As D.C. area residents continue to cope with the added stress of the pandemic, they are increasingly turning to wellness shops and looking for alternative ways to relax.
Shop owners have noticed a difference in what customers are seeking, noting an elevated level of stress and need for ways to relax at home and feel release. It is definitely more challenging to separate work life from home life now, since most of us are working from home for the foreseeable future.
“It is really disheartening when we hear people have to use CBD on a Sunday because they are already feeling the stress from their impending work week,” says Connie McGrath, founder of Veer & Wander in Union Market. “Life should not be like that.”
What can you expect to find in a shop that touts wellness and the importance of self-care? Crystals, divination tools, aromatherapy aids and beauty products – anything and everything to practice your preferred self-care method. With so much to choose from, what’s one product locals have been flocking toward?
“Crystals!” says Georgetown-based Take Care Shop Founder Becky Waddell. “Our crystals have become so popular. They have their own website and Instagram. They’ve graduated from Take Care and are now residing at [D.C. rock shop] District Mineral.” Overall, she says her customer base seeks, “Something to take the edge off of what has been such a trying year.”
Luckily for those of us in the D.C. area, there’s a healthy selection of wellness shops providing a plethora of tools to help customers prioritize their well-being. Many of these shops have become staple destinations for their customer bases and have a very close-knit, community feel to them despite strict Covid guidelines.
Over at Bethesda, Maryland wellness shop Follain, store director Tiffany Bassford says, “We used to throw numerous wellness-centered events every month in our stores. Since Covid, we’ve had to shift those events [and go] virtual to bring high-quality content and connect with our community in a new way.”
Waddell says Take Care has also had to make a shift, noting that her amazing customers have adapted to Covid modifications with kindness and compassion.
“We even soft-launched a community swatching program that will fully launch soon so customers can see what our products look like on other people with a range of skin colors, textures and types,” she adds.
The shift to virtual sessions allows the wellness shops to maintain close connections to their customers, who rely on them to ease their day-to-day stress.
Bassford says the “it” products at Follain are relaxation tools.
“Tools like jade rollers and gua sha have been increasingly popular, as customers are looking for ways to level up their skincare and self-care. With everyone at home all the time now, customers are looking for wind-down rituals to separate their days.”
Gua sha is a type of facial massage technique, typically done with a smooth, flat stone like jade or rose quartz. It helps promote drainage, relax muscles and relieve stress.
While there’s always been a wellness market here in D.C., this past year has taught us to prioritize our self-care in many different ways – and that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down in 2021, either. Whether it be with virtual offerings or going into the shop for a one-on-one experience, building community and staying connected are at the core of why these local wellness spaces are thriving.
Want to shop wellness in and around the city? Here’s a list of some top spots in the DMV, including Follain, Take Care Shop, and Veer & Wander.
Blue Nile Botanicals: 2826 Georgia Ave. NW, DC; www.bluenilebotanicals.com // @thebluenilebotanicals
Femme Fatale: 401 Massachusetts Ave. NW, DC; www.femmefataledc.com // @femmefataledc
Follain: 4810 Bethesda Ave. Bethesda, MD; www.follain.com // @follainbethesdarow
Sacred Circle: 919 King St. Alexandria, VA; www.sacredcirclebooks.com
Smile Herb: 4908 Berwyn Rd. College Park, MD; www.smileherb.com // @smileherbshop
Take Care Shop: 1338 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC; www.takecareshopdc.com // @takecareshopdc
Terra Christa: 130 Church St. NW, Vienna, VA; www.terrachrista.com // @terrachrista4u
Trade Roots: 5852 Washington Blvd. Arlington, VA; www.fairtraderoots.com/shop/spa // @traderoots
Veer & Wander: 1260 5th St. NE, DC; www.veerandwander.com // @veerandwanderdc
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