She Said, She Said.

Katie Coslov is the director of operations for The Hive and The Shoe Hive. Amy Rutherford is the owner of Red Barn Mercantile. Both are super stylish and great insider sources for all things Alexandria. They know where to get the best quick lunch in town, have scoped and are sharing their must-have buys for this spring, and are ready for summer concert season — including catching a certain band on an anniversary tour that evokes an all-too-relatable high school memory. And speaking of the 80s, do they agree on the resurgence of that decade’s style? Read on…

1.  It’s lunchtime and you have 20 minutes and $20 to step out of the shop and grab a bite. What’s your go-to?

Katie: My go-to lunch? Oh, that’s easy. Hands down, it’s Momo Sushi. They have a lunch special including the perfect amount of sushi, a salad, and a small cup of miso soup. It’s the right size and delicious! It also helps that it’s just one block away from our clothing store, The Hive.

Amy: That’s easy, Nickell’s & Scheffler! It’s our go-to favorite. The food is always tasty and more home-cooked than any restaurant I know. They roast all their meats in house which means no deli meat, only fresh off the bone turkey and the rarest roast beef you’ve ever had. Also, Susan’s espresso brownies are a must!

2. We’ve seen that the 80s are having a bit of a revival on the runway — would you rock any of these totally rad 80s hairstyles?

Katie: Heck, ya! When it comes to the revival of 80s clothing styles, it can definitely be hit or miss. But I already have thin and wavy hair, so I am all in for the naturally permed look! I just got this amazing Jasmine & Ocean Water Hair Texturizer from Little Barn Apothecary that not only smells like heaven but magically turns my frizz into beachy waves.

Amy: I’m not going to lie, I had a perm pretty much the entire 1980’s. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I put down the rollers. What’s funny is that after having two kids, my hair is now naturally wavy. Either it was the pregnancy hormones or the chemicals seeped so far in that I have a permanent permanent. However, if I had to choose one of these looks I would go for the deep side part. My big forehead would benefit tremendously!

3. What spring item from your store will you most definitely be buying?

Katie: What have I not bought?! Elizabeth and Christen did a killer job filling both of our stores with beautiful pieces I am itching to take home. Every time we open a newly arrived box, we practically start drooling. I am personally digging the Veda Paradiso Dress in a fabulous orange color. Christen just got it before her recent trip to Turks & Caicos and it looks stunning on her. You can wear it a million different ways and I really do believe the color is flattering on everyone. Also on my list are the new flats and sandals by Dee Keller; they are classic but the metallic accents add just a touch of glamour. I can’t get enough of them!

Amy: We just got in the most beautiful linen throw blankets from a Japan. Fog Linen makes the most sumptuous linen products with simple, classic, and clean patterns. Oh, and the colors are perfect.

4. With cherry blossoms in bloom and the Historic Garden Week tour coming up, what are your spring planting plans?

Katie: I have a confession. Spring is my favorite season. I have a major green thumb. I have not quite arrived at the talent level of my fellow Hive colleague Penelope (I can’t compete with her genius) but I am quite good in the garden, even if my gardening space is limited to a patio. I used to collect Mexican pottery. When I downsized and moved here, I still brought all my pots with me and fully intend on filling them with gorgeous flowers. I am setting aside a Sunday afternoon to plant all of my favorites — sunflowers, petunias, black-eyed Susans, lavender, celosias. I’m getting excited just thinking about it all!

Amy: I have a brown thumb. Other than my landscape architect, Sareena Jareth of Tiger Lily Landscapes (blatant plug for my friend!), my husband, and now my daughter, do all the gardening. Last year they grew a gorgeous crop of basil that I could not use because our kitchen was under renovation. I’m hoping they do it again this year so I can make pesto all summer long!

5. And speaking of the great outdoors, spring and summer concert tickets are going on sale now. Any shows or events you can’t miss this summer?

Katie: My sister-in-law and I are planning to surprise my mother-in-law for her birthday with tickets to see her favorite artist in concert. So, I can’t be too specific about that one. (Hint: Starboy.) There are so many great concerts in the area though and I plan on attending as many as I can. I am a big country music fan; my husband and I want to go get our country on with the Luke Bryan tour. This would not be my first time to see him in concert but he puts on a great show…in very tight jeans! Another one I’m hoping to see is Sam Hunt. Fingers crossed!

Here’s to sunny days and great shopping! Come see me at The Hive or The Shoe Hive and tell me about your spring and summer plans.

Amy: Where do I start?! Wolf Trap has an amazing line up this year – St. Paul and the Broken Bones with Shovels & Rope (who might have been the best opening act I’ve ever seen), Elvis Costello & The Imposters who NEVER disappoint, Natalie Merchant doing three decades of songs — be still my heart, Neil Gaiman would be fascinating, Punch Brothers because Chris Thile is a genius, Lyle Lovett every single year if I could, and Steve Martin & Martin Short for something completely different. And then there is Joe Jackson, Lucinda Williams and Mary Chapin Carpenter, Blondie, Aretha, Diana Ross, Diana Krall, and John Mellencamp.

If I could teleport in and out of Merriweather Post Pavilion (because I’m way too old to actually drive there) I would absolutely go see Sturgill Simpson because he’s the most real thing to come out of main stream country music since Willie, Waylon, and the boys. I’d also catch Jason Isbell and Jack Johnson.

Finally, I would relive my senior year in high school – and my perm-free hair – by seeing U2: The Joshua Tree Tour. I saw that tour at the Hampton Roads coliseum in the fall of 1987. After the show, I met up with friends at the house of the boy that I had the biggest crush on. (He gave me directions to his house as if I hadn’t driven by almost every day.) It was a night I’ll never forget!

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