History

The Woman’s Industrial Exchange began shortly after the Civil War in the home of Mrs. G. Harmon Brown of Baltimore, where women brought their handwork to be sold to local citizens and visitors. Mrs. Harmon’s endeavor was part of a nationwide exchange movement to help women in need discreetly earn a living.

In 1880 the enterprise was so successful that a shop was opened at Saratoga and Holiday Streets. In 1882 the State Legislature incorporated the organization “for the purpose of endeavoring by sympathy and practical aid to encourage and help needy women to help themselves by procuring for them and establishing a sales room for the sale of Women’s Work.”

The present building at 333 N. Charles Street, constructed circa 1815, was purchased in 1860 by Mrs. Mary E. Boardley for a boarding house. A five story rear wing was added. The Exchange moved to this building in 1887 and purchased it in 1889. A shop window was added circa 1900, which enhances the fine Flemish bonded brick work and marble stoop.

In the late 1800′s The Exchange sold women’s handwork, operated a tea room, and gave instructions in needlework and cooking. Consignors provided quality handmade items to be sold in the shop.

Today, we welcome you to our gracious and historic setting where we are carrying on a Baltimore tradition with your help. The Exchange continues to serve its non-profit mission as an outlet of hand-crafted goods made by women and men intent on supporting themselves with dignity.

 

Shop Local

Contemporary jewelry. Eco-friendly art. One-of-a-kind objects. Handmade clothing. Across generations, the Exchange’s shop has been a local favorite and a destination for visitors who not only want to experience this Baltimore institution, but support the talent and creativity that has thrived here for so many years. Visit us in the shop! (Mon – Fri, 11am – 5pm; Sat, 11am – 4pm)

Join us in the Kitchen…

…for lunch (11am – 2.30pm, Mon – Fri) or for your next catering event. The restaurant restores the flavor and feeling of the original Woman's Industrial Kitchen. It offers the very best of home-inspired comfort food. Join us for lunch. Sit and soak in the history of famous and average women who have triumphed in the home, work and communities.

2013 Industrious Woman Event

Please visit the website theindustriouswoman.com for more information and to RSVP for this great event!
333 N. Charles St. Baltimore, MD. 21201, (410) 685-4388