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What's In Store: Silk & Burlap in Downtown Frederick

Haven’t been to Frederick in a while? Meet Silk & Burlap, a slice of big-city sophistication that’s definitely worth the trip.

The Silk & Burlap storefront. Photograph courtesy of Robin Altice.

Frederick has long been known for its charming antiques stores and saccharin-sweet boutiques, which are the stuff of Girls’ Day Out dreams. But there’s a change in the air in this quiet Maryland town these days–a whiff, if you will, of subtle, citified sophistication. Perhaps it’s because Bryan Voltaggio’s Volt and his recently opened Lunchbox have made Frederick a foodie destination.  Maybe it’s the new bars and bistros popping up along Market Street. Or maybe it’s because denizens of the design world are setting up super-chic spots like relative newcomer Silk & Burlap–much more Soho than shabby chic.

Silk & Burlap–a lifestyle boutique with a focus on vintage furniture and modern clothing and accessories–is the brainchild of native Californians Angelique Hoffman and Saule Smariga. Both women have a background in retail: Hoffman formerly worked as a district manager for Pottery Barn, and Smariga was a buyer for Nordstrom’s East Coast stores. When the two supermoms were introduced by their daughters at gymnastics, they realized they were both in need of a creative outlet. “We hatched the plan over many glasses of wine,” says Hoffman. “Our philosophy would be simple: Do we love it? Would we wear it? Would we put it in our homes?”

The duo started selling at Chartreuse & Co., a monthly tag sale nearby, and then moved into a small storefront in Frederick. Last June, they expanded into their new place on Patrick Street—an airy space they quickly outfitted in that perfect balance of aspirational and accessible. Racks of Plenty by Tracy Reese dresses, technicolor skinnies by Mother Denim, and breezy Ella Moss tops share space with 1960s Lucite folding chairs, midcentury sideboards, and Trina Turk pillows. Sophisticated baubles and giftable goods—candles, notebooks, anything Jonathan Adler—adorn farm tables and timeworn cases in perfectly layered vignettes. For their vintage pieces, Hoffman and Smariga head north to auctions and estate sales. And their aesthetic is constantly changing, says Smariga: “We buy shallow—it’s always evolving!”

The concept itself evolves along with the merchandise. Last summer, Hallie Burrier joined the roster, creating a tabletop-focused boutique called Relish in the Silk & Burlap space. Burrier,  previously a merchandiser for Saks Fifth Avenue, curates a collection of vintage china, Provençal linens, and Anthropologie-esque curios. Soon, former Nordstrom beauty expert Rebecca Carrera will debut RC Apothecary, a full-service makeup and skin-care bar that will also operate as a sort of store-within-the-store.

So yes, Silk & Burlap is glamorous and fun, but there’s a cozy sense of family here, too: Don’t be surprised if you’re offered a hot drink on a cold day, or if you catch a glimpse of one of the owners’ cute kiddos, who often hang out in the back room.  That’s the kind of place this is—and we think it makes it well worth the trip up 270.

Silk & Burlap. 28 E. Patrick St., Frederick; 301-360-9648; silkandburlap.com. Open Wednesday through Saturday 11 to 5, Sunday noon to 5.