In the newest business at The Shops at Quarry Lake, a vintage, weathered ladder is folded into a makeshift clothes rack.
Antique tables hold picture frames, bubble bath and delicately scented candles poured into hobnail glass dishes.
Above it all hangs a 1930s crystal chandelier—shipped in from California. The rest of the store is highlighted by industrial lighting selected and angled by the store owner herself.
It's the Angela Lynn Boutique, and it's not just a store. The items inside are owner Angie Charlow's palette, and the store is her canvas.
"Trust your instinct, follow your heart ... mix old with new, classic with contemporary," is part of the store's mission statement, Charlow says.
Following her instinct is exactly what Charlow has done—in her life and in her business.
"Everything in here is personal, it's my own taste," she said, noting she doesn't follow trends when choosing fashion, gifts, and items for the home. "I'm not a business person. I'm an art person. This is about passion and love."
Charlow is a and Goucher College grad. She brings her store, her "baby" as she refers to it, back to her own hometown from its former location in Hampden where it's been the past five years.
While her store was well-accepted in Hampden, she said her it was "worthy of a better place," and that people in Pikesville will truly "get" the concept of her boutique.
The opening for the store, located in a former Verizon Wireless store at 2550 Quarry Lake Dr., was held Saturday.
"It's been wonderful," she said of the first week in business. "I'm so glad I made this decision. The property is beautiful, the way the property is maintained.
"I couldn't have felt more love, more support by my friends my family and my community."
Charlow was young when she felt the stirrings of an artist. And her mother had her taking lots of extracurricular art classes and camps, she said.
However, she wasn't permitted to take art as a course of study in college, but instead chose a path in teaching. She's known for about six years of work at Johnnycake Middle School and at .
Charlow, a mother of two, later began her retail career by opening a children's consignment shop, then an antiques store in Reisterstown.
In her retail businesses is where she found her artistic outlet—in buying and displaying clothing, gifts and accessories, and in helping women find "what makes you feel like you," she said.
She later moved her antiques store to Mt. Washington, then to an antiques space in Leesburg, Va.
"Every time it moved, it grew," Charlow said.
Now, with the store in Pikesville, she said she feels like she has her perfect combination of womens clothing and accessories, gifts, pashminas, handbags and jewelry, as well as a mens' section including cufflinks.
The items she chooses have timeless beauty, she said, and are all chosen based on her own personal taste.
At retail and fashion shows, she has been known to pass on buying trendy items such as neon-colored clothing. Rather, she opts for classic beauty and comfort.
"I would rather make less money and stay true to myself," she said. "I will never sell out. Ever."
Working with Charlow is her "right-hand:" Jordan King, who is also a PHS graduate.
King said she has found her own sense of style from working with Charlow. "Fashion passes but style remains," King said.
Angela Lynn is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon. through Saturday. For more information, call the store at 410-602-7730.