Ophiuroidea gift shop earns accolades for its welcoming environment and selection of locally made wares.

Nov. 14, 2022

“Eastern Shore Proud” is a Maryland phrase that Kim Hannon holds close. The owner of retail store Ophiuroidea—known as “The O” was named winner of Best Business in Grasonville and Best Boss Award, giving her reason to embrace that sentiment.

“We are known as a great place to find unique gifts, locally made art, jewelry and home decor,” says Hannon, who opened the shop in 2009 with locations in St. Michaels and Kent Narrows, Maryland. “We also have exclusive brands including my Get Salty, Watercolor Mermaid Collection and By the Bay Creation lines.”

By the Bay Creations is a line of recycled sail bags, totes, driftwood sailboats and more. Exclusive watercolor mermaids are washed upon SPF shifts and home decor.

“I was so grateful for the community’s support, but having my employees vote for me as Best Boss was even more special and made me proud to be their boss,” Hannon says, adding that she creates a work environment that is positive for employees and customers.

“We want to greet everyone with a smile and a, ‘Welcome to The O,’ to let them know they are special to us and let them know we appreciate them coming in,” Hannon says. “I’ve also been listening and watching a lot of retailer-based organizations such as WhizBang Training to help me stay focused, on track and learning new tricks of the trade.”

The name Ophiuroidea is a scientific term for a classification of starfish—specifically brittle and basket starfish. Because the word is unique like her shop, Hannon was drawn to the name. Ophiuroidea also means serpent in Greek. Hannon recites the shop’s theme, which also explains the wins. “Life is just like a wave. You can’t change the way it breaks, just the way you ride it.”