What exactly is a “women’s exchange?”

A “women’s exchange” is part of a national movement of organizations and locations that endeavor to help women become financially independent through the selling and commercialization of their products. Many women’s exchanges started out as consignment stores for women artisans, craftsmen and micro-preneurs to sell their handcrafted goods and products.

When will The Exchange reopen?

The Women’s Exchange in Baltimore’s retail and restaurant business officially ceased operations under that previous model in 2016. At present, The Women’s Exchange in Baltimore is seeking to endeavor to continue its mission in a more meaningful and relevant, impactful way. For more details, please see our Call for Expressions of Interest

Why did you close the restaurant?

The only constant changes, over time, we realized that the operation of the restaurant in its previous and existing incarnation no longer made sense for a variety of reasons that were economic, logistical and realistic given The Women’s Exchange’s existing resources, staff (or lack thereof) and long term vision.

Why did you close the shop?

Similar to the reason the restaurant closed, the shop was becoming a drain on The Women’s Exchange’s limited resources in terms of staffing and funds. As much as the shop has been a part of The Exchange’s history, the way it had been executed prior did not fit well with the organization’s capabilities. Rather than offer a community service that could not be optimally executed, the board determined it was better to stop operating a retail shop rather than offering something it could not deliver on fully, or to the degree it had prior.

Are you still accepting items on consignment?

No, we are not. However, we are happy to direct people towards the following organizations that may be helpful to anyone in the Greater Baltimore seeking a support community for people who make, or wish to make and market their own products – these include:

Baltimore Women’s Maker Collective

Made in Baltimore Meetup

Open Works – Fabrication Space for Creative Entrepreneurs and Makers

Are you still accepting donations of arts and crafts supplies?

At the present time, for the reasons listed above in “Why did we close the shop”, we are unfortunately not accepting any donations of arts and crafts supplies.

Can I lease the shop or kitchen for my own business?

At present, the shop and kitchen are being considered for other uses related to the greater mission of the Women’s Exchange in Baltimore. As a result, neither is open for lease or rental. We are, however, interested in identifying organizations or individuals who will help us use these spaces to fulfill our mission in a more updated and meaningful way.

Can I still volunteer?

At present, we need volunteers who can work on committees assisting the board of directors with the implementation of a strategic plan that has been over a year in the making.

How can I make a financial donation?

You can donate to the mission of the Women’s Exchange in Baltimore.

Is the building for sale?

The building is an inherent part of The Women’s Exchange’s Baltimore legacy, dating back to its purchase in 1899. It is a valuable asset which assures the continuity of The Exchange’s mission and presence in Baltimore. As a result, the building is not for sale at this time.