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July is independent retailer month and goodness gracious do we love and appreciate our small businesses. We don’t need to tell you the impact small businesses have on a community. We are so lucky to be surrounded by amazing independent retailers. They add so much character and richness, and life, frankly, would be so much duller without them. For fun, we’ve asked our teams to tell us which local establishments (in addition to Red Barn Mercantile/Penny Post, naturally) they couldn’t live without, and here are a few of our top recommendations!

Amy: When Lisa asked us to give her one of our favorite independent businesses I was stumped. There are far too many from which I could choose. Many of my faves are Stylebook contributors. I mean I get all my flowers from Helen Olivia, the biscuits at Stomping Ground are the best anywhere ever, and some days I'm dressed head to toe by Elizabeth. So, trying to think outside of the usual suspects was hard. But it hit me today as I was getting my hair done. Anne Welsh Salon in Del Ray is my life line. At my age I'm there every three weeks to get the gray covered. I call the salon my Fountain of Youth because Cynthia makes me look the age I feel on the inside. To the best of her ability that is. I'm so grateful for her and the folks at Anne Welsh Salon!

Cecelia, Red Barn Mercantile: Monday’s Child is an adorable and classic children’s clothing store for all occasions. The owner, Maura, is an Alexandria native and a fellow Bishop Ireton alum (Go Cardinals!) She has three boys and it plays a big part in the items she carries. As a “boy mom,” I appreciate the effort Maura puts into making sure the shop had a plentiful assortment of little boy’s clothes that are classic and tasteful. She also goes above and beyond for her customers. I have shopped there for my little guy’s coming home outfit, baptism outfit, Easter outfit and birthday outfit!  

Photo by @historicstones
Pheadra, Penny Post: Goodies Frozen Custard is dessert heaven! Who doesn't love custard on a hot summer day? Also, the owner is the nicest, friendliest gentleman! 
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Ariel, Penny Post + Red Barn Mercantile: Lil Thingamajigs has all the cuteness from Korea smooshed into one store. I grew up down the street from this store and would relish any chance to walk through those aisles while my mom ran errands (at the neighboring boring stores) and look through all the goodies from stickers to pens to huge plushies. In middle school, it was the perfect place to find gifts for my tweeny-bopper friends, and honestly I’m sure I could find gifts for my now fully grown friends as well.

Carly, Penny Post: Misha's is a local coffee shop that will satisfy any caffeine or sugar craving you might have. Even on the busiest of days, their friendly, helpful staff work together seamlessly to assist customers. I always know I'll walk out with everything I need in a timely fashion. Penny Post staff have a ritual on Fridays and Saturdays. One of us will walk the 2 short blocks and pick up coffees for the group. When we're feeling extra naughty, we'll add some pastries to the order. For drinks, we are partial to their goldenmilk and lavender lattes. To eat, their oreo cake and coffee cake.

Jenn, Penny Post: Botanologica is a sweet boutique plant shop in Falls Church, VA. From houseplants to succulents to pots and planters alike. They even offer weekly floral bouquet subscriptions from local flower farms! Botanologica has a great selection of houseplants for all levels of plant parent. The nicest employees always offer exceptional advice on plant care. I love stopping in there to see what new plants and planters they have in because they are always unique and not ones I see at most nurseries. They also host small craft markets with local makers that I have been to a few times. Absolutely worth a visit next time you’re in Falls Church. Also while you’re there, swing by Rare Bird Coffee Roasters down the street - will not disappoint!

Bonus round: I wasn’t sure if food was to be considered. If it is one should shout Best Buns (Arlington) from the frickin rooftops.

When you support independent businesses, you’re also supporting your town, city, and neighborhood. So the next time you’re shopping, dining out, or getting your hair done, feel good about shopping small. We are so grateful to be in such good company when it comes to this community of independent businesses, and hope you’ll take advantage being surrounded by them!