Buy local: small businesses to support in DC

Keane Stack-Loney

Of all the secondary impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic hardship has been an issue that people all over the world have struggled with. Social distancing restrictions have negatively affected many entrepreneurial ventures. There are so many great small stores in DC that are in dire need of support; here’s just a few that I’ve been to and would hate to see gone. 


Joint Custody 

Joint Custody is a record store in Downtown DC. Even though it’s small in size, the records collection is definitely not. They have records from various decades, music genres, and artists, which is great because you can find a record that you like, no matter what kind of music you’re into. In addition, they also have vintage sweatshirts, jackets, and t-shirts. Their clothing collection is on the pricier side but, the money is worth it since the clothes are all of good quality. I bought one of their sweatshirts and having worn it all the time, I can tell you it was definitely worth the money. The staff working there are all nice and helpful. If you want to go check it out, the address is 1530 U St NW, Washington, DC 20009.


Femme Fatale DC 

Femme Fatale is a store in Northwest DC that is full of art, skincare, jewelry, crystals, journals, candles, and more. This store is unique in its establishment, since around 50 female entrepreneurs contributed to all the items sold in the store. As such, shopping here is a great way to support businesswomen. What is most noteworthy about the store is that they had such a variety of products for you to choose from. The main thing they sell is wellness products. The bath and skincare products remind me of Lush products, because everything was made out of natural ingredients. There are lots of candles and essential oils to choose from, each with unique yet charming scents. I ended up buying a candle, and needless to say I’m obsessed with it. I also really enjoyed shopping in the jewelry selection. There are necklaces with crystal pendants and some funky earrings that really suit my style. In addition, there are also art prints, journals, crystals, and many other eye-catching accessories. Overall, this store is so cute and worth visiting. The address is 401 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001.    


Smash! Records

Smash! is a record and thrift store in Adams Morgan that was founded in the eighties. The store is filled with lots of music products to buy and look at. It felt very authentic and full of personality, which made it different from other thrift and record stores I’ve been to in DC. The albums sold are mostly punk, but they do have a decent variety of other genres of music, from classic rock to garage to hardcore. In addition, the shop’s accessories collection also carries a unique aura, albeit small in scale. Stylish, vintage, and band clothing goes hand in hand with the impressive shoe collection, all of which have great quality. The staff is super friendly and helpful. One of the people working here told me how they frequently add new items to the clothing section, so I plan on returning and finding something that suits my taste. Overall, Smash has a great vibe, everything is reasonably priced, and it definitely has some hidden gems. The address is 2314 18th St NW 2nd floor, Washington, DC 20009.