Some people will do whatever it takes to pursue their dreams. Obstacles? Surmount them. Challenges? Overcome them. Pretty, flattering dresses? Sew them.
Jackie Flanagan, proprietor of Nana, a former boutique in Mount Pleasant and on U Street NW and now a super stylish clothing line, is one of those people. Fearless entrepreneur pursuing her passion so that we all may be dressed a little bit better? Check, check.
Nana was first launched on U Street in 2003 as part consignment, part vintage, part new clothing store. As the store grew and expanded, the focus shifted to accommodate what customers were looking for — more new pieces and eventually, a few of Flanagan’s own creations.
Now, Nana has evolved into what Flanagan thinks her customers are really after: a unique, affordable, vintage-inspired-yet-modern, tailored clothing collection, handmade entirely in the District, sold at trunk shows and online.
Flanagan wasn’t a designer in the beginning – she has a background in marketing, publishing, and the arts — but she knew how to sew, she learned pattern making, and she knew her Nana clientele. Was it crazy for a non-designer to launch a clothing line? Perhaps, but she says she just jumped in and did it. “Life is in the doing.”
This is the Whatever-It-Takes model of entrepreneurship, and just the kind of small business owners many of us in Borderstan hope to support. And better yet, the clothes are all designed, sewn, and finished by Flanagan and her partners in Adams Morgan and Mount Pleasant. That’s just cool.
While part of the retail-to-pop-up evolution was responding to customers, part was to fill Flanagan’s own creative needs to “switch things up.” After ten years of the storefront, it was important to Flanagan to have a business that focused more on her favorite, best parts – do a few things, and do them well.
So you won’t find Flanagan running her boutique these days, but you will find her popping up all over town with her spring line. As she says, “Business isn’t a location.”
We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we will be joining Flanagan on Wednesday at Goodwood as she unveils her spring collection with a trunk show, full of classic tops and tunics ($65 to $100), pencil skirts ($100 to $120), go-anywhere shift dresses ($140 to $180), and more. The detailing is the star here, with soft floral patterns like this daffodil top, earthy neutrals and a focus on fit. Included in the sales price of each item will be custom tailoring.
And champagne, did we mention champagne?
If you’re not able to make it on Wednesday, all pieces will be available on Nana’s website after the show. And stay tuned all spring, as Flanagan plans to unveil more items from the collection every month at a new pop-up location.
Asked her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and fashion designers, and it was simple: “Learn to sew.”
Nana Spring Collection Pop-Up
- Where: GoodWood, 1428 U Street NW.
- When: Wednesday, March 27, from 5 until 8 pm.
- And? No appointment necessary.