On the revitalized Seventh Street, Northwest, near the Verizon Center, you’ll see dozens of stores and galleries, including the art spot Touchstone Gallery. What you might miss is the small boutique in Touchstone, aptly named Upstairs on 7th (406 Seventh St., NW; upstairson7th.com). But don’t let its tricky location or small size deceive you—the shop can barely contain owner Ricki Peltzman’s effervescent personality along with the trendy designer clothes, shoes, jewelry, and bags she sells.
Says Peltzman: “My store is really not for everybody, and that’s on purpose, because the women that shop here have a certain confidence in their fashion sense.”
Peltzman caters to sophisticated women 40 and older but says younger women love her jewelry.
“I always carry four clothing lines [Rundholz, Kedem Sasson, Ray Harris, and Skif] and then I try to find a new something to carry every season,” she says.
Peltzman sells bags from Matt & Nat, Cydwoq shoes, and jewelry from Carolyn Zapp, among other lines. She also sells Vosges chocolate bars in various flavors.
But Peltzman is doing more then simply selling; she’s helping make charity fundraising fashionable.
Peltzman was inspired by her previous work in Cleveland with such nonprofits as Dress for Success, which collects and provides business attire for women in need. Since opening Upstairs on 7th, she has donated proceeds from fundraising in the store to a different nonprofit every month.
This month she’s collecting money for Make Piece (mkpeace.com), an organization that teaches women how to make and sell jewelry. She also plans to host a trunk show at her store for all of the Make Piece jewelry designers.
On March 5, Upstairs on 7th is celebrating its first anniversary and Peltzman is throwing a black-and-white party at the Touchstone Gallery. There will be black and white foods, a raffle, and an opportunity to peruse Peltzman’s collection. The event will benefit March’s nonprofit, Suited for Change, which provides low-income women with business suits and other work attire. Those who attend the event are encouraged to bring items for donation.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the shop at 301-351-8308.