The #aCreativeDC FIELD GUIDES are resources for the creative community:
whether you live, work, or visit DC - we got you. Check the FIELD GUIDES tab ^^ at top^^ for more.
The #aCreativeDC FIELD GUIDE to RETAIL + SHOPPING
is a round-up of our brick + mortar recommendations for locally-owned,
unique-to-DC shops, products, and experiences.
We're talking apparel and accessories; gifts and home goods – now go and get 'em.
Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market
716 Monroe Street NE
27 studios + workspaces line the ground floor of the Monroe Street Market apartment complex, a very solid third of which are proper retail outlets (including leather workers Stitch & Rivet, ceramicists Kuzeh Pottery, jeweler Rachel Pfeffer Designs, Marcelle's Coop, and more). Hours vary per space, but Third Thursdays and the Saturday AM Farmers Market are a good time to catch everyone open at once (and PS - our studio is there, too!).
Visit site for full list of retailers + artists; hours vary.
[ Brookland ] [ Tw @ArtsWalkMSM ]
^^^ Be Clean Studio
52 O Street NW, Studio 308
A tiny jewel box of a space in the 52 O Street Artist Studios, selling a curated selection of vegan + eco-friendly skincare/beauty (including paraben + toxin-free nail polish by DC's Mischo Beauty). Winter hours are by appointment, and you can shop a hyphenated curation as part of the Steadfast Supply lineup through the end of Holiday 2016.
[ Truxton Circle ] [ IG @becleanshop ]
Related: Hunny Bunny Boutique (all natural bath & beauty with a cute little backstory, Capitol Hill), Habeebah's Herbals (organic body butters + oils + more, Anacostia)
Bespoke Not Broke
1231 Good Hope Road SE
A fun jumble of eclectic vintage in the Anacostia Arts Center, with apparel + accessories finds for women + men.
[ Anacostia ] [ IG @bespokenotbroke ]
Related: Junction Vintage (vintage clothing + housewares, U Street Corridor), Bartered Threads (vintage, thrift + resale, Brookland)
^^^ Capitol Hill Books
657 C Street SE
Come to browse the two-floor selection of used books; stay for the delightful curmudgeon-ess of the longtime owner; stay longer to make sure you read every handwritten sign on the walls, shelves, and floor of this Capitol Hill retail stalwart.
[ Capitol Hill ] [ IG @capitolhillbooks ]
Related: Idle Time Books (used, rare + vintage books with a great neighborhood feel, Adams Morgan), Second Story (take your Dad!, Dupont), Walls of Books (tons of books for kids, Park View), Riverby Books (super cozy, Capitol Hill)
Cherry Blossom Creative
2128 8th Street NW
This DC-based design agency is fronted by a curated retail shop; wares include #MadeinDC notebooks by Appointed and wildly popular DC neighborhood maps designed in-house by the Cherry Blossom team. See also: regular weekend pop-ups from local cult brands like The Rich & Strange and Foxwood Co.
[ Shaw ] [ IG: @cherryblossomhq ]
Related: Typecase Industries (typesetters/designers with a retail component to their print shop, just a few doors down from Cherry Blossom Creative), The Lemon Bowl (a shared workshop + makerspace in Park View - their newly opened shop component is stocked with local, handmade goods)
DeNada Design's Showroom at 52 O Street
Incredible knitwear (for men and women), designed in Washington, DC and handmade in Peru. First-generation American designer Virginia Arrisueño's DeNada line has been on an upward trajectory for the last decade in the District, and is now stocked globally from LA to Japan. Drop-in hours for the sky-lit showroom at 52 O Street (the city's oldest live/work studio space) are updated seasonally – hours listed on site.
[ Truxton Circle ] [ IG @denadadesign ]
Custom, curated vending machines that complement the spaces in which they live – and all of which feature locally made products (alongside life necessities like phone chargers + earbuds) . Best bet for dry goods + gifts? Check the machine at Maketto: it tends to be stocked with limited edition art pieces from DC's Kelly Towles, prints, stickers, and other surprises.
[ various locations ] [ IG @guerillavending ]
^^^ Gumbo Records / DC Treasure
www.facebook.com/GumboRecords | www.dctreasure.com
205 Upshur Street NW, Washington, DC
A vinyl lounge specializing in jazz + blues sits inside a wall-to-wall vintage furniture shop at 2nd & Upshur Street, and the result is delightful chaos (of the sort in which you'll want to spend an hour).
[ Petworth ] [ IG @gumborecords ]
Related: Joint Custody (records + an excellent curation of vintage clothing, pins, shoes, and ephemera, U Street Corridor), Smash (a DC punk + hardcore institution: a record shop with vintage clothing racks, shoes, pins, and Manic Panic, Adams Morgan)
^^^ Hill & Dale
1054 31st Street NW, Washington, DC
Clean + minimal + V. COOL, Hill & Dale sells records, posters, and fine art music photography. Tucked away in a square off the main Georgetown beat, selling mostly new vinyl and kitted out with modern design elements, it's a(n almost literal) hidden gem.
[ Georgetown ] [ IG @hilllanddalerecords ]
Related: Som Records (used + new in a great little basement dive, 14th Street), Red Onion Records (U Street Corridor)
Hugh & Crye
300 Tingey Street SE
"Our mandate is a call to action against ill-fitting readymade shirts, over priced custom tailored shirts, and unsustainable clothing and manufacturing practices with adverse environmental and social impact." Hugh & Crye makes mens' shirts that FIT, full stop (ok, and blazers and ties and pocket squares, too, but you get what we're saying). They do what they do, they do it well, and they do it mostly online - but their window-walled shop at The Yards is a great place to check out the merch IRL, chat fit with their knowledgeable and highly dedicated team, and to scoop what you need without waiting on shipping.
[ Navy Yard ] [ IG @hughandcrye ]
1921 8th Street NW, #110, Washington, DC
Smartly-curated womenswear buys that hold their own as part of the lineup at The Shay (a newly-minted shopping district/luxury apartment complex that's host to national retail like Warby Parker + Kit & Ace); Lettie Gooch features emerging brands with an emphasis on modern S T Y L E + silhouettes.
[ Shaw ] [ IG @lettiegooch ]
Related: Willow Boutique (a sweet little selection of apparel, accessories, and gift-ables, Petworth + Columbia Heights)
1351 H Street NE, Washington, DC
Sneakers, snapbacks, and an epically curated collection of cult brands (and beyond), the retail component of Maketto serves as the entry to a full, mixed-use concept that includes a cafe ft. Hyattsville's Vigilante Coffee and a restaurant from DC chef/hometown hero Erik Bruner-Yang.
[ H Street ] [ IG @maketto1351)
Related: Commonwealth FTTG (sneaker/streetwear game since 2004, Adams Morgan/Dupont), The Museum DC (branded merch in a fun, accessible art gallery setting, Woodridge), One Love Massive (bc you need a DC AS FUCK tee, 631 T Street NW).
Markets & Fleas
DC has a ton of weekend markets, mostly food + farmer-centric. In terms of retail/apparel/accessories/etc - we're happy to direct you towards R E G U L A R S Eastern Market (a DC tradition, and a mix of imported goods + handmade + vintage) (closed Mondays, with Saturdays/Sundays being your best bet) and the Georgetown Flea (antiques + artisans) (every Sunday).
Related: Scroll down for seasonal markets (we do our best to keep these FIELD GUIDES updated + current)
2104 18th Street NW, Washington, DC
Meeps has been slanging vintage in the District for a good long time (since 1992!), and in 2012 it came under the ownership of the B R A I N T R U S T behind the expertly-curated and aesthetically-minded team at Treasury. The two brands have since merged into one Adams Morgan storefront; the offerings, merchandising, and visuals are true to owner Cathy Chung's vision, and the shop pays homage to its history by maintaining a year-round "Costume Room" (and getting REALLY live around Halloween).
[ Adams Morgan ] [ IG @meepsdc ]
Miss Pixie's Furnishings & Whatnot
1626 14th Street NW
DC's vintage home goods wonderland: you're equally likely to leave with a pocketful of $1 hotel matchbooks as you are an oil painting by an anonymous artist, a midcentury nightstand, or a 70s folding chair stamped with "New York Ave Presbyterian Church." Holidays are an especially fun time to browse – the kitsch factor goes into overdrive and the shop gets fully decked out in vintage ornaments, garlands, and oversized candy canes.
[ 14th Street ] [ IG @misspixiesdc ]
Related: Goodwood (beautifully merchandised; vintage + new home goods, decor, accessories, and more, U Street Corridor)
1231 Good Hope Road SE, Washington, DC
With an epic IG feed, the IRL shop (located in the Anacostia Arts Center) doesn't disappoint. Ethnic apparel/accessories are the focus (textile-lovers, make this a first stop) with a mix of home goods, print pieces, art + books mixed in for good measure. The space is also host to regular events + pop-ups with local brands like Ruby Sampson + Simply Cecily, and has become as much a community gathering space as retail shop.
[ Anacostia ] [ IG @nubianhueman ]
1810 14th Street NW
From under the radar labels + cult faves (think DS & Durga, Won Hundred, and OAK) to local brands like DeNada + General Need, Redeem has been infiltrating and helping shape the city's style scene for the last decade with an unmistakable (and not usually associated with DC) aesthetic. The shop visuals alone are worth a visit – we're going with "minimal, Americana-tinged goth," but will let you (and your ensuing Instagram) decide for yourself. Keep an eye out for events: frequent trunk shows with visiting designers and Holiday celebrations bring out DC's cool kids while maintaining an inclusive and accessible vibe. Mens + womenswear.
[ 14th Street ] [ IG @redeemus ]
Related: Whiskey Ginger (menswear, U Street Corridor), Federal (menswear + accessories, 14th Street)
1274 5th Street NE
With a tagline of #sweatsexy, S3 Active is a collection of upscale, wildly stylish athleisure – the sort around which #fitnessdreams and #lifestylegoals are built. Having found a home in the Union Market District after a series of pop-ups and installations, the bright white space also hosts workouts + yoga classes on weekends (natch).
[ Union Market District ] [ IG @s3active ]
Salt & Sundry
1309 5th Street NE + 1625 14th Street NW
Goods for good living, and then some: Salt & Sundry is, in short, impeccable. From fair-trade textiles and hand-poured candles to bitters + brines + other small batch goodness, owner Amanda McClements set a new standard for curation and merchandising when opening the flagship Union Market location. Two years later saw the addition of the second shop, with a third (plant-centric!) location impending. Keep an eye out for locally-made, women-owned brands like Gordy's Pickle Jar, Printed Wild, and Mallory Shelter Jewelry, and be sure to follow on social (their visuals are MWAH).
[ Union Market + Logan Circle ]
Related: Proper Topper (gifts and home goods and HATS!, Dupont), Urban Dwell (home accessories, candles, cards, etc, Adams Morgan), Hudson & Crane (all things home with gift-y things for miles, Adams Morgan/Dupont), Tabletop (just as it sounds!, Dupont)
Seasonal Markets + Vendor Events
With affordable retail space at a premium in DC, it's not only important to support the brands + biz who HAVE gone brick + mortar, but to dive into the W E A L T H of seasonal markets + pop-ups that showcase the makers, producers, and curators without dedicated retail space.
No current markets: keep an eye out here for events to be added!
1231 Florida Ave NE
Newly opened and in a gorgeous space at 13th & Florida NE, Shopkeeper's is a tight edit of home goods, wears, and print publications (the collection of books and magazines is especially beautiful) from Akae co-founder Seda Nak. The new shop carries over the same warmth and commitment to visuals, with a new, mixed-use element: a communal table fronts a coffee + tea counter, and opening weekend saw a poke bowl on the menu, too. With a second floor (downstairs) and pop-ups already on the calendar, we expect Shopkeeper's to become a NE hub for creative happenings.
[ Florida Ave NE ] [ IG @shopkeepersgallery ]
1309 5th Street NE
At any given time the Market (or its adjacent pop-up space, Lab1270) is host to at least a few retail concepts – Salt & Sundry and Follain are permanent fixtures, and past indie inhabitors include Cloud Terre, Niko & Ava, Kaleidos, and Upshur Street Books. Beyond shopping (and LUNCH - the crux of the Market is incredible food + drink), the Union Market District is a regular stomping ground for the creative community in general, and host to art installations, panels, workshops, and more, serving as incubator as much as outlet.
[ Union Market District ] [ IG @unionmarketdc ]
Upshur Street Books
827 Upshur Street NW
All independently-owned bookstores are special places; Upshur Street Books is no exception (and the Obamas agree). With a wide range of titles + genres (including an especially thorough cookbook selection), perfect kids' shelves, and extras like neighborhood maps, locally produced chapbooks, and art prints from Marcella Kriebel and Victory Dance Creative, Upshur Street (and its engaging staff) = antidote to click-click-click book ordering.
[ Petworth ] [ IG @upshurstbooks ]
Related: Politics & Prose, Sankofa Video Books & Cafe, Kramerbooks
^^^ Violet Boutique
3289 M Street NW
Violet Boutique's Instagram feed says it all: with fun, empowering, and body-positive visuals, the Georgetown boutique is focused on providing an experience that goes beyond the O U T F I T . With four years behind them in Adams Morgan, the shop moved to its new M Street location at the beginning of 2016 and began offering an expanded version of the on-trend + limited edition buys of clothing, shoes, and accessories they've been known for since day one. Be sure to check the much-instagrammed "Wake Up, Kick Ass, Be Kind, Repeat" neon sign (because MANTRA).
[ Georgetown ] [ IG @shopvioletdc ]
Related: LYNN / LOUISA (fashion-y, smart girl apparel + accessories, Georgetown)
A N O T E ( A N D H O W T O S U B M I T S H O P S F O R C O N S I D E R A T I O N )
As with all our FIELD GUIDES, we rely on the nearly half million city perspectives
in the #aCreativeDC feed, and on the knowledge of our editorial team.
Did we miss one of your faves? Drop us a line: info@aCreativeDC.com