Last week, as part of its series featuring the entrepreneurial communities of major US cities, Business Insider published a list of the 24 Coolest Small Businesses in DC. Described as a roundup of changemakers who “eat, drink, and shop like the rest of us,” the list featured some big names in food and drink (Rogue 24, Green Hat) and Web (Koofers)—but when it came to retail, the included shops weren’t quite what we expected. While there’s no question the four business, detailed below, are models for local small-biz success, we were also hoping to find more local, norm-challenging clothing boutiques getting a moment in the spotlight. We’d have liked to see some recognition of such businesses as Redeem, Anthom, Federal, or Hu’s Wear, to name a few—businesses that are transforming the image of the city just as much as a stellar 24-course tasting menu does. Read on for the ranked retail spots—and let us know what you think.
The Adams Morgan studio, which offers workshops and private lessons in the art of sewing, is known as a hub for both hobbyists and local clothing labels such as Nana. It was placed on the list for “bringing more kids around to this fun and useful skill with lessons designed for smaller fingers.”
The downtown jeweler, which offers everything from high-end engagement rings to cool patterned cufflinks, was recognized for its sustainable approach to fine accessories—including pieces “made from recycled metal, conflict-free diamonds, and fair-trade gem stones”—in a no-pressure environment.
Hatmaking is the specialty of this DC-based online brand, which got the nod from Business Insider for its 100-percent cotton and leather products for under $35. “With an emphasis on youth, fun, and timeless appeal, its trademark cap comes in a variety of prints that range from floral and camo to scenes of migrating geese (seriously),” the website wrote.
The whimsical 14th Street staple, which restocks with home furnishings and vintage pieces weekly, was described as “a matriarch of the community since 1997”; the article also noted owner Pixie Windsor’s tendency to keep chocolate chip cookies in the store each day “to keep the boyfriends occupied while the chickadees shop.”
What local clothing and accessory brands do you think deserved a spot on the list? Share your suggestions in the comments.