Potomac Strong

Local Businesses Share Inspiration and Hope for Thriving in a Coronavirus World

Bespoke Southerly

Bespoke Southerly offers made-to-order apparel for women, with an emphasis on investment dressing and sustainable, USA-made clothing. Founder Sheri Turnbow appreciates classic silhouettes and launched the brand a year and a half ago with formal dresses. She said, “This is what women wear to some of the most special events in their lives and it embodies my vision of ‘one dress, beautifully made, that not everyone else is wearing.’”  She added, “With the onset of coronavirus and parties/weddings on hold, we’ve introduced a line of casual tops perfect for working from home. Flirty but classic, these tops add a little fun to your look, with pom-poms, ruffles, and fringe.”  Sheri encourages everyone to use social media to share their favorite products from local companies. Favorite local business: Normandy Custom Cleaners.

The David and Mikel Blair Family Foundation

The David and Mikel Blair Family Foundation is providing Creative Learning and Activity Kits for kids. “Our kits provide fun activities, interactive games and creative, independent learning opportunities, plus information on safety and public services during this crisis. Our hope is to provide a bit of happiness for children and provide parents a chance to exhale and take care of themselves,” said David Blair. “We’re happy to play a small part in unifying communities where we live,” added Mikel Blair. To contribute and/or donate children’s toys, books or arts and craft supplies, contact Info@ capsmd.org, to schedule a pickup. The David and Mikel Blair Family Foundation made a contribution to supply materials for the kits and the Council for Advocacy and Policy Solutions will prepare and deliver them to local communities. Favorite local business: David: Lia’s Restaurant. Mikel: Potomac Grocer

Kaufmann Jewelers

Kaufmann Jewelers considers itself a small family business but the company has a huge history standing behind it. Currently owned and operated by George Kaufmann (the father) and Corey Kaufmann (the son), the family’s jewelry experience dates back to the 1940s, when George’s father ran the original Kaufmann Jewelers, and where George helped out. Eventually, with a friend, George opened Robert Bernard Jewelers, and then five years ago, George opened today’s Kaufmann Jewelers with Corey, a Gemology Institute of America graduate gemologist. George said he and Corey “are experienced goldsmiths, specializing in custom hand-made pieces, repairs and antique jewelry restoration. We also have a large collection of high fashion jewelry and estate pieces.” He added, “We plan to reopen as soon as we are able to and we are eager to serve the community again.”  Favorite local business: Brooklyn’s Deli.

Serenity Gardens

Serenity Gardens Assisted Living is located on two acres nestled in a tranquil setting with a home-away-from-home environment. Dr. Claudia Warren-Taylor, Nurse Practitioner (with more than 10 years’ experience in intensive care nursing), and Founder of Serenity Gardens Assisted Living, said,“COVID-19 brought several challenges with a higher health risk to seniors and individuals with underlining medical needs. We were uniquely positioned to take the appropriate steps early. We instituted patient protective mechanism very early and as of today have recorded no COVID-19 cases in our facility.  We are still open, accepting new patients and continue to provide quality care as usual. Our weekly entertainers deliver their performance from outside, our care team now resides onsite while our healthcare providers work via telemedicine. Yes, you can still see and interact with your love one via skype or zoom.” My favorite place for fish in Potomac is The Market at River Falls.

Scout and Molly’s North Bethesda

Fans of the clothing boutique Scout and Molly’s love that the store offers style that brightens their wardrobe. Owner of the North Bethesda and Loudon stores, Wendy Brack Fritz said, “Our goal is to create a shopping experience that empowers and celebrates women.” Wendy’s stores often host trunk shows and pop-up event to showcase the work of local designers and artisans.  Wendy said they also, “team up with local charitable organizations to raise awareness and give back a portion of our proceeds to their cause.” During the coronavirus, Wendy said customers are continuing to shop from the store’s website and are enjoying their weekly giveaways on Instagram. Favorite local businesses: “Several of the local small business entrepreneurs we regularly collaborate with are Bella Jenna, By Marcela, Karmic Sparkle, Barbara B, Artfully Designed, LZC Style, and Sandy Squires Jewelry.”

Tally-Ho restaurant

Loved for its pancakes, plus subs, pasta, and Greek and Italian specialties, Tally Ho restaurant is also considered by many to have the area’s best pizza. The family-run business will be marking its 50th anniversary in the fall. Andreas Vellios is the son of the founder. He said, “During this pandemic we are lucky to have our regular customers that support us. Curbside pickup and ordering, as well as contactless deliveries are available.” Through their Care for the Caregivers program, they have served 700 free meals to the area’s healthcare workers and first responders. Contributions are welcome through Venmo @tallyhorestaurant. Favorite local business: Breadsmith of Potomac.

Two Maids & A Mop of Rockville

In 2016, Mari Millard and Marnie Hamel launched Two Maids & A Mop of Rockville with a passion for giving back. Through a partnership with Cleaning for a Reason, a nonprofit serving cancer patients through free home cleaning, Mari and Marnie’s company has donated more than $4,000 of free cleaning services to cancer patients. Marnie said, “For cancer patients, there is a great need for a clean, sanitized, and disinfected home, especially during this coronavirus pandemic. We are also offering Covid-19 cleaning buckets that contain a variety of cleaning products that we are selling, and donating to families in need.” They also donated a $10,000 college scholarship to a local resident. As an essential business, Two Maids & A Mop is still open for residential and office cleanings, plus move-in and move-out service. Favorite local business: Renato’s Italian restaurant.

Ultimate Amusements

From major charity functions to small private birthday parties, Ultimate Amusements has been making every event more fun for over two decades. The family-owned and operated company rents carnival games, interactive attractions and inflatables, mechanical rides, virtual-reality devices, casino tables and equipment, water slides, Skee-Ball games, cotton candy machines, photo booths, and much more, for events across the country. Owner Howard Cutler said he and his team have “sanitized each and every ride, game, attraction and all the way down to casino gaming chips, video and arcade games, balls, joysticks, consoles, etc.” The company is working with clients to reschedule events. With everyone anxious to reconnect with co-workers, family and friends, Howard said, “Clients are wanting a bigger, much larger bash than ever before.” Favorite local business: “Too many to name. Small businesses are the back bone of our community.”

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