When the pandemic hit last year, Pixie Windsor, the bright, ebullient owner of the beloved Miss Pixie’s Furnishings & Whatnot ramped up her store’s social media presence. “Instagram has changed everything,” she says. “We now post 30 or 40 pictures a day as opposed to [pre-pandemic] ten a week. Instagram sales really helped us through.”
The pivot to working from home for so many helped move her store’s signature antiques and period furnishings. “People really paid more attention to their home environment, so that’s done a lot for our sales,” Windsor says. “We also sell lots of glassware, lots of cookware. And people are buying champagne glasses, and more than a set of four. So I guess everybody’s gathering again.”
This weekend, the gathering will spill out onto the sidewalks from businesses along a swath of 14th Street. The occasion is the annual MidCity Dog Days Sale, a pivotal event and promotion in the neighborhood launched in 2000 as a way to spark interest and business in the slowest summer month. After a shift to virtual last year, Dog Days returns as an in-person affair for its 22nd edition.
“A lot of businesses are still struggling because they had to shut down nearly completely and lay people off,” says Michele Molotsky, program manager of Logan Circle Main Street and coordinator of the event. “Now they’re coming back, but it’s a slow process to reopen. I don’t think any of us really understood that. The shutdown just happened and then there was no blueprint for how to reopen.”
More than 50 businesses along the 14th Street corridor are hoping to get a much-needed boost by offering sales and specials for Dog Days all weekend long — running from Current Boutique and The Pig at the southern end near P Street to Busboys & Poets just past U Street.
“We’re also going to have a few makers who don’t have a brick-and-mortar store in the neighborhood,” Molotsky says, including a handful who participated in last year’s virtual event, such as Steadfast Supply and Beasties & Besties. They’ll be set up at tables on the sidewalk alongside the corridor’s best-known occupants, including Logan Hardware, The Corner, Garden District, and Miss Pixie’s. “I think that will make it a little bit more special and exciting.”
Ultimately, Molotsky says the event should offer “a really good mix of all different kinds of businesses and restaurants [for] a great day of shopping and eating and drinking.”
The 22nd Annual Mid City’s Dog Days of Summer Sidewalk Sale runs all day Saturday, Aug. 7, and Sunday, Aug. 8. Click here for more information.
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