More Than a Store
Baltimore magazine|October 2020
What it means when we lose a beloved neighborhood anchor like Trohv.
JANELLE ERLICHMAN DIAMOND

Trohv owner Carmen Brock and I both joke that we gave birth the last week of October 2006. Carmen to an amazing shop on The Avenue in Hampden, and me to my oldest son, Milo. Throughout every “Milostone”—from the Terrible Twos to the angsty double digits to the Bar Mitzvah stage just this past year—Carmen had her own shop version. This included expanding Trohv to the basement level on 36th Street and opening a second location in Takoma Park from 2011 until 2016. We were both proud mamas. So hearing that Trohv would be closing in August felt like a death in the family. It made my heart ache. I felt like I should be sitting shiva. This month, Milo turns 14, and Trohv is gone.

When Trohv—then called Red Tree—opened on The Avenue in 2006, it immediately became a favorite spot for holiday shopping, goods for the home, beautiful jewelry, funny cards, and special presents. (The first thing my daughter, Willa, uttered when she heard about Trohv closing was, “But where will we get your Mother’s Day gifts now?”)

“When we first opened, people were trying to figure out what we were and what we were doing,” recalls Carmen. “People would come in asking for wigs, hair dryers, sports bras—I loved that so much.”

In my 14 years at Baltimore magazine, first as style editor and now as Home and Weddings editor, I have probably pulled 6,000 items to photograph for various shoots—and a disproportionate number of those came from Trohv. Carmen always said yes. Even if I busted through the door breathless, gasping “trivet”—something vital missing from my latest styled shoot—she would always say, “no problem” and send me quickly on my way. We’ve pulled tables and chairs and vases and books and earrings and baskets, all to make the photo look just so. I remember at one point, the late Baltimore magazine executive editor Dick Basoco called me into his office. “No. More. Trohv,” he admonished. That only lasted a few weeks before I was back there again. It’s hard to stay away from a shop owner who has the best taste.

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