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Alicia Valencia Erb just consigned herself to a new business venture in Old Town.

After a career in marketing, the Alexandria resident opened Vida Style, a new consignment boutique at 210 N. Lee Street on August 1, and held a grand opening last Sunday (August 28). Erb gives consigners 50-to-60% of the profits and 60 to 90 days to sell items before they are returned.

“There are things in the back of your closet that have not seen the light of day in a while,” Erb told ALXnow. “Let me help you with that decluttering problem and give life a second life to these clothes. We’ll see if it goes with Vita Style, if it’s on-brand here. If it’s something that my customers will shop for, I’ll take it on consignment for 60 days.”

Until June, Erb spent five years as vice president of member relations at the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors. Before that she was an engagement strategist for more than a decade with the Credit Union National Association, and altogether worked 20 years with various associations.

While she attended the University of Maryland, she also spent two years as a hotline operator for the America’s Most Wanted television show, where says she helped track the whereabouts of Andrew Cunanan, the killer of Gianni Versace.

“I actually helped to capture Andrew Cunanan, who killed Gianni Versace,” Erb said. “There were very, very good tips that I got on Andrew Cunanan sightings when he was making his way from Chicago, Illinois, and on down to Florida.”

Twenty-five years later, Erb says that the pandemic shifted her professional focus. Working from home, she started researching other businesses to get into, even looking as far as alpaca farming before settling on opening a consignment shop. She even got a part-time job at local consignment shop in Old Town for nine months to get a handle on the business.

“I’ve never worked harder in my life,” she said. “I’m not frantic, nervous or anxious. It’s just one step at a time, and it gives me joy to do something for myself.”

Erb says that blazers are trending, as office attire has become flexible over the last couple years. Popular discounted brands at the small shop include Prada, Neiman Marcus and Banana Republic.

“Blazers are really hot right now,” she said. “Traditional fall sweaters and blazers are really popular.”

Erb brings a personal touch to the business.

“I engage with everyone who walks in.,” she said. “I’ve had exchanges of tears at the register just because I share my story and customers share their story. I make friendships wherever I am. I love doing that.”

Via Facebook

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Athleta winter gear, photo via Athleta/Facebook

Women’s activewear store Athleta is opening today at 607 King Street in Old Town.

The store opens at 10 a.m. (so now-ish) and it open until 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. On Sundays, Athleta is open 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

“From Tuesday through Sunday we’ll be running a raffle from local businesses, studios and gyms,” Assistant Manager Michael Heit said in an email. “Raffles include local coffee, southblock giftcards, three month and two month memberships to gyms and studios along with a free year membership to Snap Fitness on King Street!”

Heit said the store will also have smaller giveaway prizes this week, along with samples and coupons to other local businesses.

Currently, as Alexandria dabbles with bouts of cold weather, Heit said cold-weather tights are particularly popular.

“Our cold weather running tight, the Rainier, is by far our most popular item right now for the colder weather months,” Heit said. “We can’t wait to open for everyone to see the gorgeous new space, never would have guessed it had been a La Tasca for all those years!”

Photo via Athleta/Facebook

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Morning Notes

MOMs Shopping Center Set for Redevelopment — A “D.C. developer filed preliminary plans with Alexandria earlier this month for the project, looking to completely overhaul a Mount Vernon Avenue shopping center near Four Mile Run Park, now called Del Ray North. It’s currently home to a MOM’s Organic Market, but has seen a variety of retail vacancies recently.” [Washington Business Journal]

Port City Planning 9th Anniversary Celebration — “Time to celebrate 9 awesome years of brewing with the only way we know how: a COLOSSAL release! For our ninth anniversary we are introducing COLOSSAL IX a Weizenbock to the COLOSSAL lineup.” [Port City Brewing]

Sephora Now Open in Old Town — “Cosmetics store Sephora is opening a store in Old Town Alexandria on Friday, Jan. 24. The store is located at 810 King Street, the former site of home furniture store Random Harvest. That store moved to 814 King Street.” [Patch]

Possible N. Va. Coronavirus Case — “The Virginia Department of Health says it is investigating three people, including one in northern Virginia, who ‘meet both clinical and epidemiologic criteria’ for coronavirus.” [Fox 5, Virginia Dept. of Health]

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Morning Notes

APD Investigates Friday Night Robbery — “The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a commercial robbery in the 3100 block of Duke Street. Merchandise was taken and one minor Injury. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

Appointment for Former Fire Chief — “Former Alexandria, Va Fire Chief Robert Dubé has been appointed Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, according to a press release issued Friday, January 10, 2020 from Governor Ralph Northam’s office.” [Zebra]

New Sephora Store Close to Opening — “Wood floors, lots of mirrors, and colorful walls are in place at the new Sephora makeup store in Old Town Alexandria. Sephora’s Alexandria store, at 810 King St., will open Jan. 24, according to the company.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Holds Housing Summit — “Hundreds of residents and local leaders gathered in Alexandria, Virginia, for the city’s 2020 Housing Summit as local officials worked to take on the challenge of affordable housing. The full day event offered discussion on everything from housing for seniors and the 2013 Housing Master Plan to the development and preservation of affordable living.” [WTOP]

Federal Case Details Local Swatting Incidents — “Another false threat was called in to the Alexandria police last January; the caller claimed to have killed his girlfriend and taken her two children hostage. The address he gave was of a person protected by the U.S. Secret Service. A person familiar with the incident said it was resolved without fanfare after a call to the Secret Service” [Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

A Look at the Cannabidiol Store in Old Town — “The Zebra wanted to find out the latest on the CBD craze and visited Your CBD Store at 301 S. Washington Street! Shells Karle opened the shop in May. She also individually owns two other locations in Alabama and is looking to possibly expand to Richmond.” [Zebra]

Good Tidings at Port City — Port City Brewing has released Tidings, its holiday seasonal spicy Belgian style blond ale. [Facebook]

VRE Santa Train Returns — “A holiday tradition cherished by thousands of Northern Virginia families, VRE Santa Trains will run Saturday, December 14… Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elves will be on board listening to children’s holiday wishes and handing out goodie bags.” [Zebra]

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Morning Notes

Road Closure Near King Street Metro — “Weather permitting, this Fri. Nov. 1, 9:30am-3pm construction work will close Cameron St. btwn Commonwealth & King (red oval). King & Dangerfield (orange lines) will be single lane. Periodic 10 minute total closures will occur. Avoid the area.” [Twitter]

New Boutique Now Open — “When Sarah Bryen and Abigail Wolverton realized they’d been dating the same guy, neither could have imagined they’d be signing a lease on a boutique together less than a year later. The pair soft-opened Sassy Boutique, a mid-to-high-range women’s clothing resale store, in a 225-square-foot space in Crilley Warehouse on North Lee Street about two weeks ago.” [Alexandria Times]

Daylight Saving Time Reminder from Fire Dept. — “#DaylightSavingTime ends this weekend. Don’t forget to check your smoke alarms when you turn back your clocks Sunday, Nov. 3! If you need a smoke alarm, request one here.” [Twitter]

Police Get In on Lee Street Halloween Fun — “Tonight was spooktacular! South Lee Street held its annual Halloween event! APD stopped by too.” [Twitter]

Nearby: Fundraiser for Belle Haven Businesses — “The Mount Vernon-Lee Chamber of Commerce’s online fundraiser for businesses affected by last week’s 6-alarm fire at Belle View Shopping Center has raised close to $4,000.” [Alexandria Living]

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