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Shop Black Makers, Brands at Union Market’s ‘The Gift Shop’

The Gift Shop, Washington’s first retailer for discovering, appreciating, and shopping Black-owned brands and makers, opens February 6 in the Union Market District.

A concept from the Creative Theory Agency, The Gift Shop (1258 Fourth St. NE) will specialize in lifestyle and home goods from artisan makers such as Black Pepper Paperie Co., District of Clothing, River is Wild, ArtByJLaw, Ron David Studio, Destiny Cache, BlkOut, bEASH Please, The Mobelbutik, Charissmatic Creations, and Gift Shop originals by the Creative Theory Agency team.

The curated collection — with items ranging from $15 to $400 — will feature a mix of ceramics, candles, vintage glassware, wallets + keychains, merch and more.

Ceramics available at The Gift Shop. Courtesy: Creative Theory
The Creative Theory Agency will also have its headquarters at the Fourth Street location. Courtesy: Creative Theory Agency.

The 1,700-square-foot Gift Shop concept will be a fully innovative space, also doubling as headquarters for Creative Theory Agency, the award-winning marketing firm co-founded by Gary Williams, Jr. and Tamon George. Creative Theory Agency creates impactful, inclusive cultural narratives, helping brands including Facebook, Netflix, Under Armour, Bevel, YouTube and Google forge authentic brand identities that speak to a diverse audience.

For Williams and George, a similar mission drives the Gift Shop, a singular retail concept that provides resources and opportunity for D.C. makers of color and speaks to the modern conscious consumer.

“So many Black-owned businesses have shuttered during the pandemic,” said Williams. “At the same time, consumers have become more conscious of equity and who profits from Black creativity.” George continues, “The Gift Shop is not just about picking up a shirt or art print — it’s about supporting Black businesses, it’s about economic empowerment, and amplifying Black creative voices who are carrying the culture forward.”

The Gift Shop will soft-launch with an exclusive exhibition on #Moechella, Long Live Go-Go DC’s massive and joyous rallies that celebrate Washington D.C.’s contribution to the American songbook: Go-go music. Among the goods available for purchase will be art, clothing, and the new Moechella coffee table book, a full-color volume of images documenting Black life and musical tradition in D.C.

On February 17, the shop officially opens with goods from a broad array of creatives from across the region, including vintage glassware, charcuterie boards, candles, pillows, lamps and bijoux such as playing cards and puzzles.

The Gift Shop will be a cultural hub for Black-owned concepts — some of which have never before had a brick-and-mortar presence — to offer IRL [in real life] brand experiences for the first time.

In conjunction with the opening of The Gift Shop, Creative Theory Agency has partnered with Google to support Black business and community, and create programming in the coming months. For more information, visit: https://www.instagram.com/thisheregiftshop/.


Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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