Encouraged by a group of chanting employees, management cut the ribbon on the new Sephora Studio Store (380 Seventh St SE) just before 10 a.m. Friday morning, admitting a rush of pumped customers into the gleaming interior.
The store is a ‘Studio store’, said Susan, the Store Director, and is one of only three company-wide. “The idea of the studio concept is to go into neighborhoods,” she said. “They’re services-based. The idea is to play and teach.”
She said that while many of the managers were transferred from other locations in the company, the employees hired for the store are all from the area, and four live in Capitol Hill.
The store has a smaller footprint than the larger retail-focused stores in Georgetown and Tyson’s Corner. The centerpiece of the floor is the 8-seat studio, where customers can get free services such as mini-facials or mini-makeovers. Susan draws attention to the Perk facial machines, which remove dead skin cells to reveal the smooth skin underneath.
“There is less product,” she adds, “it’s a more curated experience; we’ve selected all top SKUs, and especially chosen brands that are not available at points nearby and are exclusively for the community.”
Free skin care and make-up classes are available at the store for Beauty Insiders, members of Sephora’s rewards program. The store also offers programs associated with Sephora Stands, a program dedicated to ‘beauty for confidence’, says Susan. This includes makeovers for those desiring a ‘no make-up’ look for interviews as they re-enter the workforce, and tutorials to help transgendered people get confidence in their looks.
“Our philosophy is whatever ever makes you feel beautiful is beautiful to us,” she said.
Customers in the store Friday morning were jazzed that the storefront had opened in the neighborhood. Miranda lives on the Hill, and said that she was pleased she would no longer have to journey to Tyson’s Corner or Georgetown to get the product she liked. “I enjoy a lot of the products,” she said as she perused the Milk Makeup display Friday morning, “but right now it’s this one.”
“I love the wider range of colors, and appreciate the all-vegan ingredients,” she said. “I really find their product to be fun. To me, that’s what make-up is about: fun,” she said.
Bianca works on the Hill. “I go mainly out to the Waldorf [MD] and Metro Center locations,” she said. She said the new Sephora Studio will likely get a lot of her money. “I love make-up,” she adds, surveying the options.
Brand representatives are in store for the grand opening to speak to customers and answer questions. And customers who make a minimum $35 purchase will get a Sephora tote bag.
Customers who make a minimum $75 purchase will get the bag –and a pendant necklace in the shape of the District made specially for the grand opening.
Sephora Studio Capitol Hill is open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.