“This Laundry Room is Self-Cleaning — Do It Yourself.”
“One Loyal Friend is Worth a Thousand Relatives.”
Signs like this scatter the walls of Wysper, a specialty store in Selbyville owned by Beverly Sweltzer of Ocean Pines, Md.
“It’s home accents, accessories, gifts and more, and the ‘more’ is if Bev finds something she likes in New York, I’ll bring it here,” explained Sweltzer. She emphasized that Wysper is not a consignment or thrift store, merely an alternative to having to drive to Salisbury or Ocean City, or farther, for that special gift or purchase.
Sweltzer explained that she quietly opened the shop in February and the local response has been overwhelming. She keeps a mailing list of almost 300 customers and said that all but about two names are local to the area.
In addition to specialty plaques like the aforementioned, Wysper carries handmade birthday cards from local artisans, locally designed jewelry, terry-cloth flip-flops, specialty mirrors, kitchen accessories, paintings, Bella’s Bag handbags and handmade lotions.
Bella’s Bag is a six-year-old company out of Pennsylvania, and Wysper is the exclusive retailer on the Eastern Shore. Sweltzer added that the shea butter lotions are handmade by a 62-year-old woman in Colorado and all ingredients are listed on the label. They carry a variety of scents, but four are exclusive to Wysper: Wysper by the Sea, Maryland Memory, Coco Mango and Ocean Breeze.
For Sweltzer, owning Wysper allows her to do what she loves the most — talk to people.
After losing both her mother and father, and being a five-year survivor of breast cancer, she decided to take the plunge and see where it took her.
“I moved here four years ago, and I thought, ‘Life is short; I’m going to do it – and I love it! You don’t want to say ‘I should’ve’ or ‘I could’ve’ — Do it! And I don’t think I’ll fall on my face,” she confided. “So far, it’s been good.”
“I really want to bring back customer service and customization,” she explained. “I went to the grocery store last night, and the clerk never looked at me, never said, ‘Hi’ or anything. I stood there, getting really mad, and it was the guy bagging that finally said, ‘Have a good night,’” she said, shaking her head in disbelief.
Customers can expect the opposite at Wysper, where Sweltzer remembers everyone’s name and can connect with each customer on a personal level.
Sweltzer also enjoys the customization part of serving the customer. She wants to be different. She acknowledges trends but wants to offer her clientele an eclectic inventory that is constantly changing and never duplicated — something that is obviously appreciated, as she enjoyed a steady flow of customers last week. She added that her prices are attractive to all income levels and there is something for everyone.
“Do you want to talk to a satisfied customer?” interjected Priscilla Morin of Selbyville on Friday. “I came in here for a hostess gift. Where can you find stuff like this? They just have some neat things. They remember your name, and there’s a free gift with purchase! I’ll be back!”
Wysper is located kitty-corner from the up-and-coming Strawberry Center in Selbyville, on Route 113, at 38445 DuPont Blvd. Hours are flexible, and Sweltzer encourages people to call ahead to make sure she’s there; but, in general, the store is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, and closed Sundays and Mondays. Every Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m., depending on the traffic, she has a “Wysper Wednesday,” where customers can pick their discount, 10, 15 or 20 percent, and apply it to any item. For more information about Wysper, call (302) 436-6342.