Where to Shop in DC on Small Business Saturday

Violet Boutique in Georgetown is one of over 300 locally owned businesses in the neighborhood. Photograph courtesy Violet Boutique.

Even though Small Business Saturday is a totally made-up holiday invented by American Express, the sentiment of supporting local mom and pop shops remains a good one. If you’re deciding where to shop on November 26, here’s a guide to get you started.

Old Town Alexandria

The push to shop local business kicks off on Black Friday in Old Town Alexandria, where parking meters will be free for the day and the King Street Trolley will start its route at 9 AM. On Saturday, almost 50 local boutiques are joining the shopping celebration with in-store experiences and giveaways throughout Old Town. In addition to Old Town’s regular line up of boutiques—such as The Shoe Hive, Bishop Boutique, Curated, and many others—this year, the holiday temporary shop 116 King Holiday Pop-Up is bringing a slew of other small brands to Alexandria. To add to the festive shopping spirt, Old Town is also hosting Random Acts of Holiday Cheer every Saturday through December 24, during which visitors may experience an “elf prize patrol,” caroling and other surprise outdoor musical performances, or actors dressed up as characters from the Mt. Vernon estate.


There are over 300 small businesses in Georgetown, and a bunch of them are celebrating Small Business Saturday with giveaways and discounts, including 20 percent off at Reddz Trading, samples of Via Umbria’s Italian foods, 20 percent off everything for sale at Lynn Louisa, and free holiday hair and makeup consultations with a side of Champagne at Illusions Salon. From noon to 5 PM on Saturday, carolers will also perform on M Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and the weekend will feature the launch of the Georgetown BID’s holiday window competition, so keep an eye out for festive window dressings at your fave boutique. To bring the weekend to a close, Georgetown will celebrate its tree lighting ceremony on Sunday, November 27, starting at 5:30 PM at 28th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.


On November 26, Shaw will celebrate Small Business Saturday with at least 16—yes, 16—ribbon cuttings for businesses that are new to neighborhood, starting with Shaw Bijou at 10 AM. Additionally, a tree lighting ceremony and holiday festival will take over the City Market at O Street starting at 1 PM, bringing face painting, electric train rides, and live music to the neighborhood. In between activities at the festival, stop in at some of the best local boutiques in Shaw, such as Lettie Gooch, Read Wall, Current Boutique, and Salt & Sundry.

Capitol Hill

Not only is the DC neighborhood packed with local businesses—from Capitol Hill Books to Summit to Soul—which you can support with your dollars on Saturday, it’s also planning to host a tree lighting ceremony on November 26. After spending an afternoon browsing Capitol Hill shops and visiting Eastern Market for more locally-made goods, stop by the tree lighting ceremony, which will kick off at 5:30 PM outside the Eastern Market Metro stop at 8th Street SE and Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

Mosaic District

With local boutiques like Sophie Blake New York, Take 5, Arielle Shoshanna, and Bluemercury all located at Mosaic District, it makes for a great destination on Small Business Saturday. In honor of the faux holiday, Ah Love Oil and Vinegar is selling its fall and holiday products for 15 percent off and will have a  local producer in store for a meet and greet. Additionally, Undeniable Boutique is celebrating its fifth anniversary and will have bubbly and treats for customers, in addition to a free gift with purchase.

Associate Editor

Caroline Cunningham joined Washingtonian in 2014 after moving to the DC area from Cincinnati, where she interned and freelanced for Cincinnati Magazine and worked in content marketing. She currently resides in College Park.