It’s back to school time, which means shopping, shopping and, oh yeah, spending. This year, take it away from the chains and check out these awesome, local businesses guaranteed to give you everything you need without the hustle and bustle of big box stores. These represent D.C.: vibrant, different and definitely not run of the mill.
Wake-Up Little Suzie
3409 Connecticut Ave. Northwest
Wake-Up Little Suzie, in the Cleveland Park neighborhood, is a must-see for school supply shopping. In addition to an array of fun supplies for all ages, it carries the standard pencils, pens and lunch boxes as well. Even parents enjoy this store, as it not only covers all of the kids’ basics, it is chock-full of unusual and hard-to-find stuff, as well as with artisan-made items and baby gifts.
3019 M St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20007
Paper Source is not a typical back-to-school supply store, but it’s the perfect stop for lunchboxes and stationery. It also carries toys, journals and art supplies. Perfect for the quirky, stamp-loving kid, Paper Source promises plenty of choices for your budding artist or calligrapher. Paper Source sits conveniently in Georgetown, a great neighborhood for shopping, so make a day of the trip to this cute little boutique.
1350 Connecticut Ave. Northwest
Washington, DC 20036
Proper Topper is a good stop to pick up back to school clothes for younger kids up to 8 years old. It also carries backpacks, lunchboxes and supplemental elementary school books. Know that the sweet couple running the store truly believes wonders never cease, and works to provide them to each family every time. It is located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, another great area for shopping and café visiting.
2439 18th St. Northwest
Washington, DC 20009
This trendy Adams Morgan boutique has back to school clothes ideal for older teenage girls. Julie Egermayer, the friendly owner of this boutique, said circle skirts will be big in the fall, as is the ivy league preppy look with over-sized vest-like cardigans. The boutique offers loads of summer dresses and is building up that fall inventory, so expect up-and-coming styles at prices families can get behind.
1612 U Street, NW
(202) 299 0925
While Bang Salon is not explicitly for kids, these stylists know their way around the little ones. Ask for Quincy or Kellee for the best kids’ cuts. Because this boutique knows how to cater to the whole family, book an appointment for yourself to meet those teachers looking your best Bang is located in the U street area, which also offers restaurants, boutiques and ample shopping options.
Related: Best Washington DC Haircuts For Kids
3817 Livingston St., Northwest
A great salon for families, Salon Familia’s stylists offer plenty of experience trimming up the kiddos. Play areas in the salon are thoughtfully tucked away so kids can play with games, toys and books, or just kick back and watch a movie while they wait. At roughly $20 for boys and $30 to $35 for girls, it’s reasonably priced as well. Darlene is especially good with kids. Enjoy pedicures and manicures while the kids get their style on at this awesome family run salon in the Chevy Chase area.
During the day, Tanya Gupta is a development finance professional. By night she blogs about the development, technology, academia and her city. Her personal web page is at techtanya.com. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.