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Coming Soon: Sustainable Textile Pop-Up Shop at Reston Town Center

by Karen Goff July 12, 2016 at 2:45 pm 8 Comments

Amanda Zehner/Credit: Living Threads Co.A Virginia native who founded a company that helps women artisans in developing countries will soon bring her store to Reston Town Center.

Living Threads Co. will open July 19 in the space formerly occupied by Brighton Collectibles, which closed its store at 11858 Market St. in May. The store will be a pop-up with a six-month lease, says founder Amanda Zehner.

That section of Market Street is slated for demolition and the rebuilding of an office tower, but a construction start date has not been set. The storefronts may end up housing several pop-up shops, starting with Living Threads Co.

Zehner, an Alexandria native, Virginia Tech grad and former Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa, started her company while living in Maine in 2014. The store has done online sales and operates a seasonal shop near Bar Harbor. Zehner experimented with a pop up at D.C.’s Union Market over the 2015 holiday season.

She said Reston will be a good spot to try the concept as well, even at Reston Town Center, which has an abundance of corporate retail.

“There is more a consciousness here,” said Zehner. “I think people are willing to get away from the big brands.”

Living Threads Co. sells eco-friendly housewares such as blankets and tableware; clothing such as a scarves and ponchos; and children’s toys. The goods are made by artisans in Nicaragua, India, Guatemala and Nepal.

Ten percent of company profits go to a microcredit and training program for the artisans and 30 percent goes to the weavers themselves, says Zehner.

She says the impact is noticeable in improving the lives of the artisans.

“The weavers in Nicaragua have increased their income threefold,” said Zehner. “They had an income of less than $100 month and now are making $300 a month.”

Living Threads Co. will be open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The store will host a community open house with wine and snacks on Saturday, July 23 from 3 to 6 p.m.

Photo: Amanda Zehner/Credit: Living Threads Co.

  • RickDotSalt

    Good luck, nice to see something that is not a chain store and a bright young mind with a global view. I assume this open house is July?

    • Mike M

      Oy! I’d like to post what I think about that, but I wanna be nice. How about a hint. Know the US before you can pretend to know anywhere else. Help your own country where you can really understand if you are getting results.

      • Living Threads Co.

        Hi Mike, There are lots of different perspectives on supporting small businesses and development locally and globally. Please feel free to stop by our new shop as I would love to hear more about you thoughts and experience. I can also share more about how we work with small scale artisans. As a small local business we are always looking for ways to improve and grow our impact. Thanks! – Living Threads Co.

        • Mike M

          I will do so. Good luck with your business. I respect your constructive attitude and your entrepreneurial drive.

    • Living Threads Co.

      Yes, Open House will be July 23rd! Looking forward to meeting you.

  • compactdisqus

    Anyone know the lease rate for these pop-ups?

  • Bombing them is easier

    After 40% deductions for nation building and uncle Sam taking at least 20% we are looking at another 40% going to the owner. After expenses perhaps 5 to 10%. My guess, it’s like a non profit. Only that this store will be brought into existence at an elite destination, one that charges for parking.

    Incredible courage. I will come visit/support.

  • Beth

    Oh this is exciting! I always buy handmade for my home when possible- love finding unique pieces with their own stories. Also makes for such thoughtful, special gifts. Very cool that it supports the weavers.

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