On International Women’s Day, we celebrate “the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.” Observed during Women’s History Month, it’s a great time to acknowledge the contributions women have made to society—and what better way to do that than to patronize some of their burgeoning businesses? Here, Secret D.C. has rounded up some of D.C.’s local women-run businesses more than worth checking out:
This independent bookstore was founded recently in 2016 by local mother Laurie Gillman, who wished to create a community in her neighborhood. By hosting book clubs, author meet-and-greets, and other community events, East City Bookshop strives to create a community-focused space where book lovers of all ages can come together and learn.
2. Shop Made in DC
Available in storefronts throughout D.C. and at individual popups, Stacey Price’s Shop Made in D.C. specializes in selling only D.C.-made products as a way of supporting and further sustaining local businesses! Learn more here.
3. Lily’s Flower Truck
Founded by Catherine Soltesz, Lily’s Flower Truck held its first pop-up in June 2020. Furloughed amid the coronavirus pandemic, Soltesz decided to dedicate her new free time to pursuing her passion: not just flowers, but “bringing happiness to others.” Since its launch, Lily’s Flower Truck has expanded, now owning two trucks, which travel and popup through the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia area. Named after her dog, a black Labrador Retriever named Lily, you can typically find the company’s adorable namesake sticking her head out the window at popup events, and see the trucks’ schedules on the Lily Flower Truck website.
Co-owned by Brittany Carlson, Lulu’s Winegarden serves beautiful yet casual garden patio vibes alongside all the wine you could wish for! Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, playing a communal game or just having a chat, you’ll find it at Lulu’s!
Upset by the high prices and often commonplace difficulties people face when trying to find and purchase a custom frame, Susan Tynan founded Framebridge. Now, Washingtonians can embrace the chance to enhance their art in the way they choose and at an affordable price! Learn more here.
6. Thip Khao
Run by chef and co-owner Seng Luangrath, if you’re looking for a unique culinary experience with a spicy zing, Thip Khao is the place to go! Serving authentic Laotian dishes from chef, Thip Khao has been named among D.C.’s best restaurants by both the Washingtonian and the New York Times. But heed the spiciness labels: Thip Khao definitely packs the heat!
7. Colada Shop
Daniella Senior is the CEO and founder of the beloved D.C. chain, Colada Shop. The Cuban cafe and bar serves up a delightful mix of Cuban staples and local fare: the empanadas, churros, churro cafe con leche, and the cuba libre pouch are must-trys! Plus, with five locations across D.C., there’s bound to be one nearby! Learn more at the Colada Shop website.
Lissa Muscatine has acted as co-owner of the bookstore Politics & Prose in D.C.’s the Wharf since 2017. Muscatine, who is known for her collaboration on Hillary Rodham Clinton’s memoir Living History, is well-known in D.C. for both her civic-mindedness and aim to help those in the community learn and have access to books.
MahoganyBooks is a Black-owned business, run by husband and wife team Derrick and Ramunda Young, that takes on leadership when it comes to the African American community and endeavors to promote cultural awareness through reading and writing to enhance people’s lives. Founders of this bookstore created a space where the Black community is properly represented. They have a special program called “Black Books Matter” where they promote and showcase all books written by Black authors to educate the community.
10. Sticky Fingers
A labor of love by D.C. resident Doron Petersan, Sticky Fingers is a vegan cafe and bakery that offers all of the frills of a coffeeshop, including delicious cupcakes (they’ve won “Cupcake Wars” twice!) and a matcha latte (with choice of soy, oat, or coconut milk)!