JMM Gift Shop Adds Kitschy Baltimore Flavor

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Photo courtesy Jewish Museum of Maryland

Following the success of its “See America” poster, with a bold, nostalgic image of the Lloyd Street Synagogue in the style of vintage 1930s travel posters, the Jewish Museum of Maryland recently launched a line of kitschy Jewish Baltimore souvenirs in its Esther’s Place gift shop.

Taking center stage are items designed with the familiar feel of a can of Baltimore’s favorite seasoning that say “Oy Vey” instead of … you know. There are also fun takes on the ever-popular “Smalltimore” moniker and the distinctly Jewish Baltimore greeting “Shalom, Hon!”

The new souvenirs, likely to be snatched up more by hometown hons than out-of-towners, are the dream children of museum deputy director Tracie Guy-Decker.

“I decided I wanted to create some new, unique merchandise after the success of the Lloyd Street Synagogue ‘See America’ image we developed last year. I was thinking about ‘Shalom, Y’all,’ which sells pretty well for us as ceramic tiles, and trying to come up with the Baltimore or Maryland equivalent of ‘y’all,’” she said. “Naturally, I landed on ‘hon.’ I didn’t want ‘Shalom, Hon!’ to be the only new image, and I was trying to come up with some sort of ‘oy vey’ image that would be special for us, when development and marketing manager Rachel Kassman suggested ‘Oy Bay.’ That’s how the Old Bay parody was born.”

After working with a designer to add a Jewish twist to the ubiquitous “Smalltimore” saying, Guy-Decker worked with a vendor to get the designs emblazoned on a variety of items, including magnets, ceramic mugs, metal camp-style mugs and postcards.

Photo courtesy Jewish Museum of Maryland

“Depending on how these sell, we will make other products with these images,” she said. “I am thinking about stickers or tote bags, maybe a travel mug or tea towels. In fact, I’d love to hear from readers what they would like to see.”

Readers can send suggestions to shop@jewishmuseummd.org.

singram@midatlanticmedia.com

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