The newest store in the District will feature shelves filled entirely by small local businesses and a cafe serving locally made coffee and treats.
Shop Made in D.C. officially opens Thursday, but D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser kicked off a pre-opening event at the store Monday morning. The shop – located just off Dupont Circle at 1333 19th St. NW – offers products from more than 50 vendors, including prints, cards and jewelry made by local artists.
Many of the items in the store relate to the D.C. area, while others are just crafted by small local businesses. They also sell t-shirts, ceramics, candles and feature a cafe serving locally sourced food and coffee.
The space is open, with sunlight streaming in from the glass storefront. Plain, wooden shelves and flooring make the often colorful pieces on display pop, and a cafe with a long counter spans most of the back wall.
Shop Made in D.C. was founded by Stacey Price and Michael Babin. Price said she conceived the idea for the shop with Babin because the two of them wanted to create a platform to help local businesses thrive.
When local businesses help each other in a place like Shop Made in D.C., they improve the camaraderie among business owners, Price added.
“By supporting those local businesses, they’re actually creating, perpetuating the community that they want to live in,” she said.
In the future, Price said Shop Made in D.C may expand to multiple locations.
Bowser used the opening of the store to kick off #ObviouslyDC Week. This week is part of D.C.’s campaign to house Amazon’s next headquarters. The event comes on the same day the Mayor’s office announced that D.C. would officially put in a bid to host the headquarters in four neighborhoods around the District.
Bowser said businesses like Shop Made in D.C. bring the community together.
“Wherever I go,” Bowser said. “pride in Washington, D.C is at an all-time high.”
At the event, Bowser cited Shop Made in D.C. as an example of how commerce is growing in the District. Bowser said she is proud of decreasing unemployment numbers in D.C. – but there is still more work to do.
“We have brought, thanks to many of these fine people, retail back to the nation’s capital,” she said. “Private sector growth, unlike what many people believe, outpaces public sector growth in our city.”
Alissa Werres, who founded the jewelry company Off on a Tangent, said she was excited to get her D.C.-based business on the shelves.
Werres, like some other local vendors, has her product available in other stores in D.C. like retail store Steadfast Supply in Navy Yard, but she said Shop Made in D.C. is the only place she has supplied to that sells local products exclusively.
“It’s all about supporting local,” Werres said. “I’m a maker so I also seek out other makers to purchase items.”
District-themed T-shirt and apparel shop District of Clothing is another vendor inside Shop Made in D.C. Dionna Dorsey, the designer and owner of the store, said Bowser’s support will be influential in ensuring the new spot is successful.
“Our city and our mayor is very supportive and understands the needs of small business owners,” Dorsey said. “She is actively working to give us exposure as well as resources vital to business development.”