If you're a loyal blog reader like ICDC, you may have noticed that the 'blogosphere' is chock full of glittery gift guides. From the best cashmere snood to the most chic monogrammed hostess tray, there's a gift idea for every person on your list from your bestie to your doorman.
Setting aside the slightly sickening consumerism madness, something struck ICDC as very odd: most, if not all, of these gift guides seem to be pushing goods sold by national or internet retailers.
Don't get ICDC wrong - shopping on the internets is extremely convenient and often cost-effective.
But there's something to be said for shopping local. When you spend $100 at an independent
business, approximately $68 returns to the local community - this money funds jobs (like store upkeep, printing, advertising,
paying employees), improves our roads (WE NEED TO FIX OUR POTHOLES, PEOPLE), helps schools and many other critical services.
If you spend the same amount at a
national chain, only $43 returns to the community.
We don't want to lose the fantastic, unique shops along 14th Street, do we? We're already fighting the chain stores in Georgetown..
So instead of offering a beautifully designed holiday gift guide, ICDC endeavors to provide chic ideas for shopping in the greater DC area this year.
1. The ever-stylish Queen Bee Holiday Hive Trunk Show
Two whole weekends are available for you to stop by the QB Hive: December 8-9 and 15-16. Unlike other QB events, trunk shows include the famous hand-made necklaces, but also a variety of chic earrings, bracelets, rings, handbags, pashminas and much much more. 1410 Cool Spring Drive, Alexandria
2. Current Boutique
A consignment store selling new items too! With locations in Logan Circle, Old Town, Bethesda and Clarendon, this boutique is a fantastic, hip and earth-friendly option (wallet, too!). Shop for clothing, bags and jewelry for yourself or your girlfriends.
3. Violet Boutique
Offering affordable price points, customers rave about Violet Boutique owner Julie Egermayer. Some talk about Violet in whispers, afraid of letting the secret out! Clothing turnover is frequent so you won't see someone else walking down U Street in the same romper. Stop by on Sundays and you'll get a glass of bubbly! Ask about gift cards. 2439 18th Street NW
interiors & accessories
A one-stop-shop for everyone on your list, this small Arlington gift shop offers locally-crafted jewelry (stack-able bracelets and octopus rings),
candles, children’s accessories, a line of vegan
leather handbags and accessories, original local art and sometimes a chair or two. 5140 Wilson Blvd, Ste B, Arlington
2. Red Barn Mercantile
Offering true vintage pieces - rather than those "distressed" mass-produced items sold by the big box stores - Red Barn sells furniture and gifts, the most unique conversation starters, wall
hangings and accent pieces. Red Barn's owner Amy Rutherford is known to scour off-the-beaten-track
flea markets for her goods, and is a pro at mixing old with modern and new. Lots of wonderfully smelling soaps and candles and custom lamp shades to die for. 1117 King Street, Alexandria
Trohv is an inventive, independently-owned shop featuring home goods and
gifts. Mixing "urban grit and southern
sensibility" Trohv offers accessories and an upholstery and leather line. After deciding to open a store in DC (their first was in Baltimore), Trohv renovated an old neighborhood A&P grocery in Takoma Park's Historic District (on the Washington side). So, you can metro there and park! Elle Decor recently did a piece on Trohv. It's fantastic. 232 Carroll Street NW
stationary & candles
1. Dandelion Patch
The DC area's most versatile stationer. Since 1994, The Dandelion Patch has been exceeding the expectations for wedding invitations, baptism announcements and brunch notices in any style on any budget.
Named Best Stationer by Northern Virginia Magazine
, Best of the Best by Washingtonian
, Brides' Choice by Weddingwire.com and Top Vendor Pick by
The Knot, this is a fantastic place to pick up a package of note cards or baby postcards for the mother-to-be.
2. Sidney Hale Candles
Sydney Hale Co. is a family owned fragrance house making small-batch
candles out of Arlington. The subtle and unique fragrances are
hand-blended in soy wax from American-grown beans and thoughtfully
packaged in stylish, reusable containers. As part of their business model,
SH donates 10% of the profits from each sale to a local animal rescue
organization. Purchase in local stores (like Covet) or on Etsy.com.
1. Baked & Wired
Known for their large, buttery totally "from-scratch" cupcakes, Baked & Wired is sure to be a hit for the Mom who loves red velvet or the friend who loves carrot cake. In addition to their mouth-wateringly delicious cakes, B&W offers biscotti, buttermilk biscuits, brownies, muffins, cookies, breakfast bread and the best coffee. 1052 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
2. Pie Sisters
"Any time is pie time, morning noon or night." This is
the motto of the Georgetown Pie Sisters Alli, Bear and Cat Blakely. The three
tall sisters from Great Falls, VA have been baking pie for as long as
they can remember. Homemade pies are and have always been a staple in
their family tradition. They grew up canning peaches and putting up
fresh fruit pies, like their mother, which always brought family and
After living in different cities and pursuing
separate careers, a bit of soul searching brought them back to doing
what they love most, baking. Each of the sisters lend their own
distinctive talent and touch making their product truly unique. They
pride themselves on their presentation and delicious pies. Stop by and pick up a pie for everyone on your list!
3423 M Street NW
3. Baked by Yael
Not yet a brick-and-mortar storefront, Baked by Yael is a woman-owned small business specializing in cake pops, bagels, rugelach, black and white
cookies, and other delicious baked goods. Yael made her first bagel during her final year of law school and started baking frequently the summer she
studied for the bar exam. Last November, Yael took the plunge and left her corporate law firm
job of 8 years to focus on Baked by Yael full-time.
How to place an order? Order online or call 202.480.YAEL (9235) to arrange where and when to pick up, or if you want delivery/shipping.
1. Metro Mutts
Got someone on your list with a furry friend? Stop by Metro Mutts for a sqeaky toy or a new drinking bowl. Baked treats for pups are a huge hit, including Puppy Pizza, Best Buddy Burritos, and Apple Cinnamon Mutt Muffins. 508 H Street NE