From Jamie Hurst. Email her at jamiehurst[AT]borderstan.com . Follow her on twitter @highheeldtravlr
On a snowy Super bowl Sunday, like many of my fellow Borderstanis, I popped in to GoodWood to check in with the owners, Anna and Dan Kahoe. They are building a cozy Borderstan community, one home décor sale at a time.
Borderstan: Tell me a little bit about GoodWood and why you were interested in being in Borderstan.
Anna: GoodWood opened in 1994 and Dan and I have had it for ten years. We love being in this neighborhood and we have customers that still shop here from before we had the store. Of course we now have this whole new influx of people. You know, it was great space and a great opportunity and we took it.
I don’t know what drew us… it was close, it was funky. It was – actually in the very beginning I would think of this area, as like this is where Washington is going to become more like New York.
Borderstan: Yeah, I can see that.
Anna: It was the first section of independently owned shops.
Borderstan: Has the changing demographics changed the independence? Or what do you think?
Anna: There are a lot more restaurants and bigger small corporations, like Black Salt. Jeff Black, who does all the restaurants, I feel like he’s a native son. So it’s sort of nice in that instance to be blessed by somebody who’s had a lot of success in DC to bring their name and reputation to the neighborhood. 14th street real estate is skyrocketing and I hope people can still do something cool and different. I feel like we are in the right place.
Dan: We are going to stay as long as we can. We want to be in this neighborhood.
Borderstan: What about this neighborhood draws you? I think its so charming.
Anna: One of the interesting things is that there are not a lot of big buildings so the nature of the retail and of the restaurants is a little cozier and it’s so walkable. People live here, they shop here.
I love that we see people every week. They stop by on their way to the gym or they come every week because they have a book group. I think it’s almost like Cheers or Main Street. You get the same group of people checking in.
Borderstan: You’re building a community with your shop.
Anna: I get nervous over the holidays when some of our good friends leave and it’s mid-January and I’m like, where are they! They haven’t come back yet. You know? I always want to hear about it [their trips].
Meeting people’s parents-I love that. It’s my favorite thing when people bring their parents into the store. Because I feel like the good girlfriend they want to introduce them to.
Borderstan: They have to show you off! A lot of people shop here because they feel that it’s not just a home goods store but that it’s also homey to shop here. Is there an instance you would want to share where you found an object you were really in love with, and then it found a really good home?
Anna: There are pieces I get really attracted to and I’m always hoping that it goes to one of our regulars, this, that and the other. [laughs] Dan’s going to hate that I tell this story but Dan just brought in today, see that Vanson leather motorcycle jacket over there?
Borderstan: Oh, yes.
Anna: Dan was wearing that when I met him.
Anna: I know. So speaking of homey, we are selling a piece of our history.
Borderstan: That’s so bittersweet!
Dan: I got skinny.
Borderstan: Well, that’s not a bad thing.
Anna: People often want to know the story behind something. And often we get stuff at auction and there really is no story. And I’m like, it’s your turn. You build the story. Or the story is that you found it here. This is the beginning.
And my favorite thing is when customers come in and they say, oh, I wish I lived here. That’s the feedback we want. We want people to feel comfortable here. Beyond getting something you need, like a chest of drawers, it’s a place to check in.
GoodWood, 1428 U Street NW. Store Hours: Monday to Saturday 12 to 7 pm, Sundays 12 to 5 pm.