March-April 2014

Shop Talk

Statement cuffs, a pop-up children's book dealer, watches and more

Do What You Love

Bryan Morris runs a successful family business, Brothers Sew & Vac in Silver Spring. But he has another passion—doodling.

Morris decided to take his doodles to the next level last year by silk-screening his intricate designs onto T-shirts for family and friends. He sells them through his company, B A Mindful Designs, for $35 to $40.

Morris doesn’t have formal art training, but he has doodled for years. “I love the surprise of how the piece grows and changes into something new with every line, every curve,” he says.

The T-shirts are made of soft, high-quality organic cotton, and color combos are fashion savvy: teal on ecru, lavender on leaf green, and white on black. Once silk-screening is complete, he adds signature handmade labels. The shirts are available at Dawson’s and the Stephen Anthony salon in Rockville; Whole Foods in Rockville and the Kentlands; at his store in Silver Spring; at an outpost of Brothers Sew & Vac in Bethesda; and at     

Though Morris also paints, writes and makes jewelry, he says he chose T-shirts as his medium “so I can offer my art to the masses at a reasonable price.”

Zip It!

No need to make like a contortionist when stepping into that little black dress. ZipHer, a device made of faux pearls, brass hardware and a shiny ball chain, enables you to slide up that hard-to-reach back zipper with minimal effort.

Potomac resident Donna Taurman came up with the idea in 2009 after struggling with zippers following her divorce. She trademarked the name, then spent a year working with local jewelers. When the design didn’t pan out, she next turned to Alan Leff, an electrical engineer in New Jersey whom she had met on The romance didn’t take. But Leff, who owns an IT company, and Taurman, who works at Home & Design Magazine in Rockville, sent prototypes back and forth for six months until they had a concept that worked.

ZipHer is ergonomically designed to withstand Kardashian-tight dresses. It’s long, strong hook is easy to remove from zippers and it comes with gold rings that can be left on a zipper to expedite zip-downs.

Taurman and Leff designed the packaging and a website ( and hired an artist to create a stylized illustration of the “ZipHer Girl.” They sold their first ZipHer in late 2011 and have sold 1,000 since. ZipHer is available at for $19.95.

Openings & Closings

Sculpt Studio opened in late January, bringing megaformer Pilates, aka “Pilates on crack,” to 4900 Auburn Ave., Bethesda. Created by French bodybuilder Sebastien Lagree, the 50-minute classes include cardio and weight resistance. …Meanwhile PureRyde, a cycling and Pilates studio, is scheduled to open in the former Kae Robin & Company space in the Bradley Shopping Center, 6910 Arlington Road, Bethesda, later this year. …Leather clothing and accessories are the focus at the new outpost of Wilsons Leather, a national chain, at Westfield Montgomery Mall, 7101 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda. …Pigtails & Crewcuts, a national children’s hair salon that’s all about fun, opened at Rockville Town Square in September.

Think airplane chairs, video games, movies, hair accessories and gifts, and kids’ hair care products. It’s at 107-B Gibbs St. …Also new to the Town Square is Liquid Blue Denim Boutique, offering jeans, casual wear, footwear and accessories for men and women. It was scheduled to open in February at 36 Maryland Ave. …Meanwhile Take 5, known for its fashion-forward clothes by international designers, has closed its 4920 Fairmont Ave. store in Bethesda and relocated to the Mosaic District in Fairfax, Va. n

Cynthia Hacinli lives in Chevy Chase and has written for GQ, The New York Times and National Geographic Traveler. Send Shop Talk ideas to