Ann Arbor by the Sea: Coveted Brand ‘The Maryn Shop’ Opens Local Pop-Up
Next time you stop by Morgan and York, the local cafe that serves up the best espresso (and paninis, and wine) in town, you might be surprised to stumble upon a whimsical pop-up shop inside. Just beyond the lattes and Bordeauxs, enviable lifestyle brand The Maryn Shop has set up its temporary home.
The Maryn Shop, a home decor brand that’s been featured in Vogue and Goop, is inspired by founder Michelle Adams’s love of beach houses and laidback, nautical decor. The pop-up has an eclectic mix of pieces — artful prints, throws, ceramics, books, and candles — that would look at home anywhere, from a Midwestern living room to a Sausalito houseboat.
Opening just in time for the holiday rush, the Maryn Shop is a hidden gem for gift shopping, but you may find yourself lusting after a sailor shirt or fluffy throw pillow for yourself, too. (To be honest, it’s hard to leave without buying something chic.)
I sat down with Adams in her stunningly renovated Burns Park home to talk stylish living, her nautical inspiration, and why she set up shop here in Ann Arbor.
The Maryn Shop is just the latest in Adams’s prolific life as a design expert and editor. Name sound familiar? That’s because her career reads like the yellow pages of the design industry. She’s served as editor at Domino Magazine, Lonny, and TRADhome, and launched Rubie Green, an organic textile brand — all by the time she hit 30. Throughout all this, Adams managed an impossibly full schedule in New York City, juggling staff meetings with editorial shoots, advertiser events, and professional obligations that stretched long after the workday ended.
Adams graduated from Michigan State University and has family in Michigan, so when she decided it was time for more work-life balance, Ann Arbor seemed like the perfect choice. “I was ready for the change of pace,” she explained, but still, “I wanted to live in a town with a lot going on.” The city’s blend of relaxed, small town sensibilities and rich cultural scene attracted her — as did the chance to own a house, after years renting in New York’s impossible real estate market. So far, Adams has been loving her new home. “It’s been wonderful,” she says.
It seems her new home is loving her just as much. Since renovating an old Burns Park house (i.e. painting over the lime green walls), Adams’s home has been featured in decor magazines and blogs as a drool-worthy design project. The house is striking, with clean, white walls accented by eye-catching prints, old Parisian mirrors and even textured wicker wallpaper. As with all of her work, every detail is intentional. “White provides a neutral backdrop for everything else,” Adams says. Her design was inspired by the light, airy interiors of Scandinavian homes, which seem impossibly bright despite the gloomy winters.
A similarly thoughtful, yet carefree look informs the Maryn Shop, which Adams launched to much media buzz in 2016. The Morgan and York pop up shop is just one small facet of the Maryn’s growing online empire. Adams works with artisan “makers” around the world, from Guatemala to Israel, to source unique lifestyle pieces with an ethical edge. “What I loved about being an editor was the discovery process,” she says, “finding the makers and telling their stories.” With the Maryn Shop, she’s able to tell the stories of handpicked brands, from legends to virtual unknowns, and use them to highlight her own fresh, nautical aesthetic.
Adams especially loves to support small, up-and-coming designers, artists, and artisans, like an Israeli potter, Yarra, who makes one-of-a-kind small batch ceramics. “We’re one of the only places in the country that sells her work,” Adams says. “It’s just beautiful — it’s something that you can’t find in very many places.”
In the coming year, Adams will begin the design process for her own product line at the Maryn Shop, while continuing to seek out brands to introduce at the shop. Her new home may well be the ideal place for Adams to expand — after all, Ann Arbor has a longstanding love affair with local, artisanally-produced goods. For her, the pop-up shop experience has been a meaningful way to get to know neighbors, and for them to discover her singular focus on ethical, beautiful wares. “I feel a lot of my brand values align with people's’ interests here,” she says. “It’s been nice to feel like I’m a part of the community.”
The Maryn Shop Pop-Up will be inside Morgan and York until December 24. Visit the website for online orders and local pick-up in Ann Arbor.