When DC-based maker Virginia Arrisueño debuted the concept of Steadfast Supply in the District a few years ago as a pop-up, she had no idea it would grow into what it is today: a community hub connecting small businesses to creative consumers.
The site just opened its second location (and first in Virginia) in Ballston Quarter on July 19, serving as a one-stop shop with gifts for your neighbor or knick-knacks for yourself, ranging from handmade jewelry to painted prints of female icons like Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Frida Kahlo. Plus, every product has a featured label, giving customers the chance to get to know the maker, reflecting Arrisueño’s mission to give independent brands a platform for their creativity.
While the shop’s other location in the Navy Yard is housed in a 3,000-square-foot warehouse, the Arlington-based store is about a third of the size, which, according to Arrisueño, is a good thing.
“We have the chance to be more curated than we are at the Yards,” says Arrisueño. “People can see our vision in a deeper way, so while the design of the space itself is similar—like the copper hangers we use, the black triangles—the color scheme and the display are completely different. This location is like the older, posh sister to the one in the Yards.”
When the team behind Steadfast Supply had the opportunity to open a storefront in Ballston Quarter, they moved quickly, because the demographic is exactly who they wanted to attract, according to Arrisueño. And with a second location comes the chance to add more local designers to the mix.
“We made it a point to carry 90% new brands at the Arlington location because we want this to be a destination,” Arrisueño explains. “For us, it’s like the whole point of having a second store is to really make it a co-op experience, I want people to be able to discover something new.”
Two NoVA-based creatives featured at the shop include jewelry designers Sophie Blake, based in Fairfax, and Amelia Lawrence in Arlington. Shoppers can also find Arrisueño’s own handmade knits from her company, DeNada Design.
In addition to being a retail space, both the DC and NoVA locations serve as a center for design through a series of DIY workshops and network gatherings.
While Arrisueño has plans to implement a more curated event schedule at the Ballston location, for now there are several small, DIY workshops planned for August, including an introduction to calligraphy class, hosted by Samantha Testa, owner of Painted Palettes, on Aug. 16.
For a full schedule of upcoming events at Steadfast Supply, click here.
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