13 DC Small Businesses to Support This Holiday Season

From plant accessories to vintage finds, your holiday shopping list is covered.

The holidays are here and with it, the rush of holiday shopping. While it’s easy to rely on online shopping to cover your gift list, DC has a tremendous wealth of makers, independent shops, and retailers that make supporting a local small business as easy as tapping your credit card. So whether you shop on Small Business Saturday or wait a bit longer to get started checking off your list, here are some of the District’s best small, independent stores to support this holiday season.

Appointed
Appointed

Ivy City
Cult favorite stationary brand Appointed celebrates its DC roots with a new flagship shop in the heart of Ivy City. In addition to retail space, the outpost also functions as the brand’s studio and office—the result is a minimalist’s dream. A sleek notebook bar invites you to create your own notebook by selecting the paper type, cover, as well as the option to add a monogram. The good people at Appointed will assemble it while you wait in the sunny shop, browsing the curated collection of desk accessories and writing tools hand chosen by the brand’s founder Suann Song from her favorite brands around the world.

Georgetown
This multi-brand source is enjoying a brief pop-up in Georgetown, now through December 31. The collective will feature nearly two dozen local makers including Alexandria-based Tulusa, known for textiles and block-printed housewares; the jewelry and vintage leather peddler, Definition Studio; Charix Shoes; and vintage wares and disco balls from Libby Living Colorfully.

Brightwood Park
While record-buying is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance, Home Rule Records is one of only a few dozen Black-owned record stores in the whole country. And this shop celebrates the city’s deep musical roots. Home Rule has carved out a name for itself as an expert purveyor in jazz, soul, reggae funk, and rare vinyl. The full, curated space in Brightwood Park is a bastion of art, music, and music discussion. In addition to records, you’ll often find a local artisan popping-up to sell their wares within the space.

Brookland
Female-founded jewelry studio Kicheko is a local favorite for handcrafted pieces inspired by nature, texture, travel, and geometry. The bold and thoroughly modern pieces are designed in the District and made locally. Plus, Kicheko operates a social impact program with a portion of their proceeds funding school scholarships for children in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Little District Books
Little District Books

Capitol Hill
A new storefront on Barracks Row, Little District Books is a queer-owned bookstore that shares and celebrates LGBTQ authors and stories. The shop sells books for all ages and reading interests, from nonfiction to children’s books, novels, and more. Little District Books also carries small gift items and a fun monthly book subscription that would make a perfect and generous holiday gift.

Logan Circle
Like records, house plants are certainly having a moment, so you might want to think seriously about gifting a plant or two this year. Head to this boutique plant studio that specializes in house plants, paper goods, and gifts. The space is designed to evoke the feeling of a small urban jungle and just stepping in to browse is a transformative experience. Little Leaf’s team can offer tips on the best plants to gift as well as lend their design expertise on what makes sense for different rooms and decor.

Georgetown
The Phoenix has come to be a Washington staple. The shop was first opened back in 1955 by a couple who took annual trips to Mexico to source unique fashion and art pieces. The Phoenix is currently run by the third generation of that family and continues its commitment to global and sustainable fashion, jewelry, and home goods.

Salt & Sundry
Salt & Sundry

Multiple locations
Celebrating 10 years in the District, Salt & Sundry now has two storefront locations. The store carries more than 200 independent brands, with about 20 local businesses and more than 180 female-owned brands. The collection has an overarching eclectic and bohemian aesthetic with globally influenced designs, making it a great place to shop for home items like candles, high-quality table linens, baby gifts, and jewelry.

Capitol Hill
The retail outpost of Capitol Hill design firm, Sanabria & Co, is a cozy space on East Capitol that sells a range of home items from high-priced vintage finds and splurge-worthy pillows and throws to affordable locally made pieces like stationary, notebooks, candles, and jars of honey. While the aesthetic is clean, homy, and modern, you can always find something here a little unexpected.

Multiple locations
Is there anything better than flowers? After a surge of online flower delivery orders during the pandemic, former journalist turned florist Holley Simmons expanded her storefront business to include two spaces: a flagship in Eckington and a petite space on Barrack’s Row in Capitol Hill. Yes, you can buy fresh flowers from local farmers, but you can also shop She Loves Me’s selection of vases, candleholders, candles, puzzles, cards, and other thoughtful gifts. Both locations also have a dry flower bar where you can hand pick stems to form a dried bouquet that would be perfect for a unique and long-lasting gift.

Shelter
Shelter

Union Market
This bright, modern storefront just outside of Union Market specializes in unique fine and semi-fine jewelry, heirloom pieces, and custom work by both the store owner Mallory Shelter, as well as other hand-selected boutique brands from around the world. Shelter has built a following for its custom engagement rings and wedding bands, but their selection of non-wedding pieces is worth stopping for alone. If you’re not in the market for jewels, check out the selection of top-quality gift items.

Atlas District
This unique, minimalistic boutique sells clothing brands from both local and international makers that are hand-selected for the shop owner’s taste for timeless and quality construction. In addition to high-end attire and some gifts, Shopkeepers has a small cafe selling coffee, bubble tea, and select Asian grocery items.

Adams Morgan
This store was founded by a veteran who gave 22 years of active service and was drawn to do something totally different. The result is a colorful shop that radiates a sense of playfulness, offering trend-forward gifts for the home and kitchen as well as baby gifts, men’s and women’s accessories, and some stationery and books.

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Madeline Weinfield is a Thrillist contributor.