Since 1999, the specialists at VA Runner have outfitted customers with footwear for varied terrain, from local hiking trails to urban sidewalks. Although the staffers specialize in technologically advanced running shoes, they also work to make sure their clients are comfortable during everyday tasks such as walking the dog or pirouetting gracefully across slick supermarket floors. They call upon specialized knowledge in the fields of anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics to ensure a proper fit and enjoyable workout for each customer. The store also hosts races and running events, which can be viewed on its event page.
The staff at Fashion Time hold time itself in their hands, in the form of their store’s collection of eye-catching watches. At locations throughout Maryland and Virginia, they repair watches in addition to pairing customers’ wrists with low- and high-end watches from name-brand designers, such as Edifice, Kimio, Seiko, and Citizen. Customers can also peruse the store’s inventory on its comprehensive website, with shipping available nationwide. Already-purchased watches can be registered online through an easy submission form or a more difficult smoke-signal pattern.
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.
The readers of Washingtonian magazine voted the family-owned Princess Jewelers "Best Jewelry Store" in 2008, winning the company well-deserved notice for the careful, custom craftsmanship of its talented, certified jewelers. Two elegant showrooms display engagement and wedding rings set with diamonds or semiprecious stones, as well as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and cufflinks that make a glittery gift for significant others or surprised trick-or-treaters. The company imports a large inventory of loose gemstones and diamonds, which may be fashioned into original designs or replicas of pieces in photographs, and jewelers can also restore damaged pieces to their previous beauty and wearability. On-site graduates of the Gemological Institute of America are capable of identifying legitimate gemstones by scent alone, using their bling-based expertise to appraise customers' new and antique jewelry and assist them through each step in the selection of a quality showpiece.
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.
Today’s Cargo’s roots go back to Gladys Irvin’s flea-market stand, which sold handmade jewelry from Thailand based on whatever arrived in the mail that day. Now, more than 37 years later, the business permanently resides in a flea-less storefront, and the commitment to quality jewelry and accessories remains. On any given day, shoppers will find hand-selected items such as 14k gold bracelets, diamond rings, vibrant gemstones, estate jewelry, and pearl earrings. Dress your neck in the peach pastel freshwater pearl necklace with pendant ($60), dazzling crystal bracelets ($20 each), an array of scarves ($10 each), or the sterling silver hammered circle pendant ($40). Jewelry options range from classic to modern and simple to artsy. Shuffle in standard and walk out beaming with the glitzy goods of Today’s Cargo.