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Diane Dreschler, back left, her husband Larry Dreschler, his cousin Joe Dreschler, and Donna Fendlay are opening a new boutique, the Catonsville Mercantile, on Frederick Road in November.
Diane Dreschler, back left, her husband Larry Dreschler, his cousin Joe Dreschler, and Donna Fendlay are opening a new boutique, the Catonsville Mercantile, on Frederick Road in November. (Courtesy of Donna Fendlay / Baltimore Sun)

Just two months after Catonsville’s Rooster and Hen market shuttered its doors in September, a boutique of locally crafted, naturally made and reclaimed items, the Catonsville Mercantile, is taking its place.

The shop, opening in November 2302 Frederick Road, will offer an “eclectic” range of gifts and home décor, co-founder Donna Fendlay said.

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Fendlay and her husband, Joe Drechsler, are partnering with Diane and Larry Drechsler, Joe Dreschler’s cousin, the crafters behind Brushfoot Paintworks, a Catonsville-based business that refurbishes old furniture and antiques into statement pieces with an Americana bent.

The family-owned business is “trying to source local as much as we can,” and will have a rotating and growing chain of suppliers offering U.S.-made products, Fendlay said.

When doors open next month, patrons can expect to find all-natural skin-care, aromatherapy and candle products from Ellicott City-based Be Blends; jewelry from the Baltimore-born bracelet maker Madison Auer; hand-crafted décor from B4homemade; home goods from Route One Apparel; and reclaimed furniture found at local estate sales and markets, redesigned by the Drechslers or by Fendlay, who will sell smaller pieces of repurposed furniture and décor under her business True Heart Collections.

Other suppliers include Wise Owl Paints, for which the Mercantile is the only distributor for 26 miles, Fendlay said; El Tejon Coffee; Bubba Rose all-natural dog treats; Dorfman Pacific Hats; and other local, hand-crafted finds and refashioned furniture.

The boutique will be open weekends and by appointment-only starting next month, Fendlay said, save for the retired Larry Drechsler, are balancing full-time jobs with running the shop.

As soon as the clocks for their full-time jobs stop, “the Catonsville Mercantile clock starts,” said Fendlay, who works for Grainger Industrial Supply.

After their day jobs, the couples spend all their evening and weekend hours prepping the shop, Fendlay said, estimating the total time at 150 hours per week.

“It’s a risk, it’s a start-up,” the lifelong Catonsville resident said, but opening a local boutique has been “a lifetime dream of mine.”

“We just love the community,” she said. “We have a lot of support here.”

Fendlay herself began refurbishing things like “foot stools, candle holders, small barrels” found in estate sales as a hobby, “just trying to bring things back to life so they’re not just getting wasted,” she said.

The plan to open the shop has been about two years in the making, but its holdup was finding a suitable space in Catonsville, Fendlay said.

With her cousins-in-law and her husband, Fendlay signed a yearlong lease with the landlord of the property at 2302 Frederick Road in August.

“And now it’s just happening really quick,” she said.

In a way, the boutique is “piggybacking off of what Larry and Diane have been doing” since 2017 with Brushfoot Paintworks, Fendlay said. “They were kind of the inspiration.”

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The Dreschlers’ business, which also offers custom-made furniture, will now operate out of the Mercantile, she said.

The price range will be “affordably priced, compared to other boutiques” with a similar business model, Fendlay said.

The owners are still working to get the shop ready for its opening, moving in products and staging displays, she said.

“We’re not doing fall,” Fendlay said of the boutique décor and gifts. “When the doors open, it’s gonna look like a winter wonderland.”

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