Femme Fatale DC
Since 2016, Femme Fatale DC has cultivated a community of women and nonbinary vendors from around the area, selling an array of goods, including clothes, skin care and stickers. The pop-up shop, known for its eclectic, inclusive events, currently resides on Massachusetts Avenue and allows for only 20 percent capacity per D.C. guidelines. “Femme Fatale is more than just retail. It’s a community space,” says chief executive Cee Smith. “But [during the pandemic], we’ve lost that aspect.” Since June, Femme Fatale has been holding outdoor markets every Saturday, allowing customers and vendors to safely interact with one another. The holiday season is also the busiest time for Femme Fatale. With improvements made to their online store and weekly Saturday markets until mid-December, they’re determined to keep the store active with handcrafted items such as the Comptoir’s DIY embroidery kit ($25) and Cadence Candles ($40), which come with a QR code to a playlist you can listen to while burning your candle. 401 Massachusetts Ave. NW. femmefataledc.com.
Byrdland Records, Songbyrd Music House’s newest project, has made in-store safety a priority since opening near Union Market in October. Owner Joe Lapan says Byrdland is continually managing the number of people allowed in-store, stocking up on hand sanitizer and allowing customers to make appointments beforehand, with additional appointment-based shopping on busier days. Lapan says they’ve stepped up their e-commerce by building out their own in-store online inventory, and have partnered with the distillery Cotton & Reed for a holiday bundle ($65). In addition to their popular selection of holiday vinyl, Lapan says their in-store 1947 Voice-O-Graph machine, which allows customers to record up to three minutes on a 45-inch vinyl record, has become a popular gift. Record yourself singing for relatives or send a sweet message for $15 for one-sided or $20 for a two-sided recording. 1264 Fifth St. NE. byrdlandrecords.com.
Fia's Fabulous Finds
Fia Thomas, owner of the consignment shop Fia’s Fabulous Finds in Petworth, found that retail businesses, including her own, were already on shaky ground before covid-19. Knowing she did not have a strong online presence, she decided to close her shop early on in the pandemic. Then, a few fellow store owners encouraged Thomas to set up a few Facebook Live sales, where she could showcase items from her store and let viewers buy items through the comments section. After a successful first sale, she dove in headfirst. Since March, Thomas has been holding an average of two Facebook Live sales a week, a plus-size one on Thursdays and small-medium-large on Sundays. (She’s found her Kate Spade sales have done really well.) But for customers who still want that in-person thrifting experience, Thomas offers appointments in store. 806 Upshur St. NW. facebook.com/Fiasfabfinds.
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center
Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, the Hyattsville art hub, is perhaps best known for its annual 10x10 Invitational, where customers huddle together to drink, be merry and instantly buy unique, ready to hang art (in 10x10-inch form) from local artists. This year was no different, says executive director Kate Taylor Davis, except the in-person adrenaline rush was limited. (Davis misses watching people fight over an art work.) The art center, its gift shop and gallery reopened in July, a relief for artists needing to use Pyramid’s equipment and customers eager to browse in person. This year, the center’s gift shop (online and in-store) will be selling its annual letterpress calendar for $36 (sales have already outpaced last year’s) and various pieces from local artists, such artist Jane Lueders’s pro-mask-wearing squirrel tea towel ($25). 4318 Gallatin St., Hyattsville. pyramidatlanticartcenter.org.