Why You Should Shop Small

The last 16 years have brought a lot of changes to our area. I think change is a good thing, and it’s certainly been good for local shoppers. This is the golden age of local retail in our burg – to find a better time for retail in Old Town you’d have to go at least 70 years back in time. If you are looking for home goods, paper, dog stuff, running gear, kids, jewelry, and beauty, we have it – and all locally owned and curated. What other town has stores like Fibre Space and Stitch Sew Shop? The answer is nowhere.

I also might be biased, but never has there been a better time for fashion in Old Town. It hit me like a ton of bricks when I was walking the halls of the Javits Center last market. I would start to walk in a booth of a brand I wanted to carry and realize another store in Old Town already carried it. I was confronted with the realization that we really have it going on in Old Town. There is no need for the mall these days – and that’s a situation our parents never would’ve imagined. When someone is in my store and can’t find something, I love to rattle off a list of all the other stores that might have what they need. We have Bishop, Periwinkle, TSALT, Donna Lewis, Threadleaf, and Mint Condition just to name a few.  To help prove my point, I picked some of my favorites from all of our stores and listed all the great brands you can find there!

Nothing goes together like fashion and beauty, and for that we have Bellacara. If you need some bling for your outfit, we have She’s Unique, Mystique, and Alx&Co.

See, getting dressed for any occasion is easy if you just come to Old Town.

I am writing this because this is also the time of year for my selfish plea. We all tend to open up our pocketbooks a little more this time of year, and when you do, I hope you will consider shopping local. Old Town has such an amazing retail community, it is primarily female owned, and committed to keeping our town full of independent stores. That’s an asset in every part of your life – we sponsor local little league teams, donate to local charities, serve on local government boards (trust me – it’s a sacrifice to find time for that!) Local retail makes this place a great place to call home – but we only keep it if you commit to shop local. The next time you are tempted to look online, ask yourself if you might find it on or just off King Street instead.

It took decades to bring back our wonderful walkable retail district – but it takes you to keep it.

We have so many great activities planned for Plaid Friday (the Friday after Thanksgiving known as Black Friday for the big box stores) and Small Business Saturday. Look for more posts about all the upcoming activities and I hope to see you on the streets of Old Town.



  • The latest from Elizabeth
I spent the first part of my career as a copy-writer who helped elected officials brag about their support for entrepreneurs. Then I decided to get off the printed page and do it myself. The Shoe Hive made a splash on the fashion scene in Washington, and was named the region’s best shoe store in its first year. Fourteen years later, I have tripled the store’s size and also opened a sister store, The Hive. At The Hive, we offer clothing lines that are sophisticated and approachable like Rag & Bone, Tibi, Raquel Allegra, Ulla Johnson and Veronica Beard. We have tried to fill our racks with clothing you will want to wear all the time, elevated basics that are worth the investment.

Heard the buzz? The Shoe Hive & The Hive are a pair of luxury boutiques in Old Town Alexandria. Featuring both big name designers like Rag & Bone and Stuart Weitzman and smaller brands like AGL and L'Agence, our unique selection and impeccable service are what set us apart.


The Shoe Hive                         The Hive
127 S. Fairfax Street               301 Cameron Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
              Alexandria, VA 22314

703.548.7105                          703.548.7110

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