A regular fixture on the top-50 running-stores list published annually by Running Insight, Potomac River Running is a family-owned business of running enthusiasts and professional coaches who aim to spread a joy of running and walking around the Washington, DC, area. Focused on providing a fun and welcoming environment for people of all fitness levels, Potomac offers brand-name footwear and apparel for feet and the bodies attached to them. The custom shoe-fitting process begins with an iStep foot scan and a video gait analysis to analyze your step and the shoe that would best complement it. Once toe-holders have been measured and monitored, slide them into a pair of running or walking shoes ($80–$180), and then top off your lower half with running shorts ($25–$40) or cloak your supra-belt region in a shirt ($20–$120).
Cloud 9’s sartorial sages drape women and men alike in colorful, layered threads from a plethora of brands, creating youthful, vibrant looks that have earned kudos from Baltimore Magazine. Sunglasses ($20/pair) join body wrappings such as durable denim, kaleidoscopic sundresses, and knotwork tunics that double as fishing nets in case of shipwreck. While offerings vary by location and availability, possibilities include a white AnM tank blooming with rolled fabric roses ($24) and a Tickled Pink floral-patterned, gathered green clutch ($15). Enswathe tigress torsos in a leopard-print Free People tank top ($38), or breeze by in a gauzy Tickled Pink scarf shot through with silvery threads ($22) to ward off vampiric combs.
Locally focused, organic, and independently owned are three ways to describe Dawson’s Market. Its groceries range from local produce and meats, sourced within 100 miles of the store, to bakery items that incorporate unbleached flour, organic whole-wheat flour, and natural grains. The wine and beer department specializes in local wine and beers procured from local craft breweries, which staff pair with gourmet, unprocessed domestic and imported cheeses. A trained chef whips up meals daily for the prepared foods section, where customers can grab lunch or dinner while they shop.
A nonprofit community arts center, VisArts fills its studios with amateur artists learning techniques of creative expression, and acts as an exhibition opportunity for seasoned creators. Classes span a wide artistic spectrum, including concentrations such as ceramics and glass, many of which can be specifically tailored for the educational needs of children or resurrected Renaissance men in need of a new hobby. VisArts also enriches the community with a trifecta of galleries—the Kaplan, Gibbs Street, and Common Ground—and a thriving resident-artist program.
America's Beautiful Florist has built itself into a regional institution, delivering fresh, sweet-smelling wedding arrangements, roses, and floral vases throughout the suburban DC area. Professional florists enliven wedding ceremonies and receptions with personal consultations and original designs of bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. Anniversary and Valentine's packages spark romance with velvety red roses and silky white tulips, while birthday and “get well” arrangements awaken warm feelings with collections of sunny yellow roses, sprays of daisies, and extra doses of cures for the common cold.
The racks in Red Hue Boutique's contemporary shop feature carefully curated items that combine retro silhouettes and details with modern designs. While shoppers may recognize some popular brands such as ark & co., Dear Creatures, and Dolce Vita, much of the shop's stock sports the tag of Red Hue's signature line. Each Red Hue garment is hand cut and assembled in the designer Silvia Huezo's home country of El Salvador, in a sweatshop-free working environment.