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Pop-up shop offering suits, other items for women, transgender men

Women and trans men in Baltimore looking for suits tailored to their body types might want to pop in to the Embassy Suites Baltimore in the Inner Harbor, Suite 2203, between now and Sunday.

It is there that a California start-up company named Saint Harridan is hosting a "pop-up shop" where "you -- a butch woman, a trans man, a stud, a boi -- can walk in, take an impeccably made men's style suit, and have it fit."

Merchandise will include suits, shirts, socks and "other masculine-of-center accessories," the company says.

The doors opened at 11 a.m. Friday, and will close at 6 p.m. Then, tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the shop will be hosting a "Welcome Shindig." The shop will also be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Mary Going, 47, of Oakland, first had the idea for Saint Harridan back in 2008, when she was getting ready to marry her partner, Martha Rynberg, and couldn't find a suit that fit her well, she said.

She started a Kickstarter campaign for a company to fill the market need, and it raised $137,000 from 1,100 people around the world, she said.

"We got a ton of support from Baltimore," Going said, including from local residents who volunteered to model the company's clothes.

So, when Going and her business partner, Dom Brassey, 31, decided to host a pop-up tour to familiarize customers across the country with their product, Baltimore seemed like a perfect place to start.

"We're kind of traveling around to say 'Thank you' to people and to let them see what we've created with their money and to let them try it on," Going said.

The pop-up format is important. Folks can feel comfortable placing orders directly or take notes on what they like for future orders online, Going said.

"We're not planning to sell to stores. We are selling direct to the consumer because we want to control the customer service environment," Going said. "And we don't feel confident a store would provide people with good customer service."

The Embassy Suites Baltimore is located at 222 St. Paul Place.

If you're interested, there is more information at the Saint Harridan website.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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