Whitney Bingham dabbled in many different aspects of art and business before opening The Muse (19 N. Market Street) in 2003. Growing up, the natural artist spent time sewing and doing other crafts, and she eventually attended an art-focused high school to develop her skills. Whitney then received a degree in psychology with a minor in art from the University of Pittsburgh, leading to her post-graduation career in retail management and merchandising. Throughout her journey through the education system and working for various big-box retailers, Whitney continued creating her own pieces and furthered her love for art, giving her the inspiration and confidence to open her store in Downtown Frederick.
The Muse sells handmade American gifts to the unique Frederick crowd. Most of the pieces they carry are both functional and artistic so that “people can enjoy art in their daily lives and routines.” Whitney shared some of the creative pieces her artists have come up with, such as candle holders made of tractor metal and wallets made of vintage books, explaining, “Creative minds never run out of ideas.”
Though Whitney loves being surrounded by art on a daily basis, the relationships she has developed with the artists through her business are what truly inspire her. ”I feel so happy and excited when I work with a new artist and their work takes off. I have watched many of them grow and expand their businesses and it makes me feel really good,” she said.
When Whitney isn’t scouting new artists or managing her store, you can find her creating her own art. “I have tried many different mediums and enjoy them all but stitching and sewing is where my heart is,” she divulges. Whitney’s talent and dedication are apparent, as she has been juried in two national quilt shows and the Delaplaine’s annual regional juried exhibit. Outside of her work and art, Whitney loves reading and spending time with her fiancé, Nick.
When asked for something the average person may not know about her, Whitney revealed, “I am a ketchup and mustard connoisseur! Don't even think of serving me eggs unless you have a full bottle of ketchup on the table.”