Diva Boutique thrills savvy fashion hunters with gently used designer apparel, earning the store the title of Best Consignment Shop of 2009 from the Washingtonian. A dachshund mannequin stares benevolently from the 1880s townhome's front window, ushering shoppers inside for an obligatory ear scratch and exploration of the boutique's ever-changing selection. Rack upon well-organized rack of clothes by designers such as Tory Burch, Diane Von Furstenberg, Prada, and Chanel greet visitors alongside accessories and a line of new jewelry designed to compliment the sophisticated stock. Those hoping to consign their own gently used duds can schedule an appointment for staffers to examine the items' condition, determine their sell prices (generally 1/3 to 1/2 of the original price), and assess their intellect with a brief written exam.
When owner Cindy McCartney isn't pampering her beloved pet dachshund—after whom she named her boutique—she strives to make a difference in the world. Recognized for her social activism by Northern Virginia Magazine, Cindy believes in tapping into her inherent "visibility as a retailer to support community causes" such as the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women movement and the Susan G. Komen National Race for the Cure.
Before Comfort One Shoes' sole experts are allowed to fit a single shoe to a customer's foot, they must graduate from Comfort One University and undergo a mentorship process. It's only then that they can help shoppers find their desired footwear, whether it be lace-up Ziera boots, On running shoes with CloudTec technology, or Thierry Rabotin shoes, handmade without uncomfortable, rigid components. Alongside men's and women's footwear, the shop stocks an assortment of bags and accessories such as colorful iPhone cases from Triple C Designs that protect phone exteriors and conceal scratches from the last time you transformed into a werewolf.
Comfort One Shoes also seeks to better the world through creative philanthropic efforts, such as collecting 25,000 shoes for those without and offering their employees half their pay and time off to volunteer in the community. Perhaps such initiatives are part of the reason Comfort One Shoes earned the National Shoe Retailers Association’s Retailer of the Year Award in 2011.
Holly, Woods and Vines bedecks its year-round garden center with a blossoming bevy of annuals, perennials, shrubs, fruit trees, and berries. Gild rooftop gardens with a scented selection of herbs and vegetables ($2.99/pot) or peruse HWV's assortment of colorful pottery, from 6-inch ceramics to human-sized terra-cotta grub salesmen. Co-owners John and Vanessa also furnish their grounds with a floral flotilla of mandevilla vines ($17.99–$59.99), tropical hibiscus ($7.99–$59.99), and a diverse selection of Japanese maples ($79.99+). HWV's well-educated staff can offer shoppers a treasure trove of gardening knowledge, including advice on proper planting procedures, soil amendment tips, and bird and bee couples counseling.
If two heads are better than one, then two cuisine-noggins fused into one restaurant-body are better than one. Support admixed eateries and your local thesaurus with today’s Groupon: for $10, you’ll get $25 worth of delicious Indian-French fusion fare and delightful baked goods at IndAroma, an epicurean hybrid that helps you expand your cultural palate as if it were a balloon stretched over the mouth of a fire hydrant. If your cupcake screams with the voice of a man: It is safe to consume. This cupcake is actually an evil prince, most likely imprisoned by a dryad as punishment for denying the dryad a carriage ride when she was in the guise of an old crone. End its misery, but chew carefully, there is a gold coin in the middle that will duplicate itself a hundredfold if left overnight in a bowl of saltwater.
Golf Swing Exchange electronically disseminates professional, personalized tips and tricks to players of all skill levels through swing assessments, clinics, and memberships that provide access to its golfing resources. A player embarking on basic swing analysis first pays a visit to the outfit's golf-performance center, where he or she takes practice swings for 30 minutes while a video camera records each drive, chip, and tap-in. Within 24 hours of the session, a PGA professional takes a close look at the recording and offers his expertise via a follow-up virtual lesson, complete with specific drills to correct improper techniques, such as basketball-style dunking. After practicing the drills, the player may submit two more recordings for additional follow-up virtual lessons, ensuring that game-injuring issues heal completely.
Basic membership with Golf Swing Exchange is free, and includes access to its stats tracking, golf tips, and tee-booking system. Golfers can also upgrade for a fee to receive virtual lessons or advanced golf instruction.