July 1997 - The Baltimore Sun

Heavenly Items sold at mall´s newest store

story by Meredith Schlow

Take a walk on cloud nine at a new store in Towson town center, where natural fiber clothing from around the world may make you forget you´re in a suburban mall. Cloud 9 Clothing company, located on the malls lower level, is a refreshing departure from the ordinary. The clothing from India, Nepal, Hawaii and Tunisia is unique, colorful and so reasonably priced that you may look twice at the price tag. Cloud 9 sells accessories, too, including silver and beaded jewelry, handbags and scarves.

Partners Randy Shayotovich and Priya Rayadurg opened the shop last month and say they are pleasantly surprised by customer reaction. "Over all, the store is actually doing better than I expected," says Shayotovich, 32. "We´ve gotten a pretty good response."

"People definitely like the merchandise." agrees Rayadurg, 31. One woman, she says, called Cloud 9 "the best store I´ve seen in 30 years."

Shayotovich´s first business at the mall opened six years ago in the form of a cart called The Top Shop, a novelty T-shirt Kiosk, still located on the malls third level. "I did a couple of different things, and I had carts at the Columbia Mall and the Montgomery Mall, too," he says. "But it was a lot of running around, so we decided to stick to one mall and do one thing.¨ That decision led to the opening of two additional carts, The Silver Lining and Tie Dye Daze, also located on the third level at Towson Town Center. But as inventory continued to expand, the couple decided the time was ripe for a larger location.

"We just weren´t sure what direction to go," says Shayotovich. "We were experimenting with a lot of summer dresses and were trying to have more things that you won´t find at Hecht´s. Now we have a leeway to experiment - and we´re finding people 45 and older who are coming in and finding stuff they like." The couple will continue to carry natural fiber clothing in their inventory, which will include velvet and knits in wool and cotton. Cloud 9´s current location, next to Eastern Mountain Sports, is temporary, Shayotovich says; they will occupy their permanent location next to Lee´s Ice Cream, by the end of September. Cloud 9 Clothing Company is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Call 410-583-0987.

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