LANCASTER, Pa. — Madcap & Co., featuring exceptional handmade and vintage goods, will open Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in the heart of downtown’s shopping district.
Madcap & Co., a multi-merchant companion shop to BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, Downtown Lancaster’s largest retail store, opens at 310 N. Queen St., with 17 independent merchants, says Marty Hulse, BUiLDiNG CHARACTER and Madcap & Co. owner.
With the new store, Hulse said he is carving out an additional retail niche for the makers movement, which in recent years has gained popularity thanks to the renewed push for American-made goods and DIYers looking for an outlet to sell their creations. “There are so many talented craftspeople in the Lancaster area, and now they have a place to showcase their ingenuity.”
According to Adweek magazine, the makers movement is the umbrella term for independent inventors, designers and tinkerers. “Makers tap into an American admiration for self-reliance and combine that with the open-source learning, contemporary design and powerful personal technology like 3-D printers. The creations, born in cluttered local workshops and bedroom offices, stir the imaginations of consumers numbed by generic, mass-produced, made-in-China merchandise,” it writes.
BC has perfected its multi-shop retail management system in the eight years it has been in business on the 300 Block of North Queen Street, the city’s most desirable shopping district. Madcap & Co. will continue BUiLDiNG CHARACTER’s business model, giving multiple small businesses a brick-and-mortar retail store open seven days a week.
“The beauty is I don’t have to man a store all day long, which gives me more time to create,” says Cynthia Price, owner of Sanctuary opening in Madcap & Co., who already has a space at BUiLDiNG CHARACTER. “This is perfect for makers who are more creatively inclined and not as business saavy.”
Madcap & Co.’s new space was the former Mommalicious, a downtown Lancaster fixture for 10 years. Owner Alicia Byler couldn’t think of a better fit for the retail space in the building she owns and lives in with husband Dennis Snader.
Byler is excited to join such creative makers at Madcap & Co. and is appreciative of Hulse assuming the financial and time-consuming risks of operating an independent retail store. “There are a myriad of responsibilities that are being taken care of … even down to the rolls of toilet paper,” she says. “I know how much energy and money can be spent running a shop, and it’s great that Marty is willing to share it with others.”
The decision to open a second retail concept was a no-brainer for Hulse.
“When the opportunity to open a storefront right on the 300 Block of North Queen came to me, I had to say ‘yes!’ said Marty Hulse, owner of BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, which is nestled through a brick archway at 342 N. Queen St. “I love this block and am excited to add another specialty shop to the mix (on the block).”
The 300 Block of North Queen is also home to several other businesses that offer handmade works, including the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, Art & Glassworks, Russell Locksmith, j.a. sharp Custom Jewelers, the Framing Concept and BUiLDiNG CHARACTER.
BUiLDiNG CHARACTER opened in 2007 selling primarily architectural salvage and by 2008 saw a need in the community to offer a collective for other like-minded entrepreneurs looking to sell vintage, recycled and handmade goods. Today there are more than 60 small businesses in various size retail spaces in the 10,000-square-foot retail location.
Like BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, known for its community-partnered events and lively music playlists throughout the store, Madcap & Co. also will be open seven days a week with extended hours for First Friday and Music Friday, the third Friday of the month which will feature the popular Ladies Night Out with free drink and dessert samples, free chair massages and local live music.
Madcap & Co. will open with the following 16 merchants (one merchant is pending):
- 40th Parallel Leather Goods, handmade leather bags and handwoven textiles by Peter and Laurie Eaton of Willow Street
- B.N. Luna, handmade fleece blankets for newborns, infants and toddlers by Audrey Baxter and locally designed and printed whimsical canvas wall decor for baby and children by Heidi Herr
- Deborah Sielski, assemblages from vintage salvaged materials reminiscent of flowers and foliage
- Hello Niccoco, lighthearted hand-drawn designs by Nicole Duquette of Lancaster
- Lake and Cabin, vintage and handmade home decor for your lake house, cabin or seaside abode by Micah and Holly Lessey of Lancaster
- Madcap Mercantile, a collection of handmade greatness from near and far such as hand poured candles, handmade jewelry and wallets and bags made of recycled bicycled inner tubes
- Miller Cast Products, collectible brass banks, trivets, wall art and figurines made in the City of Lancaster since 1887 by the J. Walter Miller Co.
- Mommalicious, the venerable vintage and handmade goods dealer Alicia Byler of Lancaster
- My Aunt Debbie, handmade pop-art-inspired jewelry, fashion and accessories by Debbie Serdy of Lancaster
- Renaissance Chimney, vintage industrial pieces made from recycled materials by Mike Ellis of Bernville
- Roaring Dog Studio, functional art for kitchen and home by Chris Clemans of Strasburg
- Sanctuary, reinvented and repainted furniture, home decor and original paintings by artist Cynthia Price of Lancaster
- Studioweit, handmade woven one-of-a-kind rugs and fiberworks mostly of upcycled cotton and flannel by Eric Weit and Kimberly McMullen of Millersville
- Tortoise and the Hare, heirloom-quality handmade children’s clothing with a bit of whimsy and pinch of practicality by Rosina Lapp of Gordonville
- Wise Oak Herbs, teas, salves, balms, powders, mists and rubs using the best organic and sustainably harvested herbs by Meeghan Orr and DJ Mercado of Lancaster
- Wood ‘N’ Glass, creations of stained glass and handcarved wood by artist Deb Becker of Lancaster
Madcap & Co., which will have two full-time and two part-time employees, is the newest brand for the company which opened in 2007. Additional brands include Hip Thrift recycled brand name clothing, B.C. Martin’s Original and Authentic Hardware and WeLoveLanc.com line of souvenirs.
BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, LLC is a locally owned multiple-shop retail destination in Downtown Lancaster, Pa., that also serves as a business incubator for entrepreneurs, artists and craftspeople. Inside the store’s 10,000-square-foot, 115-year-old walls there are more than 60 shops offering vintage and collectible goods, handcrafted jewelry, upcycled furniture, recycled brand clothing, as well as the nonprofit Heritage Press Museum.
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JUST THE FACTS
What: Madcap & Co. handmade and vintage store
Where: 310 N. Queen St., Lancaster
When: Opening Friday, Sept. 4, 2015
Website: www.madcapandco.com; www.welovelanc.com
Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday; until 9 p.m. first and third Fridays