You’ve probably seen the Neighborgoods’ colorful, food-centric wares around town—the dishtowels with avocados and “Avo nice day” screen printed on them, the “Thank you berry much” greeting cards covered in strawberries, the baby onesies that read “I’m kind of a big dill” over an illustrated dill pickle.
But soon you’ll be able to find all its quirky magnets, notebooks, and other goods in one spot. By the end of April, the Neighborgoods will open its first brick-and-mortar shop in Shaw on the first floor of the Atlantic Plumbing building.
It’s been a quick turnaround, says founder Jodi Kostelnik. Until the end of last month, Bazaar Spices occupied the storefront. But when Kostelnik’s friend Tori Partridge of the next-door Cherry Blossom Creative told her the space was up for lease, she pounced.
“I always thought it’d be so awesome and ideal to have a space that’d be a shop up front and a studio in the back,” she says, having long worked out of her Logan Circle apartment (she’d resorted to storing her growing inventory in the shower). “It happened quickly and we’re not looking back. I feel like it’s the right time and the right fit.”
Kostelnik started the Neighborgoods in 2014. At the time, she was living in New York and running her own graphic design business, but she realized her favorite project was creating the packaging for the cookies she sent clients during the holidays. “I loved baking and cooking and making food for other people,” she says. “But I wasn’t about to open a bakery, so I decided to switch my design focus to clients in the food industry.”
The only catch? She didn’t have a food-related portfolio. So she started illustrating some of her favorite recipes to use as samples, and eventually got the idea they’d look cute screen printed on dishtowels. She took a screen printing class, thinking she’d just make a few dishtowels to give away as presents, but word spread and the business was born.
She and her husband moved to DC in 2015, and last year, she stopped taking on outside design work, hired her first assistant, and decided to pursue the Neighborgoods full-time. You can find her work in spots like Glen’s Garden Market, both Shop Made in DC locations, and Urban Dwell (last summer, she did a collaboration with the National Museum of Women in the Arts, too).
In addition to all the Neighborgoods products, Kostelnik’s store will carry a curated collection of home goods and kitchenware. She also wants the spot to serve as a community space, and plans to host classes and workshops and collaborate with some of the other stores and restaurants in the area (she’s already a big fan of Hazel and 801).
“Being part of the DC maker community, there’s a need for people to get together and talk shop and hang out,” she says of opening her doors. “I want it to feel like a warm hug when you go in there.”
The Neighborgoods will celebrate its grand opening with a party May 4. Swing by to shop and enjoy Compass Coffee and Poppy’s bagel bites to start the day and beer, wine, and music in the evening.
The Neighborgoods; 2130 8th St. NW