Many people only know Washington, D.C., as the destination on a high school field trip or family vacation. Or maybe you only think of the city when you see it on the news. It may be a bit of a challenge to consider the nation’s capital as a collection of neighborhoods and villages lined with family-owned, independent merchants. Here are just a few of the thousands of great places in Washington, D.C., to shop local during the holidays and throughout the year.



On the web:

In their own words: “You’ve heard the expression, ‘Cooking is an art, but baking is a science.’ At DOUGH, we believe there’s no reason that gluten-free baked goods shouldn’t be works of art, and we’ve taken the time to learn the science behind what it takes to make that happen. And here’s a hint … you don’t need gluten!”



On the web:

In their own words: “Since 2011 we’ve been making nice & soft things out of your photos from Instagram and elsewhere. Pillows, totes, wristlets and coin purses. They are quite possibly the perfect gift and super fun to make for yourself, too. They make really great gifts and are fun to have around your home.”

Herban Lifestyle


On the web:

In their own words: “With the goal of making the world a happier, healthier, better-smelling place, we cook up products from the highest-quality, healthiest ingredients available, then wrap them in beautiful, earth-friendly packaging. All of our products are handcrafted in small batches in Falls Church, Virginia. We offer a selection of soaps, sugar scrubs, sumptuous body butters, lip crèmes and men’s grooming products.”

Rachel Pfeffer

On the web:

In their own words: “Rachel’s jewelry aims to be simultaneously clever and beautiful. Her work appeals to all tastes, whether you are in the market for a chunky amethyst geode ring, or a tiny bicycle tie tack.”

Palo Borracho

Palo Borracho

On the web:

In their own words: “Palo Borracho is a small, family business based in Washington, D.C. Inspired by our passion for art and beauty, we have merged the two to create some truly unique gifts that can’t be found anywhere else. Our hand-crafted pieces and original designs are beautiful, functional and accessibly priced.”

Farhney’s Pens

On the web:

In their own words: “For 85 years, Fahrney’s has served as Washington’s premier pen store. Through its history, Fahrney’s has remained as much a part of the nation’s capital as the Washington Monument, the White House and the cherry blossoms. As a purveyor of fine writing instruments to some of Washington’s more prominent officials, Fahrney’s has, in its own way, played an integral role in some of our town’s more notable events and activities by providing writing instruments that have been used to sign treaties and turn bills into laws. Fahrney’s is the pen retailer of choice for many of the city’s prominent businesspeople, politicians and diplomats. We pride ourselves on providing a unique dedication to our customers, while delivering the highest quality products and service available.”



On the web:

In their own words: “An American Mercantile and Dry Goods Store. Est. 1998.”


Do you have suggestions for more independently-owned shops in Washington, D.C., that are great for holiday shopping? Or, would you like to create a list like this for your hometown? (Be sure to check the list at the top of the page to see what other cities we’ve featured.) If so, contact us at [email protected] with your ideas. We’ll give you a shout-out link if we use your suggestion.

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