This New Sustainable-Clothing Online Boutique Is Based in DC

Jeanne Shewmaker Birnbaum products her Apothea collection’s best-selling dress.

Since her childhood in Fairfax, Jeanne Shewmaker Birnbaum—wife of DC United captain Steven Birnbaum—has regarded she required to be in manner. 

“When I was youthful, I utilized to slash out images of styles in runway reveals to generate my own line,” she says. In New York Town just after university, she took a manner drawing class at Parsons at night—“it was so considerably from my low-priced apartment on the Upper East Side, but so well worth it,” she says—and then when she moved again to DC, she took stitching and design lessons at Marymount in Arlington. 

She worked as a merchandiser at Abercrombie & Fitch and then J. Crew, a stylist and then merchandiser at Intermix and Michael Kors, and then spent 3 several years with DC-dependent Tuckernuck. Most not long ago, she was the director of e-commerce at the Annapolis bag model Hobo. (Also somewhere in there: a co-operator of a yogurt franchise in Fairfax identified as Yogurtini, exactly where, according to her LinkedIn profile, she managed the advertising.) 

“To be truthful, starting up a model was always gnawing at me, but as my vocation grew, I set my particular aspirations on maintain,” she suggests. “I cherished finding out and escalating in the sector, so it hardly ever seemed like the proper time.”

 

Left to appropriate: Casa Raki ‘Siena’ crop prime ($120) and ‘Carmen’ skirt ($285) Casa Raki ‘Nicola’ best ($205) and ‘Emilia’ shorts ($165) Knititude ‘Kari’ cable sweater vest ($88) Shewmaker ‘Celine’ skirt ($220)

 

Then when her daughter was born in 2019, she suggests she started contemplating about her particular goals—and the closet entire of quick fashion she had and did not love—and recognized there would in no way be a great time to “go for it.”

In pondering about what she felt the market place was missing, she observed that the pieces of garments she did love ended up effectively-produced classics: “a wonderful wool overcoat, a cashmere sweater, a beautifully personalized button-down.” She required a lot more “functional pieces” that could be worn to operate errands, and then dressed up at evening. And: She wished all of the garments to be made responsibly and sustainably.   

So she established out to make a firm that provided all of that. Her initially stage, she claims, was a deep dive into how the marketplace was turning into a lot more sustainable, and the models paving the way.

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Left to proper: Casa Raki ‘Olga’ gown ($315) The Knotty Kinds ‘Delčia’ sweater $175 and ‘Pieva’ shorts $115 Body ‘striped V neck puff sleeve’ shirt ($298) and Etica ‘Tyler classic straight crop’ denim ($178)

In May well, she introduced Apothea, an on-line boutique featuring items from more than a dozen brands—including a namesake “Shewmaker” line whose most effective-promoting “Coco” costume ($285) is named for her daughter, Colette—all sustainably produced and picked for their “fashion-forward, still timeless” style and design. “Easy, nevertheless innovative.” (In actuality, showcased categories on the site include things like “quick outfits” and “the fundamental principles.“) The palette is mainly neutral: black, beige, cream, and blue. Some stripes. A good deal of flowy dresses, button-up shirts, sweaters, and two-piece sets.  “I dress in-check each and every brand—in a messy property with two toddlers, ha—before buying it for the web page,” claims Birnbaum, who experienced a 2nd little one, her son Brooks, in 2020. 

Birnbaum phone calls the price points are “mid-market”–dresses, for illustration, run from $168-409. Although the organization itself is nevertheless small–each order will come with a handwritten be aware from Birnbaum herself–the collection is massive and growing, which includes dresses, denim, and components. “Every merchandise is hand-picked and intended to provide a purpose in your wardrobe.”

 

Amy Moeller

Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to becoming a member of Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File journal in DC and right before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.