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Words + Photos: Lauren Bulbin

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Spending a Saturday on U Street is one of my favorite things to do. Whether I am simply people-watching or shopping for the perfect handmade accessory, I love that part of downtown Washington. For almost a decade now it has been my number one stomping ground. That’s why hearing that one of U Street’s famed stores, Ginger Root, is expanding its existing clothing design, tailoring and retail space to include the second floor of the building is so exciting!

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Erin Derge and Kristen Swenson-McCoy, the wonderful clothing designers who own Ginger Root, are two bubbly red heads who could tailor their way through any storm. They have made a name for themselves as two of the best seamstresses in Washington, and over time expanded their store from their own tailoring and finely made repurposed pieces to include the wares of handmade local artists that will knock your socks off. On Saturday, to showcase the opening of their newly renovated upstairs space and introduce the new digs, they set up a trunk show of four of their local artisans. The show included the work of Clara Cantor, who creates intricate wire-wrapped earrings and beaded necklaces; YB Green, who makes jewelry out of recycled glass from New Orleans 9th Ward; Ciao Nina, who makes gorgeous hats, necklaces and accessories; and last but not least, my own Lauren Joan necklaces, bracelets and earrings.

Saturday’s light spring rain didn’t stop the shoppers and fashion forward crowd of Washingtonians from coming out to enjoy the festivities. The freshly renovated store was bustling with existing customers and newcomers, who shopped and mingled over delicious cocktails in style. Shoppers admired in particular the Moroccan-inspired glass chandeliers and exposed brick wall, the dark hardwood floors, and the large display window. There was a general consensus that the addition was beautiful and very well done. Patrons were buzzing not
only about the additional space but also the newest artist to be featured in the store, Ciao Nina, and her stylish wool felt fascinators.

Ginger Root’s new floor is a great addition to one of the best stores in the U Street corridor. The space is going to be open again this coming weekend for a Butler & Claypool Pop Up Shop. Stop by on Saturday May 12th and check it out for yourself. Knowing the ladies of Ginger Root, it is sure to be a good time!

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