Visitors and residents of Annapolis who look longingly at the handmade furniture in the Hammond-Harwood House or who think that Crate and Barrel is their only option for purchasing rustic or nautical furnishings should visit Annapolis Maritime Antiques (AMA) in Eastport. The shop, located about a block from the Annapolis Maritime Museum, sells nautical memorabilia and nautically-themed decor, some of which is designed or specially ordered by shop owner, Tony Kime, who even while he is ostensibly on vacation, seeks out items from far and wide that fit his customers’ interests.
The furniture items displayed in the shop are dearest to Tony’s heart because they are examples of the many things that buyers can have custom-made in the AMA workshop in south Anne Arundel County. Annapolis Maritime Antiques specializes in salvaging wood – everything from ships to flooring and old factories to bowling alleys – giving it new life as furniture so that the customer receives the best of old and new. You can order in the shop or on the website.
Tony, a disabled Vietnam veteran who loves a challenge, had retired twice before going into the furniture business, moving from the Navy to becoming a Coast Guard commander and then joining a consulting firm. The challenges of these jobs added new angles to Tony’s natural entrepreneurial spirit, but he only acquired his “craziness for wood” about 10 years ago after retiring from consulting when he spotted a coffee table made of a World War II Liberty ship hatch cover at a funeral home, of all places. When he was unable to buy it on the spot, his search for something similar led him to buy 600 of the covers. A business was born.
After its whimsical start, AMA is thriving with growing customer demand that has required it to move three times to bigger workshops. Tony and AMA’s carpenter-in-chief, Martha Collinson, who has decades of experience in woodworking (beginning with being the first woman in her high school to take shop class), are working on projects that go well beyond individual furniture pieces. AMA is doing sophisticated wall units; furniture, floor, and woodwork restoration; and kitchen renovations. The next step for Annapolis Maritime Antiques is government contracting, and they have already bid on two major projects, one at the Naval Academy’s library and the other at the West Point chapel. In other words, if you want something made out of wood, give AMA a call or stop by the shop. And if you want a table made out of a Liberty ship hatch cover, act fast! The cover supply is running low!