Hand-Selected Specialties: Patty Jean’s Boutique

Hand-Selected Specialties: Patty Jean’s Boutique

Old Bay-themed wares at Patty Jean’s Boutique.

Patty Jean’s Boutique is dangerous. Not in a scary, threatening or impending way. It’s more of a “you’re-going-to-spend-more-than-you-should” kind of situation. You’re not in physical danger, but your self-control might be.

Especially if you love fine fabrics, souvenir jewelry and beach-scented bath goods. Extra especially if you enjoy unique finds, local brands and specialty gifts. All of which I do. And so my obsession with Patty Jean’s began.

Those in the Ocean City suburbs may already be familiar with Patty Jean’s, as the original boutique located in Berlin, MD has been a mainstay for years. Last summer, a second location opened on 67th Street in a quaint and tropical-themed strip center across the highway from the boards. While this OC location stayed open all winter on weekends, their hours are expanding to suit the tourists and visitors as the summer approaches.

Displays of seawater-aged shiplap, wicker and linen welcome the entrant into a tropical oasis, complete with nautical flags and woven light fixtures. Aesthetically, Bermudan influence came immediately to mind, with high ceilings and bright colors that inspire warm weather wishes. There’s an underlying homespun, country-comfortable sensation as well, with Rodney Atkins on the radio and the familiar scent of wood wares in the air. The underlying navy, white and cream colors of the shop help direct the eye to the particularly vibrant and unique commodities for sale.

The boutique is built around meeting customer expectations; varying price points, gift ideas for locals and tourists alike, and suiting a year-round customer base. In owner Pam Houck’s words, “you can find something for everyone.” If you need a unique souvenir or houseware for your own kitchen, this is a required stop on your route. There are plenty of beach-themed items, including a wall of Old Bay merchandise and cases of sea creature-crusted baubles, among displays of exclusive clothing, porcelain kitchen wares and candles to suit universal tastes. There’s clear intention in the product selection and presentation, with organization and visual interest at the forefront. I had a hard time staying on target because each new thing I discovered required immediate inspection.

I felt bad for the shoppers around me. I perused excitedly in a serpentine pattern, separating shopping groups like a rushing river. And I couldn’t leave without a Mother’s Day gift chosen from the bountiful shelves.

In addition, Patty Jean’s has a huge selection of well-made artisan brands you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. TokyoMilk, Spartina 449, Scout, East Aloha and Shore Soap Company are a few of the brands prominently featured. Pam also places custom orders for items from Rustic Marlin, a Massachusetts company specializing in rustic décor, wooden signage and American-made textiles. A personalized gift available from a local boutique, with the help of attentive staff, would be ideal for that upcoming baby, bridal or grandma shower, right?

Go see Pam at Patty Jean’s Boutique or call 913-522-7410 for more info. And a bit of advice from me, check out the kitchen towels. My purchase said, “Proven Fact: If you wait long enough to make dinner, everyone will just eat cereal.” Truth.

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