Short North Hidden Gem: Dames Bond Marketplace

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Covert parking spots. The identity of Vinchen. Jeni’s Salty Caramel recipe. Some Short North secrets are best kept hidden. Dames Bond Marketplace shouldn’t be one of them (even if its name is inspired by a certain secret agent). The 1,500-square-foot Garden District boutique opened last October and offers a smashing array of apparel, jewelry, accessories, artwork, candles, body care, and home décor.

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But here’s the thing. It only sells items made by women in our community. The brainchild of Dames Bond founder and CEO Mary B. Relotto, this place truly is one of a kind.

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“The Marketplace gives women an opportunity to showcase their talent and participate in a retail experience, Mary said. “I did a lot of research, and there’s nothing like it in Ohio or the Midwest.”

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When it opened, the Marketplace featured 30 vendors. It now has 43, half of which use Dames Bond as their only brick-and-mortar location. Mary designed and merchandised the space, and the vendors work on consignment. It also serves as a small business incubator, offering vendors monthly workshops about trends and marketing.

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“This is all about championing women and giving them an opportunity to create something,” Mary said. “Social norms have stopped us from being our best selves, and I want to break that.” 

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Two new vendors joined the Marketplace yesterday: Sweet Simpliciteas dessert tea and Dragon Ikka Japanese jewelry and gifts. Upcoming events include a Bella Beads trunk show for tonight’s Gallery Hop; a silversmith demonstration tomorrow by Kristi Ross of KK Makes Things; and mother/daughter make-and-take journals with Thrive Theory on May 11. 

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