Magic Returns to Main Street Ellicott City

Amie Daniel, Staff Editor

475 days after closing up shop in response to the May 2018 flooding, The Forget-Me-Not Factory welcomed shoppers and townspeople to celebrate their grand reopening event held November 9th. This reopening marks a new era for the store which has been a cornerstone of Main Street charm for decades. The 2018 flooding was a devastating setback for store owners, Nancy and Barry Gibson, as they had only recently recovered from the catastrophic 2016 flood event. Setbacks and all, the owners have resolved to reinforce the store in the best ways possible to ensure their future success. Flooding in the area has caused the loss of inventory, infrastructure damage, and obviously total delay in sales while undergoing construction.

Executive Calvin Ball on Main Street / The Forget-Me-Not Factory

The Forget-Me-Not Factory is the brainchild of Mrs. Nancy Gibson, a lover of rare and winsome artifacts who has added her flare to every detail of the shopping experience at the store. Around each winding corner of the historic building you will find pieces of Nancy’s heart and soul- from the carefully selected stock, the artfully executed merchandising, and even hand-crafted items that she makes herself. This reopening could not have come at a more magical time- with the holiday season upon us. The shop is hands down- the go-to place for festive décor, unique gifts, and special sentiments for yourself and just about anyone on your shopping list. Collectors far and wide know the treasure that awaits behind Nancy’s doors- from Department 56, Kurt Addler, and so many more favored vendors, but you do not have to be a collector to enjoy the whimsy that is The Forget-Me-Not Factory. Families of all kinds flock here to add joy to their days, exploring the toy room on the second floor, and of course when the weather permits- taking in the Bubble Man’s excitement just outside the shop’s doors.

Barry-the-Bubble-Man- Gibson has long been a highlight for Main Street goers young and old, commanding attention at the corner of Main Street and Maryland Ave. After a long absence, he has returned to his usual post spreading bubbly happiness and serving as a symbol of hope for the flood-stricken town. While the re-opening of The Forget-Me-Not Factory is a triumph for all who enjoy Old Ellicott City, other

Waverly’s Theater on Main Street / Austin Taro

business owners were not as lucky when it comes to surviving not one but two extreme flood events. Each establishment has a different story to tell and different reasoning behind reopening or not. With the safety of the owners, staff members, and shoppers at the heart of these difficult decisions, it is no wonder why there are so many different timeframes for businesses on Main Street. With safety in mind, Nancy and Barry opted for the inclusion of brand new, reinforced, specifically designed flood safe doors for their reopening.

The task was not an easy feat- requiring international materials and lots of time and care, but it is well worthwhile knowing that the store is better prepared for heavy rains that may occur in the future. Visit the shop’s official Facebook page for more information about the flood-proof doors- and of course to stay up to date with all things Forget-Me-Not-Factory! It is heartwarming to know that their effort did not go unnoticed- having been awarded a certificate of recognition by Howard County Executive Calvin Ball upon the reopening.

Friday, December 6th marks the 41st Annual Midnight Madness event for Old Ellicott City. It is the perfect time to pick up gifts for loved ones and support the small businesses that keep the beloved town thriving. If you want to learn more about the Forget-Me-Not-Factory, visit their webpage for all the digital magic you could want. And finally, surrounding this time of Thanksgiving, let us all be grateful for the resilience of Old Ellicott City.

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