- Things to Do
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From delicious food to fitness hot spots and beautiful boutique shops, Arlington is proud to be the home of countless businesses founded and owned by women entrepreneurs. Use our guide to explore these women-owned businesses by neighborhood.
Topping lists for the best ice cream shops in America, Ice Cream Jubilee specializes in hand-made ice cream conceived by lawyer-turned-ice-cream-maker Victoria Lai. Ice Cream Jubilee uses all-natural, local ingredients to create unique flavor concoctions inspired by Lai’s Chinese roots, her travels, cocktails, and more. Try whimsical ice creams like Banana Bourbon Caramel, Gin & Bottomless Mimosa Sorbet, and Citrus Sichuan Peppercorn when you stop into their shop in Quarter Market.
Azi Flowers opened in 2022 and is known for their hand-delivered premium floral arrangements and gift baskets. With free delivery for local online orders, this is your spot for beautiful flowers to commemorate everything from birthdays to anniversaries, and every little “just because” moment in between.
Bethel Cafe offers authentic and delicious Ethiopian cuisine and coffee. Owner Ferehiwat Gedremariam opened this charming eatery, and has been serving the local community ever since. Bethel Cafe's menu features a variety of Ethiopian breakfast and lunch dishes including Dirkosh, Awaxe Tibs, as well as vegetarian options. Aside from excellent food, you can also experience an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, a social and spiritual tradition in Ethiopia. During the ceremony the hostess washes, roasts and grinds fresh coffee beans for her guests, in celebration of friendship.
Café Sazón specializes in South and Central American food and baked goods.You’ll find all the basics of regular cafés, standards like coffee, pastries, and soups but at Café Sazón, which is frequented by locals and is somewhat off the beaten path, the selection of Bolivian and other South and Latin American favorites make this a culinary experience that’s worth a special route.
If you are looking for an authentic Ethiopian dining experience, this is the real deal. Family-owned and operated, Dama is known for its traditional Ethiopian fare and unforgettable cakes. The restaurant is casual and embodies a home-cooked feeling.
For more women-owned businesses on Columbia Pike click here.
Owners, Julie and Beth, are craft beer lovers, wine guzzlers, homebrewers, and the very best of friends. They created The Brew Shop, a local specialty beer store, serving the greater DC area with an eye towards all things brew. They emphasize local products, ranging from beer and wine to homebrew supplies and locally roasted prepackaged coffee.
“Our story begins in the litigation accounting world (think lawyers, giant documents, and papercuts) where we spent days and nights together, wearing business casual clothing and pouring over spreadsheets while eating takeout food. A couple of Midwest transplants, we were natural enemies (Julie being from Michigan, Beth being from Ohio) – until we bonded over homebrewing in our backyards. Homebrewing led to brewery tours, led to regularly scheduled wine nights, led to weekly searches for a new beer, led to drinking bubbly while dreaming of a truly unique brew space in Arlington. After a decade in accounting, we got the wild idea that we should jump head-first into the local beer community by opening our own shop.” – Julie & Beth (Owners)
Fashionable and sustainable! Founded in 2007, Current Boutique sells and buys pre-loved designer clothing and accessories. Owner Carmen Lopez established Current Boutique as a way to share her love of fashion and the value of a great deal. Lopez recognizes that a woman’s busy lifestyle requires a revolving wardrobe, and sometimes one’s pre-loved items can become someone else’s treasure. Stop by their Clarendon location and peruse a variety of pre-loved designer and trendy clothing items, perfect for every lifestyle.
Timeless fun for all ages! This charming toy store features a variety of high-quality children's products including toys, books, hobbies, crafts, clothes, shoes, and sporting goods. Kinder Haus Toys takes pride in selling toys powered by imagination not batteries, as many of their toys are made from wood. Author Sue Pyatt has owned Kinder Haus Toys since 1982 and operated the store while raising her kids along the way: Her daughter Jennifer is now the store manager. Stop by and shop their lively inventory, or attend one of their many free family events and Storytime on Mondays and Fridays.
A long-time Arlington restaurant, Nam Viet in Clarendon is a community staple. This family-owned business is owned and operated by the Nguyen family, with matriarch Ngoc Anh Tran (also known as Mrs. Thoi) serving as the head chef joined by her son Richard Nguyen as the restaurant’s general manager. Their menu is expansive, with specials such as Can Tho Crispy Glazed Baby Back Ribs, a variety of appetizers, side dishes and much more. Visit Nam Viet and dig into delicious Vietnamese cuisine, in a warm and inviting setting.
A delicious, sweet treat, with a cool twist! Nicecream traces its beginnings back to a weekend project in the kitchen of college sweethearts and food lovers, Gil Welsford and Sandra Tran. It was then that they decided to take Tran’s ice cream recipes to the next level by using liquid nitrogen. After a few months of further experimentation with molecular gastronomy, the idea of Nicecream was born. Stop by their Clarendon location and try their varied flavors of handcrafted ice cream, made with fresh ingredients. Nicecream also hosts birthday parties, bridal showers, and baby showers.
This cozy Arlington wine bar offers a variety of wine, artisan cheese, meats, and gourmet goodies. Stop by and be greeted by their attentive team of wine lovers, ready to provide you with a great experience. Aside from being home to hundreds of different wines, Screwtop also hosts a monthly wine club and offers private wine tastings and wine gift baskets.
Established in 2007, Tatte Bakery & Café owner, Tzurit Or, began by baking from her own home kitchen and selling her tasty and unique baked goods in Boston farmers’ markets. Or opened her first brick-and-mortar location in Brookline, Mass. in an effort to share her Israelian heritage through the country’s cuisine and create a place where the local community unites around delicious food. Since then, Tatte Bakery & Café has expanded to 18 locations across Massachusetts and the Metropolitan D.C. area. Their Clarendon location opened in September 2021 and offers a varied menu including breakfast (served all day), tartines, Shakshuka, sandwiches and more.
Wax by Fefe is a woman-owned and operated waxing, skincare and beauty spa in Arlington that offers a variety of services, perfect for anyone in need of some serious self-care. Their therapeutic massage services include a Neuromuscular massage, a Trigger Point massage, a Pain Management massage and much more. Wax by Fefe offers friendly service, with experts prepared with the best techniques to make sure you have a rejuvenating and relaxing experience. Book your next appointment online here.
Arlington Kabob specializes in delicious naan and succulent kabobs. The freshly made naan is baked in their clay tandoor oven. Visitors can also enjoy sandwiches, wraps, and baklava to-go.
Company Flowers & Gifts Too! has been hand-delivering premium floral arrangements and gift baskets to help strengthen relationships, give love and support, and celebrate life’s special moments since 1997. From birthdays to anniversaries to commemorating a loved one, and every little “just because” moment in between.
Garden City Florist is a great option for all your floral needs. The business is deeply committed to offering only the finest floral arrangements and gifts, backed by service that is friendly and prompt. Because all of their customers are important, their professional staff is dedicated to making each customer’s experience a pleasant one.
Voted one of the top boutiques in the area by Arlington Magazine, Lemoncello is a high-end and high-quality shop selling women’s and baby clothing, accessories, and home gifts. It is an excellent option when looking for a nice gift, some new clothes, or a place to visit while exploring the town.
Art House 7 is a small art school and art supply store, offering classes and workshops to children and adults.
The founders, Anne Browne and Elizabeth Ashley are two artists who wanted to create a nurturing and enriching community where people would like to come to explore the arts, enrich their lives and develop their artistic skills. Art House 7 has now grown to a staff of 16, offering a variety of classes depending on the season - painting, drawing, ceramics, sewing, printmaking, and fiber arts. During the pandemic, Art House 7 opened an Art Supply Store on-site. It is small but packed with fine art supplies. Stop by and check out their store and studio at 5535-7 Langston Blvd., Arlington, 22207.
Tucked away in the lower level of the Lee Harrison Shopping Center you'll find StarFit Studio. This hidden gem is a private fitness studio built for women offering small group classes and personal training. If you are looking for a safe, welcoming, and fun community, look no further. The best part... you’ll be surrounded by the most amazing and inspiring group of women!
A staple in Arlington for 44 years, when Lebanese Taverna opened their first location in Westover in 1979, no one knew what hummus was. Today, you see the faces of the two youngest sisters of this family business - - Grace Shea and Gladys Abi-Naym as they serve on many non-profit boards including AFAC, St.Jude, and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Always civic-minded, Lebanese Taverna represents the American dream for this immigrant family who brought Arlington a taste of their home with Lebanese cuisine. The group has expanded to offer cooking classes, quick-service restaurants and a full-service catering company. They live by their motto “Good Food Enjoyed in Good Company”
Livin’ the Pie Life has been serving delicious pies since opening in 2011. This woman-owned local pie shop is operated by Wendy MacCallum and Heather Sheire, two Arlington moms who share a love of cooking, and an admiration for the long tradition of pie-making. Their pies are made with locally sourced ingredients, with a crust and fillings made entirely from scratch. Their menu features both sweet and savory pies, as well as a variety of other baked goods including cookies and scones. Their shop is located on the corner of Langston Boulevard and N Glebe Rd, right by the charming “Pie” sign, you can’t miss it!
This local Arlington woman-owned business offers a varied book selection, gifts, chocolate, and wine. Owner Eileen McGervey opened One More Page Books (OMP) in 2011 after leaving her corporate marketing job and established the shop as a place where she can be surrounded by her favorite things: "books, wine, chocolate and the people who love them." Since its opening, OMP has started hosting their annual NoVa Teen Book Festival, has been included in Northern Virginia Magazine's "Best of NOVA" places to shop, and even received a visit from President Barack Obama and his daughters.
Sushi-Zen Japanese Restaurant offers a delicious and memorable meal to each person that walks through its doors. The Japanese character for Zen means "dining table" and represents a time for family and friends to share a meal, discuss the day’s happenings, and enjoy their time together in a warm family atmosphere - this is exactly what you will find at Sushi Zen.
Located in the heart of Crystal City, Mind Your Body Oasis (MYBO) aims to be a “safe getaway where you can step away from the noise, recharge and center yourself, and prepare for the world outside.” Founder & CEO Amanda Shipe opened MYBO with the goal of providing people a space to heal physically and mentally. With offerings such as Yoga, Hot Yoga, Pilates, Tailored Massage and Body Work, Nutrition and Wellness Coaching, and Infrared Heat Therapy, MYOB encourages people to view wellness from a more holistic approach.
Stop by this cozy wine bar, bistro and boutique in Crystal City for a glass of wine and a delicious bistro menu. Beauty Champagne & Sugar Boutique opened in May of 2022 and features a variety of offerings perfect for wine lovers.
Urban Thai provides convenient, healthy, and authentic Thai food and modern counter service. Enjoy your favorite Thai dish and grab a seat on their charming patio.
Loving Heart Holistic Wellness provides yoga, reiki, eft tapping, meditation, mindfulness, sound healing and many more holistic wellness services. Owner, Kara, offers all services in a sustainable, trauma-informed and compassionate way.
“My intention is to provide mindful, compassionate, holistic services to promote healing and wellness, within a community experience.” – Kara (Owner)
Stop by this woman-owned fitness studio for a great workout in Rosslyn. BASH features timed boxing intervals, joint-safe Aqua Punching Bags on side of the room and the best in fitness equipment to fuel a high-energy functional workout on the other – BASH is the ultimate full-body burn.
Make your way to PAINT Nail Bar for a unique nail salon experience. Experience cleanliness, color selection, client service, nail art, environment, attention to detail and an overall environment unlike any other salon.
More women-owned businesses in Rosslyn:
VCO Orthodontics, LearnMe, Ultra Body Sculpt
Yene Damtew, the owner of Aesthetic’s Salon, recently went viral after styling Michelle Obama’s hair for the inauguration. The boutique-style salon features upscale décor, complimentary refreshments, and wifi and soothing music. You can’t go wrong with any of the charismatic, versatile, and skilled stylists.
Located in the quaint Village at Shirlington, Dogma Dog Bakery has been committed to healthy pet food and treats since 2000. All of Dogma’s treats are baked with human-grade ingredients to ensure your dog (or cat) gets a fresh and healthy treat. They also provide a unique selection of pet products for the pet-lover in your life.
For beautiful treats made with high-quality ingredients, look no further than Village Sweet Bakery. They feature a wide selection of items including scones, cookies, bread, and counterculture coffee. Add the perfect touch to any special occasion by collaborating with Village Sweet on a custom order. They work closely with each client to create unique designs and are extremely accommodating of dietary restrictions.
“I was inspired to start Village Sweet to serve those that wanted foods like our moms and grandmas used to make - baked from scratch with quality, seasonal ingredients.” – Dawn Hart (Owner)
Alanna Rivera is a local freelance artist born and raised in Arlington. Painting has always been one of Alanna's passions, which led her to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Community Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Following grad school, Alanna began teaching in D.C. at the pre-school she attended as a child. She described her experience teaching as rewarding and eye-opening; noting that her young students were creating art at a level of complexity she was surprised by.
After teaching for two years, Alanna decided to switch gears and transition into becoming a full-time freelance artist. In May of 2019, she began taking on commissions and officially started Alanna Rivera Studios. Her work includes dog portraits (something she was happy to take on, as a dog lover), house portraits, and car portraits. Alanna sees every commission as an opportunity to connect with someone and learn about their passions. One of her biggest projects to date is an indoor mural at a historic home, which she completed in 140 hours over the span of several months. She describes it as one of the most exciting yet intimidating projects she has taken on, and one of the biggest moments for her business. Alanna also shares that putting on a holiday market for local artists was also one of the most challenging projects she has completed, but one of her most memorable as she valued being able to connect with the local community and provide a space for artists like her to share their work. To learn more about Alanna's work and commissions, you can visit her website here and follow her on Instagram.
Yasmine Bandali-Alvarado is the creative behind All That Yazz Soap and Candles, an Arlington-based home and bath products business. Yasmine was first inspired to start making her own soaps when her father (who was also into soap-making) gifted her a book called Modern Manufacturing Formulas, which included recipes for making different household items, one of them being soap. After much encouragement from friends and family, Yasmine decided to begin selling her creations, and start her own business now known as All That Yazz.
One of Yasmine's big priorities when creating All That Yazz was the exclusion of any palm oil in her products. She states that while palm oil can be beneficial, our society's over-dependence on palm oil has caused (and continues to cause) great damage to the environment. Yasmine shares that the harvesting process necessarily requires fields to be razed to the ground in order to plant new trees. Her admiration for responsible sustainability and biodiversity, as well as consumer awareness, are the driving force for providing products that aren't only great for people's skin but are also kind to the planet.
eat.YOGA.drink offers traditional yoga and mindful experiences in nontraditional spaces. Take one of their workshops or small group/private lessons to improve mental and physical presence, balance, strength, and flexibility. You can find eat.YOGA.drink online and offering live, outdoor classes in nontraditional spaces, like rooftops, breweries, wineries, etc.
“I founded eat.YOGA.drink. in 2016 as a way to make yoga and mindfulness experiences accessible, affordable, and FUN! We take life seriously enough—these practices are so nourishing and self-healing, but also excite curiosity and joy so your mind, body, and heart are all happy! Namaste & Cheers!” – Erin Sonn (Owner)
A French native, Elodie Cally first moved to the U.S and the Arlington area 6 years ago for her corporate job and has since started her own DIY natural skincare business: Elodie's Naturals. After taking a class that taught her how to make her own skincare in France, Elodie fell in love with the creative process and learned the importance of knowing which ingredients are included in everyday skincare products. This led Elodie to pursue a certification in chemistry, and begin crafting her own all-natural skincare line, with ingredients sourced from France.
In addition, Elodie began incorporating DIY skincare classes for adults and children into her business. She aims to educate and empower individuals while engaging them in the process of creating healthy beauty products. After being in business for 3 years, Elodie prides herself in having a customer return rate of over 90%.
Karina Gaull is the Brazil native, stay-at-home mom, and Arlington-based designer behind Karina Gaull Handmade, a handmade bag business. With a background in graphic design, and years of experience as a silversmith, Karina has always considered herself a creative. Her love of sewing was prompted by a mask shortage early on in the pandemic which caused her to spend hours working with her sewing machine. She quickly realized sewing was something she really enjoyed, and really fell in love with the creative process. This newfound passion led Karina to begin sewing every day and before she knew it she had created about 80 zipper pouches. After being prompted by her friends, she participated in a bazaar and sold all the pouches she had created. Karina took this as a sign to continue creating and started her own business.
Her handmade bags utilize vibrant patterns combined with varying fabric textures to create a unique end product. Aside from being a great creative outlet, Karina shares that her business has helped her gain a sense of belonging in the community, something she has been searching for since moving to the United States. After turning a spare room into a home studio, Karina continues to sew every day and share her creations via Instagram, where they are available for purchase. You can also find her creations on sale at Tint in Falls Church.
Author: Paola Fernandez