Shopping Guide Profile Listings
An American in Paris
From the shopping-lover’s point of view, Northern Virginia is pretty much the apex of civilization. In one easy to navigate area, there are high-end downtown boutiques, some of the best malls in the country and the one-of-a-kind street-side shops in Old Town Alexandria.
Old Town has a multitude of stores in all varieties. But the truly special stand out. An American In Paris Boutique offers fashion-forward styles by European and domestic designers. A traditional French boutique where you can find stylish clothes for an independent style conscious woman in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. Personalized style consultant services are available. Gowns, dresses, bridesmaid attire, suits tops, jeans, handbangs and jewelry combine to create classic yet versatile wardrobes.
Boutique owner Joelle Solimano, moved to Alexandria 15 years ago and has been operating her boutique for over 14 years. Travelling throughout Europe for her clothes, she looks for timeless pieces that are made with the best fabric. Joelle is passionate about her work stating, “Clothing should be of the highest quality and be worn for multiple seasons. My choices are museum pieces that are classic, eclectic, but most of all, they are fun.” When selecting for her store she searches out European Designers or American Designers with European roots, stocking her store with Black Halo, Nicole Miller Collection, Tibi, Claude Brown, Diesel, Yoana Baraschi and other European designers.
The scenic sidewalks and convenient central location of all the stores make Old Town a great place to stroll for an afternoon or entire day. But you may spend the whole day at An American in Paris. Pets are always welcome.
An American in Paris
1225 King Street • Alexandria, VA
The Kilted Nation
The Kilted Nation (www.kiltednation.com), located at 115 S. Union St. in Old Town Alexandria, specializes in traditional and modern style kilts. We order directly from Ireland and Scotland, all kinds of Scottish and Irish clothing and kilt accessories. In addition to carrying Utilikilts, we have our own brand of modern kilt, the NationKilt, which was recently featured at the international fashion show Dressed To Kilt, in New York City.
115 S. Union St. • Alexandria, VA
(703) 330.7072 • www.kiltednation.com
With a name like Today’s Cargo, you never know on any given day what pieces you might find at the King Street jewelry shop. But with its collection of unique jewelry, you’re sure to find something that suits your style. As you walk through the door, allow your eyes to wander through the collections of sparkling diamonds and gemstones, precious pearls and shimmering silver.
Gladys Irvin, founder of Today’s Cargo, started selling jewelry on a card table at a local flea market in Old Town, Alexandria. More than 37 years later, this quirky shop is a local favorite with its friendly staff, family atmosphere and jewelry of all shapes, sizes,
and price ranges.
Over the years, her business outgrew the flea market and several smaller stores—and it’s easy to see why. Donna McIntyre, store manager, and her staff, source their pieces from jewelry trade shows and from jewelers that the business has maintained relationships with throughout the years. Looking particularly for exceptional pieces from all over the world, customers can often find pearls from China and Japan, gold from Italy, sterling silver pieces from Bali and Thailand, and amber from the Baltic Sea. They also carry a wide variety of fun, and reasonably priced fashion jewelry among many other things.
A combination of high quality jewelry at valuable prices and friendly service has added to this shop’s
success. The pieces available vary from traditional to modern, perfect for those looking to accessorize an outfit or just make a statement. Stop in frequently to browse the seasonal gift items or glance through the collection of estate jewelry to see if something catches your eye.
In addition to jewelry repair, Today’s Cargo offers pearl restringing, appraisals and ear piercing. For those shopping for something special, consult with Today’s Cargo for custom designs, special orders and engraving.
Stop by the store, open daily, for a charming gift or pick up something chic for yourself. No matter what you’re looking for, whether it be a diamond ring, strand of pearls, or as sparkly as a rhinestone pin, one thing is for certain—you will be treated like family.
1102 King Street • Alexandria, VA
(703) 836.6866 • www.todayscargo.com
Lawrence Miller & Company
His store, Lawrence Miller & Co is located in Alexandria and showcases 70 years of combined experience in jewelry design and silversmithing. Lawrence’s pieces represent his effort, artistic eye and a lifelong passion. Lawrence’s story began when he met silversmith Dezso Rubesch. Dezso was taught by his father, Anthon Rubesch, a master silversmith from Hungary, at their Alexandria store. Lawrence began to study with them, truly realizing his passion. Lawrence eventually bought the business from the Rubesch family, and while he’s put his own touch on the store, he continues the unparalleled craftsmanship of the Rubesch legacy.
Lawrence, a GIA graduate gemologist, specializes in working with precious metals, appraising gems and jewelry design. His silversmithing, restoration expertise and overall artistic abilities have been recognized and requested by members of the United States Department of State, the British Royal family and U.S. Senators. Lawrence Miller & Co also boasts a qualified staff of one additional GIA graduate gemologist and Ricardo Covarrubias, a second-generation master goldsmith originally from Bolivia.
Lawrence Miller & Co offers a variety of specialties including: custom jewelry design, original presentation pieces, custom designed sterling silver, buffing and polishing, custom engraving, dent removal, silver and gold plating, and appraisals. Lawrence Miller & Co. is open Tuesday through Saturday and on Sunday and Monday by appointment.
Lawrence Miller & Company
121 S. Royal St. • Alexandria, VA
(703) 548.0659 • www.lawrencedmiller.com
You can book a psychic reading Tuesday through Sunday and you’ll find everything from astrology to zen, incense to crystals. None of the products sold are animal-based, making them cruelty-free and
eco-friendly. In addition, they carry fair trade products, promoting a more harmonious planet for all.
Come shop in the beautiful 200-year-old building at 919 King Street in Alexandria’s Old Town. Owners Anysia and Tom’s canine greeters, Tess and Casey, are always happy to see you! Sacred Circle is your resource center for books and tools of the intuitive arts and sciences, personal growth andnatural health and healing.
919 King Street, Alexandria, VA
(703) 299.9309 • SacredCircleBooks.com
Over the years, our founder has traveled the world in search of unique and exquisite sterling silver
jewelry. In addition to sterling silver jewelry, we also have a variety of 14K gold jewelry. We are located in the heart of historic Old Town Alexandria (about 15
minutes south of Washington, DC).
Our jewelry is handcrafted by over 100 different designers from a variety of countries including
Indonesia, Nepal, Mexico, Turkey, China, India, the Native American Nations, and the United States.
From contemporary and modern to traditional and ancient, we have the widest selection of sterling silver jewelry in our region. Come explore our store’s original exposed brick and beam interior while
discovering jewelry for every taste and budget.
The Silver Parrot
113 King Street • Alexandria, VA 22314
703-549-8530 • www.silverparrot.com
The Potomac Bead Company
In the right hands, silk cord, cracked glass beads and a clasp can create something runway-worthy. With quality materials, striking gems and a two-story studio, the possibilities are endless. Bring your creativity or just bring a friend to the Potomac Bead Co. for the ultimate beading experience.
The Potomac Bead Co. is a full-service beading boutique located in the heart of charming Old Town Alexandria. The beautiful store has two floors of beads with an extensive selection of gemstones, Czech glass, pearls, Swarovski crystal, lampwork, porcelain, metal and seed beads. To complete any creation you could imagine, it offers findings, chain and wire in sterling silver, gold-filled, copper, antique brass and many more. Stock up like a professional from the tool wall or be inspired from the book selection.
Beyond one of the largest selections of beading supplies, the Potomac Bead Co. provides customers with over 15 different classes for making an array of different jewelry styles. There is something for everyone at any skill level, from beginning beading basics to more advanced techniques. Potomac Bead Co. also offers private classes and parties, so bring along a friend for a special event or get a group together for girls’ night out. The children’s parties are also sure to please!
While the beads speak for themselves, the Potomac Bead Co. also prides itself on great values, selection and customer service. Whether you need help with a product or just some overall guidance in your design, the staff is there to help. Kimberly O’Connor, who owns the shop with her husband, is quick to rave about the talent and friendliness of her staff. Since it’s opening in 2008, it has served a variety of cliental, including several renowned jewelry designers.
Select from original ready-to-wear pieces, craft your own jewelry or consult with one of the helpful staff members to create your own beautiful design. The store also repairs and updates your old favorites just waiting to get out of your jewelry box. Let Potomac Bead Co. help you bring your creative visions to life!
Potomac Bead Co.
1104 King Street • Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 299-8730 • www.potomacbeads.com
Ten Thousand Villages
Ten Thousand Villages, located at 915 King Street, is a global bazaar in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. You can find baskets from Africa, hand block printed textiles from India, jewelry and scarves from Peru, pottery from Vietnam and so much more.
Ten Thousand Villages is also a fair trade retailer, one of the few in the Washington, DC, area. “Fair trade means, essentially, that the artist who made your wall hanging or bowl or necklace, got a fair price for his or her labor, taking into account the cost of materials, the time it took and the living wage standard for that country,” explained manager Kate McMahon. “Basically, when you buy fair trade, you’re buying hope, change and a better world.”
“We tell our customers that every item in our store has a person’s life story behind it.”
For instance, McMahon points to a handmade silk rose pin. “These were made in Vietnam, by the children of victims of Agent Orange, a defoliant the US Army used during the war to clear the jungle of hiding places for the Vietcong. It also caused birth defects, such as stunted limbs and brain defects, in hundreds of thousands of people. So now, these children and grandchildren of Agent Orange are making something beautiful - a beautiful flower, of all things, and sending them back to the United States.”
In addition to home décor and accessories, Ten Thousand Villages also sells fairly traded food. You can buy organic coffee and chocolate, as well as soup, bread and cookie mixes from the Women’s Bean Project, its only US-based producer. And to complement any meal, you can discover teapots and mugs, salad bowls and platters, elegant sushi sets and chopsticks, and of course, table linens to complement.
If that weren’t enough, you can also find books that will, as McMahon says, “open your mind and warm your heart,” such as 14 Cows for America, the true story of a post-9/11 gift from Masai tribesmen in Kenya. If music is more your thing, you’ll find interesting instruments for young and old, many that you’ve probably never seen before, like mbiras (thumb pianos), singing bowls, drums and rain sticks that capture the spirit of falling water. The recorded music available includes the latest CDs from Putumayo World Music and Cumbancha.
They even have a space just for kids so young minds can explore books, puzzles, toys and more. McMahon says the galimoto (a wire and cloth push toy from Kenya) is especially popular. Older kids (and their parents) will marvel at the beautiful and intricate kites from Bali in the shapes of birds, dragons and even boats. And yes, they really do fly!
Prices range from a few dollars for beaded rings and inspirational river rocks to a few hundred dollars for a one-of-a-kind coffee table made of reclaimed wood. Most items range between $10 and $50, which means you can buy the perfect gift and still have enough left over for a little something for yourself!
Ten Thousand Villages
915 King Street, Old Town Alexandria
(703) 684.1435 • www.alexandria.tenthousandvillages.com
St. George Gallery
Since the opening of her gallery in Addis Ababa, it has been recognized and praised for displaying art from some of Ethiopia’s most prominent artists. The gallery also features Alene’s own furniture designs, a talent she learned as a child when she worked in her family’s furniture business. She learned hands-on techniques of furniture design and construction, as well as a passion to continue designing her own pieces.
Tucked on one of the quaint, tree-lined streets of Alexandria, her second gallery, which opened in February, is truly a unique Ethiopian experience in Old Town. “St. George Gallery in Addis Ababa has played a big role in promoting art and an appreciation of Ethiopian crafts in Ethiopia. I felt that now was the right time to show the hidden beauty of Ethiopian art to the rest of the world,” says Alene about the opening of her Alexandria gallery. Similar to the original gallery in Addis Ababa, St. George Gallery includes an assortment of Ethiopian works of art.
The handcrafted furniture, some of which are Alene’s own designs, represents her attention to detail and dedication to the quality of construction. When asked where her inspiration comes from, Alene easily responds, “My inspiration is Ethiopian culture, history and heritage but I have gotten specific ideas from visiting historic sites like Axum and Lalebela, old churches in many areas and looking at old manuscripts in churches, museums or photos in books.”
The gallery also houses paintings, including traditional Ethiopian works on parchment and wood, antiques, such as the stunning “Jimma Chairs,” and textiles. Ethiopian jewelry, including silver necklaces, bracelets and anklets, can easily catch the eye of a perusing customer. The silver necklaces, in both traditional and modern styles, are designed specifically for the gallery. Other items that are featured include ceramics and pottery, antique Ethiopian silver neck crosses and hand crosses, and a selection of Ethiopian books.
A percentage of the profits from St. George Gallery support SOLIANA, a local Ethiopian charity that is very close to Alene’s heart. Organized by women, SOLIANA helps women and children in a rural community about four hours from Addis Ababa by supplying clean water, improving educational facilities and planting trees.
While Alene pulls inspiration from many different places for her designs, it is extremely important that her work captures the rich heritage of Ethiopia. Alene was awarded the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Special Gold Medal Award, which was presented by the Ethiopian President in 2005, for her contribution to the preservation and promotion of Ethiopian culture and heritage.
With a supportive family and a dedicated staff, Alene is looking forward to the gallery’s continuing success, “I hope that with the new gallery in Alexandria, I can give different artists a chance to be seen outside of Ethiopia. A gallery in the U.S. has been my dream for many years and I am determined to promote the Ethiopian artists, my furniture and JB Jewelries.” Alene’s strength and vision allowed her to promote the artists, art and culture of Ethiopia in her hometown. Now she brings those same values and beliefs to St. George Gallery in Alexandria to share Ethiopian culture and art with the world.
St. George Gallery
105 North Alfred Street • Alexandria, VA
703.299.9495 • www.StGeorgeOfEthiopia.com