Student-run pop-up shop opens in Georgetown

Isabelle Pala

Under the guise of an unused antique store, Princess Stylez hosted their first, and overwhelmingly successful, pop-up on the hot summer day of June 5. Colorful, unique clothing items lined the walls and even more handpicked thrifted shirts, dresses, and pants were arranged on racks throughout the space. 

Princess Stylez, a student-run clothing shop that specializes in selling personalized bundles of vintage and thrifted clothing, started in July of 2020. Largely based on Instagram and Depop, it has since sold dozens of bundles and over a hundred individual items. 

Creator and Wilson student Charlotte Tompkins explained that “one of our friends had recently moved out of her house and needed money so we thought selling our old clothes would be a great way to help her.” Tompkins, along with co-founders Izzy Rosenberg, Sasha Abebe, Sydney Collela, and Sabrina Tovar, eventually turned this hobby into a business as it gained attention and popularity. 

“We really needed to reduce the size of our wardrobe and we had a lot of leftover clothes from bundles and Depop that we wanted to get rid of,” Tompkins said. So, in a stroke of genius, the group decided to host a pop-up shop that would not only sustainably get rid of their clothes but also provide a great way to finish off their high school experience before leaving for college.

The location they found for the event was an old antique store in Georgetown that was going to be demolished, so they were able to use the space in the meantime. In the week preparing for it, they spent every day decorating and setting up. “Our friend Sophie Magerl was also a huge help and brought almost all the decorations and extras, which really elevated the experience,” Tompkins said. 

All around the store, girls and boys frantically sifted through the racks of floral dresses, hand-painted flare jeans, and silky tank tops. The clothes they curated were almost exclusively statement pieces, whether it be with their colors, patterns, or silhouettes, and their customers–which were mostly very fashionable teenagers–knew it. 

Not only were the clothes unique and trendy, but the prices were perfectly in range for the broke high school students they were targeting. With the average top being about $10 and nothing really going much over $20, the clothes were definitely affordable considering their quality. 

 Teenagers from all around DC showed up, but there were definitely a considerable amount of Wilson students. Junior Zoe Kaplan, who heard about it through mutual friends and social media, said she decided to go because “I really like clothes and fashion and I thought it would be pretty affordable.” Because of how busy it was, it was “a little nerve-wracking, but there was music playing, air-conditioning, and it was so colorful, so that made it really fun,” Kaplan elaborated.  

  The pop-up was planned to stay open from 2 to 8 p.m., but within the first hour, it was bustling and the one fitting room available seemed inadequate. By 7 p.m., almost everything had sold out. 

Because of the unanticipated success of this first pop-up, Princess Stylez may be hosting another one later in the summer. Though the business is coming to an end, many of the founders are hoping to continue their fashion endeavors in college, so be on the lookout for them in case they found the next Urban Outfitters.