As the pandemic winds down, Kristen Moore says she’s selling more cocktail dresses, blazers and jewelry from her Old Town consignment boutique.
Moore, who owns Twist Boutique (109 N. Fairfax Street), says that customers went for more casual styles when forced to work from home, and now are looking to dress up for work and events.
“People finally have reasons to dress up again,” Moore told ALXnow. “That wasn’t the case for two years, and now people want to look nice as the get back out there.”
Moore said that the pandemic affected everyone, including at Twist, which just celebrated its five year anniversary. Her staff of six was whittled down to two, and she credits regular local shoppers with helping her survive by buying consigned clothing and accessories, home furnishings and gifts.
“We didn’t have tourism and the local community shopped local more,” Moore said, adding that supply chain issues with national retailers led to an uptick in her business. “The middle-end of retailers had issues getting fabrics, and when people went back to Nordstrom they couldn’t find a dress in their size.”
Moore, a native of Houston, Texas, moved to Alexandria 20 years ago to work on Capitol Hill. She spent seven years working as a Congressional staffer and she spent nine years as an aviation lobbyist before leaving it all behind to open her own shop.
“I don’t mis it one bit,” Moore said of working in D.C. “I wanted to do something that I could be happy with, and get up every day and be excited about, and I know that sounds kind of cheesy but it’s true.”
Moore offers a 60-day consignment period, after which consigners can take back their unsold items. The shop gives 50% of sales to consigners for anything below $250, and then 60% for anything more than that, and 65% for anything that sells for more than $1,000.
The higher-end items are under lock and key, as the shop has dealt with thefts in the past.
“Because we have we’ve had David Yurman jewelry stolen before, like really delicate pieces,” Moore said. “We actually had it out because we were photographing it, and then this one lady came in and just yanked it and ran out the door.”
Like Moore, Twist Boutique is an eclectic mixture of styles. For instance, costume jewelry from the 1930s is sold alongside a $3,500 Chanel purse.
“People say I have an eye for putting things together that are unique,” she said. “I’ve always been like this. When I worked on the Hill, people would ask me where I shopped, and I said I shopped consignment. They thought I was joking.”
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Bespoke women’s clothing designer, A.Oei Studio, is opening a fashion pop-up in Old Town Alexandria.
From Feb 2nd – March 29th, shop contemporary ready-to-wear pieces, view unique textile selections, and schedule a fitting for custom-made dresses, bridal and qipao.
Handcrafted in D.C., A.Oei Studio aims to offer an alternative vision of fashion – one that is centered around sustainability, artistry and personalized services.
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