My name is Ani Baumgarner, and I love crafts. I was very fortunate to have worked 19 years as a secretary, a translator, and personnel assistant for some great people at the NEA, the Armenian Assembly, and the United Nations. But I had always wanted to be a crafter. In 1990, I left my last job, became a full-time crafter, and have been in business since selling at week-end craft shows and festivals, and also doing shows in government buildings in the Washington DC metropolitan area, such as at the NIH, NRC, DOE, the Pentagon, NIST, NOAA, HHS, the Naval Hospital... I've also participated in the Flower Mart of the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, and have won several Blue Ribbons at Montgomery County (Maryland) Fairs. Doing shows got to be very tiring, so I rented a shop in Rockville (Maryland) for two years, and after I had just built a business there, the lease was not renewed, as the shop space became part of a renovated lobby. Then I went back to doing shows. I've used too many "I"s, and it was hard doing it alone, but it got easier when my husband, James, retired and started helping me with some of the shows. We organized a two-month show at Federal Plaza on Rockville Pike, which was a great success despite the very-very high rent. We continued living and working in Rockville after my husband's retirement, but not for long. My husband had always held fast-paced jobs working for UPI, Aviation Daily....with daily deadlines and too much traveling. We decided to leave Rockville and live somewhere in the country with no traffic lights, no hi-rise buildings, and no parking meters--to unwind. We could not find a town without traffic lights, but on a weekend trip, while visiting friends in the area, we discovered Bedford--a beautiful small town in Pennsylvania, with no hi-rise buildings, no parking meters, and traffic lights that can be counted on our fingers.
We have never had an elaborate business plan. Our focus has always been to offer quality crafts & treasures and many one-of-a-kind gift items at great prices. We've had wonderful customers over the years, and we thank you all and hope you'll find some time to visit us in Bedford. There are lots of places here to eat good food and stay overnight--and you'll be in a different world in the mountains, only a two-hour pleasant drive from Rockville, Maryland. Please check the "About Bedford" navigation bar to read more.