April 16, 2022, marks the 50th year since Marcy Moore van der Kieft opened the door at 74 Elm Street, Camden, thus introducing Midcoast Maine to the newest women’s clothing boutique and fine gift shop, Margo Moore.
Then a recently married Darien, Connecticut, transplant and former assistant fashion editor for Mademoiselle magazine, her new shop focused on upscale women’s clothing and unique visual merchandizing, “shopping in a home atmosphere.”
In an effort to provide much needed parking and uniqueness, the new shop offered a more residential presentation at 74 Elm Street in a classic 1830 home known as the Perry Homestead.
In 1971, Marcy briefly worked at Camden’s Red Rooster gift shop, owned by Gay Hawkins, then located in today’s Sea Dog Brewery, along side the Village Restaurant, with the Jones Boys’
Barbara Shop as second floor tenants.
Schooled in fashion design, management, fabric appreciation and visual merchandising, Marcy presented clothing and fine gifts appropriate to various rooms; first floor women’s clothing with accent pieces while the kitchen related to cooking and serving items; upstairs bedrooms offered lingerie, linens, bath related items, while the barn showcased Pappagallo shoes and accent furniture.
At the time of the 1972 opening, a local newspaper referred to Marcy as “a gal with sophisticated allure whose cool no nonsense voice has an aura capability about it.”
While focusing on Midcoast clientele, Margo Moore welcomed customers from near and far. During the early days of operation Bangor and Blue Hill customers enjoyed shopping year-round at “Margo’s” and lunching at Rockport’s memorable Sail Loft Restaurant. It became a more pleasurable shopping experience than driving to Portland or Boston.
Fashion shows were provided at Pilot’s Grill for the Bangor Symphony, the Samoset Resort for Pen Bay Medical Center, Bath’s Chocolate Church for the Bath Memorial Hospital and Cheechako Restaurant for Miles Memorial Hospital, under Marcy’s tutelage.
Over the years the 74 Elm Street glassed-in showroom provided the talk about town for the passerby and customers, alike.
“Have you seen the latest window display at Margo’s?” could be heard around town. “It’s fabulous.”
In the 1980s, Margo Moore owned Damariscotta’s Cricket Shop, Margo’s Market and Santons de Provence, all having been sold to concentrate on transitioning the 74 Elm Street location from a women’s clothing store into a highly respected interior design and home furnishing studio.
With the 2020 passing of Marcy, her daughter, Megan van der Kieft Carozza, has proudly and affectionately taken over as president of Margo Moore, committed to carrying on the Margo Moore legacy established by Megan’s grandmother, in 1960 in Darien, Connecticut, and furthered under Marcy’s guidance until her death.
Megan’s return to Camden was a natural progression in her career.
Her own design and professional experience started at Boston’s Design Center working for some of the most respected traditional and contemporary showrooms. Commercial Design for a national chain of florists, Home Depot and Sunglass Hut opened many opportunities and confirmed her residential design ambitions.
Influenced by her grandmother, Margo, working alongside mother, Marcy, for 11 years has been the perfect complement for entering into the third generation family-owned and women-operated business for Megan.
There’s Moore to come.