Small Business: The Map Shop is making maps cool, edgy and a must-have

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Most people use apps like Waze, GoogleMaps or inRoute to get directions. The days of pulling over on the side of the road to read a map are long gone (thank goodness), but the map business is still thriving at The Map Shop on the corner of Morehead Street and Kings Drive.

Photo 2 Credit The Map ShopIn April, Tony Rodono, 36, acquired The Map Shop from Ted and Patrice Northrop. A few years ago, Rodono started wholesaling his City Prints to them. The Northrops developed a relationship with Rodono and when they decided it was time retire, they naturally turned to him. His appreciation for maps and business experience made him an ideal candidate to continue the work they started 25 years ago.

The Map Shop is a retail and online business, selling practical and functional maps as well as gift, decorative and artistic maps.

Photo 3 Credit The Map Shop

Rodono’s passion for design will shape the future of The Map Shop. His vision includes increasing the gift presence at the store, designing map lines and customizing maps for corporate and personal use.

“Everyone is passionate about some place,” Rodono said. “It is our job to create a line of wall maps and gift items that represent these places.”

Miller_Detailed_World_Map 2

Current projects include creating artistic and functional maps of Charlotte neighborhoods like Plaza Midwood, Dilworth, South End and NoDa. Each would be an inexpensive fold-up neighborhood map with suggested things to do and places to eat.

“Most people are surprised to learn that we have the ability to create custom maps,” said Rodono. The shop employs three cartographers that design maps for churches, fire departments, sales offices and other businesses that need specific territories or areas outlined.

The Map Shop also supplies maps to movie and TV studios for prop and set design. Most recently, The Map Shop outfitted AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” with nautical charts that are used on camera this season.

What you can find at The Map Shop

Travel maps: Despite GPS and other forms of technology, people still love to have their map in-hand. $5-$15.

Pop culture maps: Want to follow Jon Snow’s trail to the Night’s Watch? See how Rick and Daryl lead their group to Terminus? “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” maps are at The Map Shop. $20 and up.

Functional wall maps: From world maps to roll-down, old-school maps, this store has it, or can get it. Prices vary based on size and finishing options.

Decorative maps: Dockland’s Charlotte neighborhood map and E.D.I.A.’s NC Beer map is available at The Map Shop. $20 and up.

Photo 5 Credit Docklands Design

Books and guides: Hiking and trail maps, travel guides, topographic maps and national park maps. $14-$30.

Professional driver atlas: Drivers for FedEx, UPS, fire departments, pizza delivery and even Uber do not just rely on GPS. The Map Shop makes up-to-date maps of Charlotte and the surrounding areas so that drivers can get to you. $14-$25.

City Prints: Rodono’s artwork of famous destinations and familiar places are great conversation pieces. $40-$190.

Photo 6 Credit The Map Shop

Gifts: Map-themed coasters, glasses, jewelry and other nifty items are available. $19 and up.

Hours: Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday closed.

1500 E. Morehead St., Charlotte.

Photos: Courtesy of The Map Shop; Docklands Design

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