This New Sustainable-Clothing Online Boutique Is Based in DC

Jeanne Shewmaker Birnbaum products her Apothea collection’s most effective-providing dress.

Considering the fact that her childhood in Fairfax, Jeanne Shewmaker Birnbaum—wife of DC United captain Steven Birnbaum—has identified she needed to be in trend. 

“When I was youthful, I utilised to minimize out photographs of models in runway reveals to create my individual line,” she suggests. In New York Town right after college or university, she took a vogue drawing class at Parsons at night—“it was so significantly from my inexpensive condominium on the Higher East Side, but so really worth it,” she says—and then when she moved back to DC, she took stitching and design and style courses 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 put in three decades with DC-based Tuckernuck. Most just lately, she was the director of e-commerce at the Annapolis bag brand name Hobo. (Also somewhere in there: a co-owner of a yogurt franchise in Fairfax identified as Yogurtini, where, according to her LinkedIn profile, she managed the marketing and advertising.) 

“To be honest, starting up a brand was often gnawing at me, but as my occupation grew, I set my personalized aspirations on keep,” she says. “I loved studying and developing in the field, so it by no means seemed like the right time.”


Left to appropriate: Casa Raki ‘Siena’ crop best ($120) and ‘Carmen’ skirt ($285) Casa Raki ‘Nicola’ leading ($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 begun considering about her own goals—and the closet full of speedy fashion she had and did not love—and recognized there would by no means be a best time to “go for it.”

In thinking about what she felt the industry was lacking, she noticed that the parts of garments she did like had been well-created classics: “a gorgeous wool overcoat, a cashmere sweater, a flawlessly tailored button-down.” She wished extra “functional pieces” that could be worn to run errands, and then dressed up at night time. And: She desired all of the garments to be produced responsibly and sustainably.   

So she established out to make a enterprise that supplied all of that. Her initially step, she claims, was a deep dive into how the marketplace was turning into additional sustainable, and the makes paving the way.

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

In May, she launched Apothea, an online boutique showcasing goods from far more than a dozen brands—including a namesake “Shewmaker” line whose most effective-offering “Coco” costume ($285) is named for her daughter, Colette—all sustainably made and decided on for their “fashion-ahead, nevertheless timeless” design and style. “Easy, still sophisticated.” (In reality, showcased types on the internet site contain “easy outfits” and “the fundamentals.“) The palette is mostly neutral: black, beige, cream, and blue. Some stripes. A great deal of flowy attire, button-up shirts, sweaters, and two-piece sets.  “I have on-exam every single brand—in a messy home with two toddlers, ha—before buying it for the site,” says Birnbaum, who had a next child, her son Brooks, in 2020. 

Birnbaum calls the cost points are “mid-market”–dresses, for illustration, operate from $168-409. Even though the firm itself is even now small–each order comes with a handwritten notice from Birnbaum herself–the assortment is substantial and increasing, such as dresses, denim, and components. “Every item is hand-picked and meant to provide a reason in your wardrobe.”


Amy Moeller

Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy potential customers Washingtonian Weddings and writes Design and style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and in advance of that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.

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