From retail and restaurants to tech and media, contractors to coworking spaces, large, small, and everything in between, a diverse array of businesses call Alexandria home. In our blog series, Growing in Alexandria, we sit down to talk with businesses around the City to learn more about who they are, what they do, and why they love it here. Have an idea for a business in Alexandria to talk to? Email us!
Kristen Moore is a former lobbyist turned consignment boutique owner. AEDP had a chat with her to learn more about her innovate Twist Boutique, located in Old Town Alexandria.
AEDP: Tell us a little about your business and what you do.
Kristen: Twist Boutique is a women’s curated clothing and accessory consignment boutique also offering unique gift items as well. Our clothing inventory comes from the closets of local, stylish women of all sizes. The boutique gets its name from our tagline which is, “a twist on classic American fashion.” We offer a range of brands from Prada to Puma and everything in between, we look for great pieces from sizes 0 to 22. We love gifts so you are bound to find a hostess gift, a birthday present for him or her, and just about any occasion. We enjoy collaborating with other local businesses to design gift boxes that make gifting fun and unique. Check out our website or social media to find out what’s new!
AEDP: How did you get your start in this business and what made you want to go after this venture?
Kristen: I have always loved fashion, especially consignment clothing, so a few years ago while I was working full-time as a lobbyist, I held a bi-annual pop-up consignment sale in a local venue. I met a lot of nice women with exceptional fashion sense so in August of 2017 when I decided to switch careers and open a consignment boutique, I called on the women from the pop-up sale. This network is how I was able to open the shop with full inventory in December 2017. Additionally, this network of women were my initial customers and they helped spread the word about the shop.
AEDP: Ok, that’s great! So, what is the most rewarding aspect of running your business?
Kristen: I have always enjoyed getting to know people and with consignment you typically have repeat consignors who are also customers which means you interact more often. Some of my consignors and/or customers have become close personal friends over the past three years. I have also learned a lot since I opened the shop and made changes to the business based on customer feedback, which I have enjoyed.
AEDP: What is the next big project or goal you are working on?
Kristen: In March when we were forced to close, I spent my time finalizing our Shopify website which allows us to sell online and through social media. It took a significant amount of work, but it was the most rewarding when we launched the site at the end of April. Consignment product means you typically only have one of each item so, we developed a system to ensure that we can keep the process of uploading new product to the website weekly. In addition, we are adding new gift items daily and we have a large inventory of each product.
AEDP: Do you have a favorite Alexandria based charity that you support?
Kristen: We support Together We Bake, which is a local organization that offers a workforce training program for women. Our consignors have the option to pick-up or donate unsold items after the consignment period ends. All donated items had been put aside for an annual Community Re-Sale event to benefit Together We Bake. Unfortunately, our first event was scheduled for March 8th and the venue we were using for the event had to close due to Covid-19 restrictions. Instead, we have reserved an area in the shop which features discounted ($5 & $10) items, and all proceeds benefit Together We Bake. In addition, I have been a business sponsor for Spring2ACTion, an organization I admire greatly.
AEDP: Finally, can you tell us why you decided to locate in Alexandria?
Kristen: I wanted my business to be in Old Town, Alexandria because I live in the community and I believe that local organizations that support businesses are key to effective collaborations. Alexandria has these and many other resources dedicated to helping businesses succeed.