Little Leaf
Little Leaf Credit: Courtesy of Little Leaf

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From gifts and cards to cocktails and dinner, consumers are expected to spend an average of $196.31 on Valentine’s Day, according to estimates fromthe National Retail Federation. If you are going to spend on Valentine’s Day, why not take the opportunity to shop locally? The D.C. area is home to creative and caring people who run thoughtful businesses. Many of them pour our money back into the community. So, here’s 10 suggestions of purpose-driven places to shop locally all across the city. 

MahoganyBooksLocation: 1231 Good Hope Road SEInstagram: @mahoganybooksMahoganyBooks began as an online bookstore specializing in books for, by, or about people of the African diaspora. In 2017, the founders, a husband and wife team, opened a brick-and-mortar shop in the Anacostia Arts Center, where they host events featuring African American authors and help make books more accessible. 

The Potter’s HouseLocation: 1658 Columbia Road NWInstagram: @pottershousedcThe Potter’s House is part nonprofit café, part bookstore that highlights multicultural voices and books on social activism, spiritual traditions, and cultural movements. Besides coffee and books, The Potter’s House provides hot meals for people who would otherwise go hungry, offers space for local churches to hold worship services, and hosts local events, such as free yoga and community conversations.

Nubian HuemanLocation: 1231 Good Hope Road SEInstagram: @nubianhuemanIn 2013, Anika Hobbs founded Nubian Hueman, an apparel and accessories boutique, to celebrate and cultivate designers representing the global African diaspora. The store is located in the Anacostia Arts Center and, according to the store’s website, nearly all of the products carried have been made and purchased by people of color.

The OutrageLocation: 1722 14th St. NWInstagram: @theoutrageonlineThe Outrage opened as a pop-up shop in January 2017, selling feminist-themed merchandise for the Women’s March. Since then, the store has expanded to offer products—apparel, accessories, and home decor—that celebrate and support activism of many kinds. With every purchase, The Outrage makes a donation to selected progressive organizations. 

Lee’s Flower and Card ShopLocation: 1026 U St. NWInstagram: @leesflowersdcLee’s Flower and Card Shop in Shaw creates beautiful floral arrangements and decor. Established in 1945, the family-owned and operated business offers online ordering and same-day delivery. A bouquet and a card from Lee’s makes for a classic Valentine’s Day gift.

Little Leaf Location: 1401 S St. NWInstagram: @littleleafshopLittle Leaf sells mostly plants and plant accessories—snake plants and succulents, orchids and fiddle-leaf figs, pots and hanging planters. Nearby transportation options are the U Street Metro station and the 52 and 54 bus lines, in case carrying a new bird of paradise plant up the street during rush hour doesn’t sound ideal.

Shop Made in DC Location: 1710 Connecticut Ave. NW, 1242 Wisconsin Ave. NW, and 10 District Square SWInstagram: @shopmadeindcAs its title suggests, Shop Made in DC carries products created by local artists and designers, including original artwork, hand-painted ornaments, stationery, cutting boards, candles, coasters, and coffee mugs. Visit one of three locations in Dupont, Georgetown, and the Wharf.

Steadfast SupplyLocation: 301 Tingey St. SE and 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington Instagram: @steadfastsupplydcSteadfast Supply stocks art and other goods from independent artists around the country and the world. Just a few of the potential gifts on display are statement earrings, hats, doormats, and bath salts. Steadfast Supply also offers DIY workshops, a good gift for someone who values experiences over things—recent topics have included arranging cheese boards and creating organic skincare products.

Urban DwellLocation: 1837 Columbia Road NWInstagram: @urbandwelldcUrban Dwell has a bit of everything: Christmas ornaments, puzzles, jewelry, mugs, paint-your-own wooden unicorn kits, throw blankets, scented candles, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg merch. Pick up a marble cheese board for Valentines who enjoy hosting.

Ivy WildLocation: 1328 Florida Ave. NWInstagram: @ivy.wild.beautyLocated in the Manhattan Building on Florida Ave., Ivy Wild is a skincare and makeup store founded on the idea of clean beauty. Many of the brands carried are organic or nontoxic, and inside, there is a beauty counter with midcentury chairs and mirrors for trying on products.

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