Shop Local This Back-To-School Season


There’s nothing quite like the fresh start of the school year, especially when it comes with new clothes, backpacks and school supplies. So sharpen those pencils and open up your notebooks to jot down some of the best places to shop this back-to-school season.

The Cottage

With locations in Severna Park’s Park Plaza shopping center and on Main Street in Annapolis, The Cottage is one of the best retail stores to visit before returning to the classroom.

“I think everyone is just thrilled that virtual school is in the rearview mirror,” shared Sarah Bender, longtime employee and partner at The Cottage. “It's so fun to have everyone excited to go back to school in the fall and help kids find their new clothing, backpacks, lunch boxes, water bottles, jewelry, and cute accessories that fit their personality and style!”

The Cottage has everything needed for a return to school: trendy apparel, shoes, boots, jewelry and accessories. The shop even has dorm accessories and décor to help college students.

When asked what brands or trends might be popular this fall, Bender explained, “Vera Bradley backpacks and lunch boxes are always a huge hit — they are sturdy and built to last. Scout launched some adorable new patterns and is also a popular choice for backpacks, lunch boxes, crossbody bags, ID keychains and more. Corkcicle has all-new fabulous patterns and sizes for water bottles as well.”

The Cottage will do a back-to-school event with sales and giveaways in both locations on August 11, August 12 and August 13. The shop will also do teacher appreciation events and school fundraisers throughout fall, so have your PTO contact The Cottage for details by emailing

Patrons should also mark their calendars for Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week from August 14 to August 20. Examples of tax-free clothing and footwear are sweaters, shirts, slacks, jeans, dresses, robes, underwear, belts, shoes and boots priced at $100 or less. The first $40 of a backpack/bookbag purchase is tax-exempt. A more detailed list is available on the comptroller’s website.

Savvy Consignment

Located in Severna Park, Savvy Consignment is a boutique-style consignment shop that carries a variety of clothing, jewelry, handbags, shoes and home décor — both new and gently used.

One of the best parts of consignment shopping is getting great buys for an affordable price.

“Every two weeks, a tag color goes 50 percent off, so really there is always something on sale along with several 75 percent off racks,” said Stacey Cassidy, owner of Savvy Consignment.

Savvy has designer racks with popular brands including Free People, Lululemon, J.Crew, Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines. Other clothes are broken out by size and color coordinated, so it’s easy to shop.

“Our brand specific racks are very popular,” Cassidy said. “We do our best to provide good service, a clean store, and it’s organized so you know where to look.”

Savvy is still taking summer clothing because it’s common for customers to want a summer dress or outfit for the first day of school. By the end of August, the store begins to sell its fall lines.

“I think back-to-school gives all the moms a chance to clean out and get organized for when the weather changes come,” Cassidy said. “Once the weather changes, we get crazy busy.”

Office Depot

Office Depot and OfficeMax have also kicked off their “SUCCESS is in SESSION BACK 2 SCHOOL" sale, offering up to 60 percent off their best-selling school supplies. Shop by grade, including kindergarten through college, for your school supply list. Take advantage of Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week and applicable savings noted above at Office Depot and OfficeMax stores in Maryland.

Got inside scoops on other back-to-school shopping? Tweet @SPVoice with #ShopLocal, and we’ll share your suggestions on Twitter.


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