Are you originally from Frederick, MD?

I grew up just outside of Frederick in Myersville, MD. It’s a very small town off of Interstate 70 that has all of the makings of an American small town: a main street, elementary school, baseball field, etc. It was a safe place that I could wander off and explore when I was young. I grew up skateboarding, and while the terrain wasn’t the best, it forced us to get creative and build ramps and bomb country roads. My wife Hallie, is from Virginia Beach and has lived in Washington, DC and New York City. When we married, we decided to make Frederick our home.

How long have you been in business? And what was the spark that inspired you to want to open a business?

Hallie and I opened Treaty General Store (treatygeneralstore.com) in October 2014. We’d been developing the concept in our minds for a few years. We sell goods that are well made, responsibly made, well designed, and are useful. We think of the store as an “Outpost for Essential Living.” We wanted to create store that appealed to men and women in a style that we like to shop in ourselves.

Prior to Treaty, Relish Decor (relishdecor.com) was our first business which we opened in 2011. We just expanded Relish into a new space at 38 E Patrick St in downtown Frederick. I think the two stores compliment each other nicely. They are very much a blend of Hallie’s and my tastes. We’re really aligned in our aesthetic and the type of products we’re excited about.

For someone who isn’t familiar with your store, what types of products do you sell?

We carry blankets from legendary American brands Pendleton and Faribault Woolen Mills, American made apparel for women and men, jewelry, bags, utilitarian goods (steel bottles, travel kits), kitchen items (bowls, towels, napkins), bath items (toothpaste, soaps, lotions), natural cleaning products, and candles. It’s an eclectic assortment that feels good together.

How do you go about choosing what to carry in your store?

Sometimes we find them and sometimes they find us. We meet with makers and see new collections. We find brands from our travels, online, and through customer recommendations. Finding product often isn’t the hard part. The curation comes in the editing. We try to be as discerning as possible. We love products that have a story. Whether it’s how the idea came about, a unique production process or design feature, or a rich history—these are the stories we relay to a customer to help them understand the product better.

How important do you think it is, to offer a wide selection for customers?

The purpose of a boutique should always be to curate and only offer what that store considers to be the best options. In all aspects of life, having focus helps. You can tell when you walk into a store that doesn’t have a point of view. The store with focus is a better experience. Whether you’re an NYC boutique that only has a handful of clothes on a rack or a treasure trove store packed with gems hidden in every nook and cranny, both stores provide different experiences for different types of people.

How do you balance your time between family and your brands?

I feel like that’s something that we will always be adjusting. It’s easy to create a schedule where you work all day in the store then come home to work all night on the computer. Work is never done. That’s the nature of it. We try to make our time together meaningful whether that is date nights or just quiet nights at home where we put our phones away and just enjoy each other and our dog.

So what’s next for you?

In May, we just launched our third store concept, Kindred (43 E Patrick St, kindredislove.com). Kindred is a contemporary boutique for baby & toddler apparel, gifts, nursery furniture, and decor. We initially carried a few items for children at Treaty and saw that there was a need for a full store in Frederick. The time was right for a space to open up for Kindred.

You have to keep looking to the future. Hallie and I are always tossing around ideas for what’s next. We feel fortunate that we can work hard to create something special together and can create jobs for our amazing team. We’re both firm believers in what doors work ethic and dedication can open.

What inspires you?

As an individual: food, design details, art, entrepreneurs, music, and items so well designed there is no way to make them better. In business: our staff. Their creativity and talent bring qualities to the store that Hallie and I don’t possess. We’re fortunate to have such an amazing team!

How did the collaboration with ICONNATN come about? And how was it working with the brand?

The ICONNATN guys are Treaty customers. The store worked as a good location to photograph their new goods and show their product in a store setting. We recognize their passion for the brand and the respectful way they carry themselves. That’s a good combination to have when going out on your own with a new brand.

Who are you?

I’m Mark Burrier and I am THE NATN.

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