May 12, 2008

One World Emporium is Now Open with Regular Hours

825 Frederick Road- Rear
Catonsville, Maryland, 21228
410 744-5575

In The Gardens of Strawberry Fields

ONE WORLD EMPORIUM opened May 3rd, 2008 and we are very excited about all the friendly and wonderful people we have met so far and eagerly look forward to all the new customers who have yet to visit.

One World Emporium, (O.W.E.) is a unique gift shop committed to the sale of: FAIR TRADE, GREEN-FRIENDLY and ORGANIC PRODUCTS.

Our shop is a Vendor for A Greater Gift/Serv. Corp. offering hand-made gifts from around the Globe, Our hope is our customers will treat themselves and help others at the same time. We like to refer to this as: GUILT-FREE SHOPPING or BUYING=HELPING.

As part of our commitment to feature works of artists from both FAR and NEAR- please visit our CATONSVILLE CONNECTIONS display, exhibiting:

Providing a tranquil and consumer friendly environment along with quality merchandise at affordable prices,we hope, will contribute to our goal of a positive and rewarding shopping experience for our valued customers.

Store Hours:
Mon.-Thurs.- 3:00- 7:00 p.m.
Fri.- 2:00- 7:00 p.m.
Sat.- 11:00 a.m.- 7:00 p.m.
Sun.-12:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Look for the OPEN FLAG !

You may have to look to see our shop but remember- IT IS ONLY THE TRULY SPECIAL PLACES THAT ARE SOMETIMES HARD TO FIND!
We Look Forward To Meeting You, Larry & Alexey


Anonymous said...

One World Emporium is a wonderful place to be. Tucked away in Strawberry Fields in a carrage house is a world of creative art from literally around the world. When surrounded by so many things made by hand from a mile away to a zillion miles away unites the human spirit under one roof in a small revitalized town in Catonsville. Thanks Larry and Alexie for giving us such an opportuinty for shopping.

Anonymous said...

One World Emporium is a wonderful place to be. Tucked away in a little carrage house within beautifully landscapped Strawberry Fields is a world of creative art from literally around the world. Enter a world surrounded by so many items made by hand from a mile away to a zillion miles away permits us to be united in the human spirit under one roof in a small revitalized town in Catonsville. Thanks Larry and Alexey for providing us with a family spirit and such a unique opportuinty for shopping around the world with the creative arts.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree. If Catonsville doesen't support this effort and shop they are in a self destuct mode. Come on catonsiville, let's give credit where credit is due !

Anonymous said...

hey there,
do you know if they plan on selling any fairly traded coffee and teas?

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to support this store and the efforts in Catonsville. Unfortunately in trying to do just that, I have been disappointed several times when trying to go to One World Emporium. Twice with guests, one from as far away as California and here only for a few hours, and the place is not open!

One of those times was Memorial Day. Objects Found was open and people walking out of there with purchased objects in there hands. Seveal times during the week during the day I have been to One World Emporium and have had guests with me. Doors locked. They are loosing lots of customers. All of the lunch crowd at Catonsville Gourmet, Ship's Cafe, Jennings, etc. and several other potential customers I have seen getting out of their cars specifically to go there only to be disappointed to find locked doors at the same time I was. At the very least have hours on the door when you are open and signs out back. The place is hard to find and not terribly inviting from the back.

Then when you do find it open, when you go in some kid is totally emersed surfing the net with his computer. It is almost as if objects are around in the store and they want the place to run itself. No gift boxes, no offer to wrap the gifts which is what people buy there, no gift cards, no investment or sense of pride in what the place is billed to be. Maybe it is not a source of income for the owners?

I surely hope not. It needs some life in the place. Someone who really cares about it. And that is not happening right now. It feels sort of dead or as if it doesn' matter. If it makes it, "ok"; if it doesn't make it, "ok". That is a little confusing to me. Aren't new business owners suppoe to be trying really really hard?

Look at the energy repeatedly put into The Forget Me Not Factory store in Ellicott City where the owner or someone is on the side walk day after day blowing bubbles to attract attention to the store. It sounds gimicky but it works.

On the first Friday music night stores in Catonsville had things out on there sidewalk. Bill's, Cy's and others. Not One World Emporium. You had to go to them. They were not coming out to you. That is if they were even open.

If One World Emporium doesen't work it will not be the fault of the coustmors trying to get in only to find very limited hours which are not posted and anyone's guess.

Lawrence Mernaugh said...

First off we would like to respond to this very dissatisfied and unhappy, potential customer and to acknowledge that some of the points indicated were well taken. The following is offered not as an excuse but as a response to some of the criticisms.
For clarification, "the teenage kid" referred to happens to be my son and also someone I consider to be my business partner in this endeavor. We chose to enter this business because of a commitment to social causes versus a for-profit only enterprise. This commitment to social causes should in no way be construed as a reflection of naiveté or indifference based on the blogger’s suggestion that we thought the business would run itself. Like many other new businesses there are issues and challenges behind the scenes (investment capital, cash flow, staffing, etc.) that we believe contributed to many of the criticisms raised. Obviously these would not have been evident to consumers and the blogger. This is a continuation of our efforts where we tried to provide this service in York, Pennsylvania. Being local Catonsville residents and traveling to York became untenable, and we had to close the business which was a severe financial loss for me. We were extremely happy to bring this service to our neighbors when we opened this business in Catonsville. In keeping with my philosophy of altruism and giving back to the community, I could not miss the opportunity to utilize this as a family endeavor that would be a real life learning experience to share with my son. This is his first job and he can always improve on some skills related to the retail business. However, I am there most of the time and have been impressed with his friendly, respectful, and polite approach to our customers. Since his interest in the business has been questioned, the blogger needs to be informed that he has put in extremely long hours in our business WITHOUT PAY. In any business there is always room to grow and improve, but I couldn't be more proud of him for his dedication, commitment to socially responsible causes and his willingness to persevere in this challenging enterprise.
Since our commitment to this venture has been challenged, the blogger (and others) may be interested to know that I have to work full-time to support this effort. In doing so, this, again, does not mean we are unskilled and unaware of what it takes to run a retail business. We are confused by the blogger’s comments that we demonstrate an unrealistic view that the business will run itself or that we are indifferent to what constitutes good retail practices. One of our major goals is to provide a quality experience for our customers, which clearly did not conform to the blogger’s experience. Comments related to signage are well taken and we are in the process of having a sign made, by a local business that should be completed in the next few weeks. It has been difficult to post store hours because as a new business, we have not been able to target the best hours for our customers. Most recently we have noticed a decline of people in the area due to the heat and particularly on Sunday when families seem to be at the pool. It would be nice to be able to have the store open for more hours more frequently, but we have not been able to achieve a target basis that would allow us to do so. Some of the other criticisms mentioned are not new to us, but are the result of a lack of understanding that new businesses do not all grow in the same manner and same time. Believe it or not, we felt we were doing the best we could to provide a quality, unique shopping experience for our neighbors and customers. Contrary to the blogger’s suggestion of our business’ failure and a misperceived belief that we will BLAME the community, we are confident and optimistic that our business will grow and succeed based on the many compliments we have received.
Clearly this person has a lot to say about our short-comings, but has provided us with an opportunity to express our appreciation to the many wonderful people who have visited us, made us feel welcome and thanked us for our efforts. To the person who posted these concerns, we would be more than happy to discuss your issues in greater detail. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you in person.


Lawrence R. Mernaugh and Alexey S. Mernaugh
Proprietors of One World Emporium

Anonymous said...

Speaking as someone, who once owned a small retail shop in an older "Main Street" area. I would like to say - There are many people that claim they support small, local businesses, it feels good to say that. But, in reality, they don't. They expect these small shops to maintain the inventory and hours that the big box stores do. They expect small shops to open, fully stocked, like they have been in business for years. They expect the store to carry the exact item that they would like see, even though they don't intend on purchasing it, after the store owner starts carrying it. People don't like to admitt it, but, they want Walmart!

Often eclectic, inconvenient, open odd hours and located in hard to find locations, these stores offer so much to our society. These small shop owners usually open their businesses with grander visions than just making a quick buck. They know that the deck is stacked against them. With small store sizes and small budgets they must survive with less variety and a smaller number of items that they can carry. The small store owner must constantly try to find new and different items to carry. Items with a very low markup. Independant store operators rarely get quanity discounts and often must pay for the inventory C.O.D.

The small business owner puts in extremeley long hours, they often must have some sort of secondary income to support their venture, it may be a pension or inheritence, but, most often, the proprietor, as seems to be the case here, someone must work a second full time job to realize the dream.

I would like to commend Mr. Mernaugh for taking such a risk. He is contributing to a quality of life that is disapearing across America. I also would like to praise him for his teaching his son some valuable life lessons. While Alexey may not be up to your (poster of June 22) high standards, he has a huge jump on a lot of kids these days. It would be much easier for his parents to tell Alexey to get a job for the summer and forget about him.

Mssrs. Mernaugh, don't let someone that was afraid to take the risk, try to bring you down. Some of us do realize that building a business is not an event, but, a long process with many ups and downs along the way. Your intentions are good and you are working to realize them. Keep the Faith! You will prevail.
Pat Busman

Larry said...

Alexey and I were deeply touched by your kindness in taking time to respond to the blog, your thoughtful and insightful observations about operating a new business, and your meaningful words of encouragement and support. It is meeting and having contact with people like you that has been the greatest reward of this enterprise.
With sincere gratitude,
Larry & Alexey Mernaugh, O.W.E.

Catonsville Supporter said...

As a Catonsville resident who is committed to both small businesses and to "buying local" I was very excited when One World Emoporium opened. You have a great philosophy and your store allows us to buy crafts made all over the world without having to travel to either a big city or their country of origin. We also applaud your efforts to invest in the ongoing revitalization of our dear Catonsville "Main Street" and know how difficult it is to sustain a new business. Your shop is a wonderful addition.
However, as a customer, I too have been disappointed several times to find the store closed. Many people go out to lunch in the area or come to this area in the early afternoon and would shop if you were open. Your store is a jewel but a bit hard to see from the street, and when discovered closed there is great disappointment. The reality is that consumers expect stores to be open at this time and on a regular basis. Being open daily from 12 to 7--especially during the holiday season-- seems imperative for survival.
However, know you are well thought of and we wish you success now and in the future!

Anonymous said...

Is OneWorld Emporium still open? I was there the saturday after thanksgiving for the lighting of the community christmas tree in Catonsville and arrival of Santa Claus. All the stores were open and a zillion visitors to the area. One World Emporium was as dark as it always is. No Holiday lights or decorations. Doors locked.That is always the case. too bad. I guess the owners just don't care. The rest of Catonsville looks great for the Holidays. I was very proud. anyway, is One World Emporium still open? Who's world is it? The owners world? There is only one world and it is there's? Seems like it.

On the Lighter Side!