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Sisters Open Gift Shop In Berlin

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CHARLENE SHARPE
The Daily Times

BERLIN, Md. (AP) — Two local sisters have combined their interests in style and decor to open Berlin’s latest shop, Sea La Vie.

Bishopville residents Devin Bostic and Hunter Smith opened Sea La Vie, a nautically themed gift shop, in the former location of the Whimsical Cottage.

“We’d been throwing the idea around for a couple years,” Smith said. “We saw this was up for lease and decided, `Let’s do it now.”‘

The sisters made the decision during the summer, and by mid-October had the store up and running. Smith said the cottage’s owner removed the stage that had been set up when it was a performing arts venue and installed shelving.

Bostic and Smith filled the space with repurposed wooden tables and stocked them with their favorite things. The shop’s name and sea-inspired inventory came naturally, Bostic said.

“We grew up on the water,” she said. She and her sister spent their teen years working at beach stands in Ocean City, and still help their parents run the Sea Rocket. “That’s who inspired us. They said, `Do whatever makes you happy.”‘

Although a nautical theme runs throughout the airy shop, some of the items are simply things that caught the eye of one of the women. Colorful soy candles adorn one table, while a cabinet of dog toys and an array of handbags stand nearby. A corner is filled with children’s toys.

“We have a little bit of everything,” Bostic said.

Smith said they are also making an effort to ensure the bulk of the inventory was made in the U.S.

While they love shopping for new items for the store, the sisters said the hard part was learning to gauge what their customers were looking for. The current inventory is a mix of items they like and things they think their customers will like. Their interests — Smith’s in accessories and Bostic’s in home decor — have combined to create a store full of bright, decorative items.

“She loves style and accessories, and I’m more about making a pretty home,” Bostic said.

Some products are locally made. Those that aren’t have been hand-picked by Bostic and Smith from places like Etsy.com

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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