Shop Talk

Personalized Décor in Urbana

Tonya Martin and Lauren Hoch met four years ago as neighbors in the Villages of Urbana, and they have been fast friends ever since. Originally from Glenelg, Martin has lived in Urbana with her family — husband Joe, son Danny, 10, and 8-year-old Emma — for several years. Hoch grew up in New Jersey but has lived in the Frederick area for 20 years. She and her husband, Andrew, have three boys — Riley, 10, Evan, 8 and Travis, 5.

Martin and Hoch have enjoyed sharing creative ideas with each other for the past year and recently started making personalized home décor for friends and family. “We decided to have a go at it in the business world,” Hoch said. Creative, personalized signs are their specialty, often chalk paint drawn onto old barn wood. “We love the idea of recycling items and giving them a new life,” said Hoch. We just got some barn wood in New Jersey that is over 100 years old and we’ve been making décor and gifts personalized to our customers’ needs.”

The new company’s name is Sissy & Co and plans are in the works for a studio and website. For now, the work can be viewed online. “We have just scratched the surface of our creative ideas,” said Hoch. “We look forward to what the future holds!” For more information, search Sissy & Co on Facebook or Instagram, or email

Hand-crafted Cheer Bows for Sale

Another new home business recently launched to fill a need among families involved in competitive cheerleading. Ijamsville resident Shannon McKenzie has kept busy raising three active girls, with 10-year-old Bailey very involved in competitive cheerleading. The costs for the sport can be daunting — costumes, travel and even cheer bows. “Cheer bows cost between $15 – 25,” said McKenzie, “so we decided to make some. It was a mom/daughter craft project.”

McKenzie and her daughter went to the fabric store together, Bailey suggested ideas, and McKenzie made a bow for her, as well as a few extras to sell. “Other cheer moms started asking for them,” said McKenzie, “and then the owner of a cheer gym asked for some.” After considering many names for the new business, they decided on Sassy Pants Bows and created a Facebook page. “We’ve had people from Texas buying bows!” said McKenzie. “It’s turned out to be a creative outlet, quality time with my daughter plus an opportunity to fill a need.”

Check out Sassy Pants Bows on Facebook. Local buyers need only come to the McKenzie front porch for pick up.

Turning Point Holds Event

Eric and Amy Steinhoff of Urbana’s Turning Point Real Estate recently held their annual client appreciation event at the Delaplaine Arts Center in Frederick. More than 300 people enjoyed an acoustic performance by Frederick-based Twin Radio plus visual art displays throughout the center. Based out of the historical Turning Point building in Urbana, Turning Point is a locally owned and operated agency for residential and commercial real estate with an emphasis on community involvement.

Shop Notes

The remainder of the contemporary building at the former Cracked Claw property is now being demolished. The historical Rine-Dixon house will remain and will likely be home to a bank and/or restaurant, but no final decisions have been made. Plans remain for another part of the property to become an Advanced Auto Parts and Shell gas station and Dash-In convenience store.

Treaty General Store opened in October at 218 N. Market Street. The store likens itself to a quality dry goods store from the turn of the century, with the motto, “We respect the past and are inspired by the future.” Products change with the season and include products for the home and garden, apparel and accessories, personal care and gifts.

On Saturday, Nov. 1, Treaty General Store will be offering custom hand-poured candles with Whiskey Bottom Candle Company, which creates soy wax candles with repurposed wine and liquor bottles from local restaurants. Whiskey Bottom will provide an assortment of bottles and scents to choose from. For more information, visit the Treaty General Store and Whiskey Bottom Candle Company pages on Facebook.

Dick’s Sporting Goods and the FSK mall will open any day, as will the Tilted Kilt restaurant, across the street and on the other side of the mall. J. Jill plans to open in November in the Westview Shopping Center, next door to Oil & Vinegar.


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