sells your items for you and both parties profit from said agreement, the shop is selective in what it chooses. “You really have to have an eye for the names out there,” says owner Rob, whose discerning eye for fashion has taken in designer pieces from Chanel, Coach, and Gucci. Although the racks have scattered among them high-end pieces, inventory is comprised of mostly affordable, everyday labels like Ralph Lauren and Banana Republic.

For the eclectic fashionista who knows exactly what she’s looking for or the fervent bargain shopper who loves a great deal, stop by The Armoire; you’re sure to fall in love with a piece that’s just your style!

Briana Lopes, Intern

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

New Yoga Options at a Familiar Place in Federal Hill

As of June 1st, Apothecary Wellness now offers several types of yoga classes in addition to their other spa services. These "small group, mind-body" classes will include a maximum of six students, guided by carefully selected instructors who will help bring the beginner and novice "back into balance."

"Beginner Yoga" will introduce new students to the fundamental principals of yoga, such as breathing and alignment, taught less vigorously through the use of preparatory and modified poses and the use of props. Instructors will focus on core balance, standing poses, and "yogic breathing," all of which strengthen the muscles and serve as a foundation for level advancement to "Continuing Yoga."

"Restorative Yoga," a gentle healing form of Hatha yoga, will also be offered for students of any level and exposure. The purpose of this class is to address stress-related illness through the use of five to six gentle poses, practiced with props, which create an environment that promotes total relaxation and mind-body connection.

The "Pre-Natal Yoga" class, designed in tandem with a woman as her body changes throughout her pregnancy, is also available to students of all levels.

To register for an Apothecary Wellness yoga class, you can visit their website, call, or drop by their center to  reserve your spot. Space is extremely limited, as these are "small group" classes. Pre-registered students pay $30.00, and if space allows, walk-ins will be charged $35.00. Each class is an hour and fifteen minutes in length.

Apothecary Wellness Yoga Schedule

Beginner: Mondays @ 10:30am, Wednesdays @ 4pm, and Select Fridays @ 6pm
Continuing: Mondays @ 12pm, Wednesdays @ 2:30pm, and Select Fridays @ 6pm
Restorative: Fridays @ 7:30pm
Pre-Natal: Wednesdays @ 6:30pm

Briana Lopes, Intern