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About Us










The Only Thing Constant is Change
The Cottage opened in 1974 as "Dawson's Country Cottage" and was located in the Carr Building in Olde Severna Park.  Susan Gauthier moved the business to Park Plaza in 1986 and through the years continually re-invented her image and her inventory.  As trends moved away from country, she renamed the business “The Cottage” in 2006 and changed with the times, exactly as her customers were changing.

Sarah Bender joined the business in 2013 bringing a background of advertising, marketing and management.  Together Sue and Sarah have evolved The Cottage and expanded into more modern trends, vendors and a true boutique atmosphere.  With a combination of fabulous events, promotions, charity initiatives, expanded product categories and the drive to build a devoted customer base, the business thrived.

The year 2017 brought BIG changes as The Cottage moved into an expanded location with twice the space.  The new boutique is just steps away from their former location and provides a beautiful, open, airy shopping experience.  More space means a new look, new lines and new surprises with every visit!

Powered by coffee, heart and prayers, The Cottage Girls are always looking to fill their customer’s needs and help the community.  They work hard to be a powerful influence in the lives of their employees and their loyal customers.  Can’t wait to see what comes next for our Cottage Girls!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram as we feature our Motivational Monday series!  Each week we feature one of our amazing employees...more Cottage Girl bios to come!

JAIME - “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C. S. Lewis
Jaime, one of our graduating seniors!  We wish her great success as she heads to Towson University in the fall to study Psychology and Criminal Justice.  Although Jaime started with us just last fall, it seems like she has been here forever.  In fact, Sue and her father used to work together at Dawson’s back in the day!!  She has learned so much and has such a special interaction with our customers.  Jaime claims that The Cottage has taught her so much about communication and really opened her eyes to the business world.  Her favorite part of working at The Cottage is that it feels like family…we could not agree more!  Thank you Jaime, for your hard work and happy, positive attitude!

BRI - “Trust the wait. Embrace the uncertainty. Enjoy the beauty of becoming. When nothing is certain, anything is possible.”
Bri has been managing our social media for the past 2 years. Bri works for us from home, while raising her 2 boys and coaching high school lacrosse. (#3 son is due in July) how does she do it all? (read her quote) We will have to say goodbye to Bri for a while, as she and her husband move their family to Philly for a new job opportunity. You have done an amazing job for us, Bri, and we will happily always keep you on our team!

STEPHANIE - “I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” - Audrey Hepburn
The amazing Stephanie teaches Pre-K at St. John the Evangelist School, but lucky for us, she also loves to work part time at The Cottage! We love her bright smile, positive attitude and happy vibe. She is always having fun while she is "working" whether it's teaching or when she's with US! She is a complete joy to be around and we are so thankful that she continues to be one of our Cottage Girls!

DES - “Dance as though no one is watching you. Love as though you've never been hurt before. Sing as though no one can hear you. Live as though Heaven is on Earth.”
Desiree's Motivation is a testimony to the way she lives her life! She works full time for Catholic Charities as an Asst. Property Manager assisting low income seniors with housing. But, thankfully for us, she still works some weekends and fun events! Des loves the positive relationships she’s built with her "Cottage Girls,” customers and especially loves all the jewelry! Her favorite thing is seeing people light up when they find that perfect piece they've been hunting for. Thank you sweet Des for being such a bright light and special addition to our Cottage family! 

LISA C. - “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” - Dr. Seuss
Lisa has been making The Cottage look beautiful for almost 2 years now! Lisa (like her sister Karen) is a born organizer who loves art and design. The Cottage was a perfect fit for her, and she even came with her very own fluorescent blue drill! Lisa loves coming up with new ways to showcase products and collaborating with her sister and co-workers. Sometimes the smallest ‘tweak’ will take a display from good to great! We are so thankful to have the collective genius of this sister act creating gorgeous vignettes that inspire us everyday. 

NICOLE - “I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and love today!” - William White
Our fun-loving Nicole started working with us in 2013. Currently, she is pursuing a career in Marketing as a Promotional Coordinator, but we still manage to steal her back for events and on the weekends. Nicole has made amazing relationships with our customers and loves working Sundays and seeing everyone! Nicole’s long term dream is to own her own bakery...yum! But, for now, we KNOW that she is LOVING today and looking forward to tomorrow!
ALY - "A girl who is going to do big things, cannot let the small things get to her."
Aly is a sophomore at AACC in the nursing program and has her heart set on working in critical care. This is a girl of many Cottage talents, from receiving and pricing, to manning the register and making customers (and her co-workers) smile. Aly shows up everyday full of grace and a GREAT attitude. She loves that there is never a dull moment and that she has found so many fabulous friends. We unanimously agree, that Aly will do BIG things!!!
MORGEN - “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”
Morgen is a Sophomore at Broadneck High School and has already been working with us for over a year! We are so lucky to have this girl who is beautiful inside and out! She is wise beyond her years and mastered our operations and systems immediately. She is super personable and offers fabulous customer service. It is no wonder that this amazing young lady has her eyes on the medical field. We know that whatever path Morgen follows, we know she will keep her eyes on the stars and her feet on the ground. She always does!

SARA N. - "Go out and paint the stars."  - Van Gogh
Sara is a senior at Annapolis Area Christian School and will be attending Palm Beach Atlantic University in the fall to study Communications and Creative Writing. While it is hard to see our seniors go, we will always be thankful of the time she spent with us. This girl adores all of our products and co-workers and that shines through everyday. She has such a sweet spirit and brings so much joy to our Cottage family. The future is so bright for Sara, there is no doubt she will travel the world and paint some stars.

MOLLY - “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.” - Maya Angelou
Molly is a senior at Spalding HS. She will be leaving us this summer to follow her dreams at Mount Saint Mary’s University. Molly is caring & creative, so it is no wonder that she will be majoring in Psychology with a minor in Fine Arts! Molly started with us in her sophomore year, & loves that her coworkers & managers have become like family to her! As she always says, “Happy environment, happy people, happy place.” Oh,Molly, we love you!


CAROLINA - “Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
Carolina is an Annapolis High student (studying performing and visual arts) and huge fan of Swarovski jewelry.  We love the positive attitude and smiles that Carolina brings to our jewelry department. You will find her there most Fridays and Sundays, sharing her knowledge of gems and love of accessorizing!  Learning something new EVERYDAY is what makes Carolina happy!  Carolina’s boundless joy and kind smile is what makes us happy!

LISA - “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.” - John Lennon
Lisa shares her happiness with all of us, EVERYDAY. For many years, Lisa owned and operated a florist.  Her love for creating things and interacting with people, led her to The Cottage. Lisa has been a happy, gentle, creative addition to our team.  Lisa manages our Vera Bradley department and you will notice how happy her displays are!  Thank you, Lisa. Your smile is contagious!

KAREN - "Climb every mountain, ford every stream. Follow every rainbow until you find your dream." - Sound of Music
Truly one of the most beautiful souls, inside and out! Karen is such a treasure to The Cottage through her friendship, dedication, style and grace. Our Karen has that rare talent to find the beauty in all things and she makes ALL things look gorgeous!  We love you Karen. Thank you for making us smile, and for always seeing the beauty in all of us as well!

NANCY - “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” - Vince Lombardi
One of our favorite things about Nancy is that she is always striving for organization, procedures and customer service! Nancy is always brainstorming, helping us with new ideas, more efficient ways to do things and creative solutions! She greets everyone with a smile, shares a laugh and makes sure that every single customer is taken care of. If you want to enjoy quiet time browsing, or, if you need special assistance finding the perfect items, Nancy is ready to make your experience a happy one.

SUSAN - "And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who couldn't hear the music." - F. Nietzsche
Susan is one of our buyers, a complete jewelry GENIUS and one of the most creative souls we know! She is also a metalsmith and designer for her hammered sterling silver jewelry line, Ezria Designs, one of the most fabulous and unique lines we carry! Often referred to as "our goddess," we love everything about Susan's dependability, her work ethic, her knowledge, her efficiency and most of all her spirit.

STACEY - “In the darkness I’ll dance. In the shadows I’ll sing. The joy of the Lord is my strength.” - Rend Collective
Stacey is such a bright light, so sweet, gentle and kind. If you have had the joy of Stacey helping you at The Cottage, you already know how she takes care of each and every one of our customers. Her faith is so inspiring and strong and her caring spirit is such a blessing to all of us! On top of all this, this girl also has STYLE .... she loves fashion and enjoys hunting down the latest trends! We are so lucky to have her!

COURTNEY - “Always remember to fall asleep with a dream, and wake up with a purpose.”
We knew our Assistant Manager Courtney was a Cottage gal from the start! Her happy, fun, outgoing personality is so engaging. It’s hard to believe she ever sleeps! She shows up every single day with boundless energy and bursting with ideas! She is always dreaming up gorgeous displays, creative event details and the cutest gift ideas. She is such a huge part of our community and we are so, so lucky she’s ours!

JANET - "If you have integrity, nothing else matters. And if you don't have integrity, nothing else matters." - Alan Simpson 
We are so proud to feature Janet’s favorite quote, one of our most loyal and cherished sales associates for nearly two decades. Cottage girls like Janet are the reason for our success, leading by example with true integrity and kindness. Thank you for all your time, your humor, your dedication and for making every single customer feel valued. You are a true testament what our Cottage family is all about.

MARSHA - “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
Marsha makes us feel prepared, calm and always makes us laugh! As our Operations Manager, she always makes sure things are running smoothly while hundreds of boxes are coming in. She is our Super Glue, MVP and queen of fixing all things computers and tech related. We are so grateful to have her on our team!