D.C. could stand for District of Creativity at the newly opened Shop Made in D.C. The charming boutique-café in Dupont Circle showcases a wide variety of the city’s top makers. Here are five you absolutely need to check out when you stop in.
Neither member of this collaborative duo is named Georgia or Lee. It’s the moniker for cook-turned-potter Katie Aldworth and her design partner, woodworker-metalsmith Francisco Rosario (the name was borrowed from Aldworth’s grandmother). Their spare-but-striking pieces span a wide range of home goods, furniture, sculptures, and dinnerware. You may have already used some of Aldworth’s creations before – her modern-minded plateware is featured at Tail Up Goat and Etto. There’s a food focus to some of Rosario’s work as well, including a series of striking carved wooden doughnuts that possess an otherworldly quality.
Soyini George has a dual degree from Northeastern University – one in art, the other in graphic design and illustration. Her work making clothing and accessories for the pint-sized set started as a hobby in 2010. It morphed into a business four years later. Now she offers hooded bath towels, bibs, washcloths, and onesies, many made with organic cotton sourced here in the States. Her most striking pieces feature screen prints of her sweet animal sketches, which were inspired by her childhood fascination with all creatures great and small.
When Eva Calonder was 9-years-old, she won an art competition for her drawing of a tree. Little did she know that such works would one day be her career. Her sharply realistic illustrations deftly capture an array of plant life from around the globe – from the jungles of Guatemala and hibiscus in Costa Brava, Spain to flora in Paris’ Jardin des Plantes in Paris and a bunch of peonies she bought in D.C. They’re available as striking black and white prints or adorning clutches, tea towels, stationary, and tote bags.
The way designer Dionna Dorsey looks at it, there are dreamers and there are doers. That motivational philosophy inspired her company, which launched at the tail end of 2014, and her bestselling t-shirt, which features the word ‘dreamer’ crossed out with the word ‘doer’ remaining. Her sloganed shirts, hats, hoodies, and onesies are intended to provoke contemplation and conversation – from “Change maker making change” and “Faith over fear” to “Future history maker” and “Creative by culture.” There are even a couple of politically charged options, including, “‘Not my president’ – Me until 2020.” Preach, sister!
Alissa Werres began her career as an architect, but after more than a decade decided she needed a change of pace. She began taking jewelry making classes, but she found herself drawn back to the world of architecture. Her two passions come together in pieces inspired by iconic buildings around the world. Her collections – which could feature necklaces, earrings, tie clips, and lapel pins – pay homage to local icons the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Gallery of Art, as well as the Louvre, the Guggenheim, and the Eiffel Tower.