Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Family Business in a Family Town


Since I am always on the lookout for creative entrepreneurs in Historic Ellicott City, I was delighted to find this shop one day in October on a walk back across the Patapsco River from Oella...I went it to look briefly and stayed awhile, making it a feature on A Walk Into the Past. This shop is elegant, hip, and fun--all at the same time.

Says owner, Cindi Ryland, “Ellicott City's Historic District has held a fascination for me since my family moved to this area in 1987. I am planning to retire soon after 30+ years of teaching French and Spanish and hope to be able to spend more time hunting and gathering for Retropolitan as well as in the shop itself meeting all the wonderful people who happen on in....

My daughter Caitlin and I decided to combine our love for the District with our love for things antique, vintage, stylish and unique: we opened Retropolitan over six years ago with my two sons Eddie and Charlie and, although he helps in an unofficial capacity, my husband Fred.

This is truly a family business as Ellicott City Historic District is a family town. The children are all grown now, with Caitlin pursuing her law career in Raleigh, North Carolina, Charlie his career as an electrical engineer in Baltimore and Eddie, as a real estate manager "back home" in Ellicott City. Their love for all things Retropolitan lingers, however, as they continue to be involved in the business and can always be counted on for display and delivery assistance and "hot tips" as to the availability of wonderful merchandise. "

Each nook and cranny of this charming space is filled with exquisite hand-picked treasures from every era and all parts of the world.

A visit to Retropolitan is sure to bring you back in time. You will delight in the striking motifs, craftsmanship, and classic forms of the past. The attentive staff can help you find the perfect unique wedding or birthday gift – that thoughtful keepsake to spark a memory, commemorate a new celebration.

What is featured at Retropolitan? Cindi explained that her stock ranges in time from the 18th to 20th centuries and includes Lighting, Furniture, Artwork, Silver, China, Jewelry, Clothing, Accessories…the selection of items is constantly changing and she assured me that each visit will be different from the last.

In fact, the search for merchandise takes the owners on adventures all over the world! From fine Italian crystal and French Art Deco as well as other period chandeliers to stately armoires and dressers, from the refined little black vintage dress to an outrageous zoot suit, Retropolitan has what you are looking for…

...So, even if you don't quite know what you are looking for, just spend some time in Retropolitan and, believe me, you will want to return! You'll find the shop close to the Patapsco River Bridge at 8006 Main Street. Telephone:

Web page by Kay D. Weeks;

text by Cindi Ryland and Kay D. Weeks

photos by Kay D. Weeks.


Denee Barr Art News and More said...

Thanks for this update I'll go check them out soon.

Anonymous said...

Looks like an interesting shop. Thanks for featuring it.

Anonymous said...

We have moved up the street! Come visit Retropolitan's new, larger store at 8227 Main Street in Historic Ellicott City.