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New Anacostia consignment shop to open in April

The interior of the shop

A community-centered consignment shop called The Last Shall Be First Consignment is set to open on 1922 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue SE in April. The Silver Spring-based shop owner Sofine Williams, who just received her permit last week, says the shop will be the first of its kind in this Anacostia neighborhood and a sister store to the one in Ellicott City, Md.

"One of the reasons I chose this area was there are no consignment shops east of the river," says Williams. "I am very familiar with this area and know a lot people who consign around Capitol Hill…but no one has opened a store here."

The roughly 1000-square-foot space will replace the ARCH Development Corporation's Blank Space SE, a community-based organization that rented space for local artists to display or perform their work. Blank Space SE is moving into ARCH's Anacostia Arts Center come May, reads their website.

Williams asked her new neighbors and community what they might want to see in a new consignment shop. She put their answers together to form a number of programs like Senior Saturdays where every first and third Saturday of the month seniors can come in and shop exclusively from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.; or Mommy and Me Mondays where every Monday local daycare workers watch shoppers' children so the mommies shop.

"I'm hoping this will not just be my store, but be labeled as a community store," she says.

Anacostia has seen a lot of revitalization and growth in the last decade and especially on MLK Avenue. With a number of popular restaurants and the Hive just up the street, the consignment shop could see a good amount of foot-traffic. However, there are still a number of empty storefronts and even a few boarded up buildings in the blocks nearby. The Anacostia Waterfront Initiative and the City have long been major factors in helping transform the area around MLK and Good Hope Road, drawing more business owners like Williams over from across the river.

Read more articles by Lisa Spinelli.

Lisa Spinelli is Elevation DC's development editor as well as a freelance journalist, copy editor and mother of two. After receiving her Master of Science in print journalism from Columbia University in 2004, Lisa worked across the country and in Italy as a journalist, editor and Web editor. Her website LisaSpinelli.com has links to a smattering of her published clips.
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