In D.C. Dream Day, we ask our favorite people in the area to tell us how they would spend a perfect day in the District. See previous dream days from Mayor Muriel Bowser, BYT’s Svetlana Legetic, D.C. United’s Steve Birnbaum and more.
Brothers Collin, 13, Ryan, 10, and Austin Gill, 8, started their candle business Freres Branchiaux for two reasons: to afford the Nerf guns and video games they wanted and, more importantly, to help raise money to combat homelessness in the District. “I want to give back to the community because they gave to us,” Ryan says. The brothers donate 10 percent of their proceeds to homeless shelters in the area, a promise they’ve kept since launching Freres Branchiaux in 2017. Demand has grown rapidly for their scented, soy-based candles, which can be purchased at several stores in D.C. and at select Macy’s across the country. The Gill brothers are pretty busy with school and their business, so they would make the most of a D.C. dream day and explore some of their favorite places around the city, along with a few new ones.
Collin: First, we would go to Krispy Kreme in Dupont Circle, located right across from a shop called Shop Made in DC that sells our candles.
Austin: Then we would go to the National Mall and go on the merry-go-round. We’d also stop by the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. We like to go to the bug exhibit — my favorite bug is a tarantula.
Ryan: My favorite bug is like a spider mixed with a scorpion. It has claws and a tail that stands straight.
Collin: My favorite bug is the butterfly. We’ve gone to the butterfly exhibit at least …
Austin: At least 20 times!
Collin: Definitely not 20 times.
Ryan: Then we’ll go to Pentagon City Mall and to The Lego Store and then Auntie Anne’s Pretzels. I love Legos so much! I have like 15,000 to 20,000 pieces. Every day, I find a new Lego — either in my house or in my jacket pocket. They’re everywhere! I like to build cars, planes, helicopters and robots.
Ryan: After shopping, we’d go to The Wharf and eat lunch at Shake Shack. We went there all last summer.
Ryan: Then we’d go to Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream at The Wharf, the best ice cream store in the whole world! My favorite ice cream is salted caramel — three scoops!
Collin: I have two favorites: salted caramel and cookies and cream.
Austin: Salted caramel and chocolate chip are my favorites.
Collin: At The Wharf, we’d also check out Anchor and visit Matt [Vilbas], the owner. They are one of the shops in D.C. that carry our candles.
Collin: I’d also like to see the ice rink at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. We haven’t been there yet and would really like to go.
Collin: Then we’d go to the International Spy Museum — I have not been there yet either. I would love to see the gadgets that are there. They have this umbrella that’s a shotgun and spy glasses that tape and record things.
Collin: To end my day, I would go home, lay on the couch, eat ice cream and then fall asleep.
Ryan: At the end of the day, I would go to a bakery and eat everything! Actually, I would really spend my free day learning Spinjitzu from “The Lego Ninjago Movie.”