Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Service industry firms like dog walking and dog day care businesses say pay cuts and furloughs will hurt their small firms.
While the specter of sequestration has government workers worried about the possibility of pay cuts and furloughs, service industries like pet day care businesses and dog walkers are also bracing for a bite to their bottom lines. Katie Wright has successfully built her dog walking business from a one-person shop to four staffers during the past 18 months. It’s something she’s proud of, and many residents of the Old Town community and elsewhere rely on Fairy Dogmom’s services to help them care for their dogs while they are away from home during the workday. "We work with many clients that work for government agencies and this has the potential to interrupt our service and affect our bottom line,” said Wright. “When owners are home they …
Monday, February 25, 2013
Small business expert Frank Felker outlines why it's so important for small business owners to utilize the power of a smart phone.
Monday, February 25
On a recent episode of The Charlie Rose Show, venture capitalist and Netscape founder Marc Andreessen commented that the term “smartphone” was a misnomer. “What you really have,” Andreessen quipped, “is a supercomputer in your pocket.” That sentence set my head to spinning. Some quick research revealed that the average iPhone or high-end Android device of 2013 has roughly the same processing power of 1987’s ETA 10-E, one of the fastest computers in the world at that time, which had to be cooled with liquid nitrogen. Wow. What if everyone in 1987 had an ETA 10-E in their pocket? What might the implications be? In a recent opinion piece published in the New York Times, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Thomas Friedman observed “...virtually …
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Two local moms slowly begin to build up their salsa and sauce business while juggling kids, family life and everything else in between.
Mary Ritley-White is the yin to Eli Rakis’ yang. Or maybe it’s the other way around. “We’ve been friends for three years,” says Ritley-White. “It feels more like 20,” says Rakis, adding “or maybe 200.” How ever long they’ve known each other, they’ve found the right recipe. It all started with salsa. “We are both salsa snobs for sure,” they agree. The duo’s business, the Sauce Queens, has taken off in just a few months with their products now in five Whole Foods stores. They have branched out from the Old Town store to Arlington, Fair Lakes and Charlottesville in Virginia and Foggy Bottom in Washington, DC. They met through the Washington Street Preschool in Old Town and both Old Town residents have kids at Lyles-Crouch elementary school. “…
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Join boutique bargain shoppers at the annual event hosted by the Old Town Boutique District.
The annual Old Town Boutique District Warehouse Sale is Saturday. The 8th annual sale featuring high-end boutique merchandise will be at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 2. The memorial building is walkable from the King Street Metro, although be prepared to take on a rather steep hill. There is also parking in the memorial's parking lot. The sale, which attracts shoppers from outside the area, features clothing, shoes, jewelry and home furnishings for up to 80 percent off retail prices. Participating boutiques include women’s boutique Hysteria, children’s shop Pink and Brown and maternity store the Apple Seed. For a full list of participating shops, click here. For more news about shopping in Old …
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The toy and hobby shop was located in the heart of Old Town.
Whistle Stop Hobbies, a long-time Old Town staple for kids' toys and crafts, announced Tuesday it will reopen in Alexandria's Fairlington neighborhood. The new address is 1535-A Quaker Lane, next to Foxglove Florist, in the Fairlington shopping center. Whistle Stop vacated its space at 130 S. Royal St. recently and announced the move on its Facebook page. It leaves the intersection empty of business with the corner lot at 320 Prince St. also vacant. Any suggestions from readers for what type of business should move in there? For more small business comings and going, sign up for Old Town Alexandria Patch's daily email newsletter, Like us on Facebook and Follow us @alexandriapatch on Twitter.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Springfield, Va. native William Morris is taking over for Tony Chittum, whose last day at Vermilion is Valentine's Day.
William Morris will become top chef at Old Town’s Vermilion. Morris replaces Tony Chittum who is leaving to reopen the Iron Gate Inn in Dupont Circle, reports Tom Sietsma in the Washington Post’s Going Out Guide. Morris, a Springfield, Va., native, previously worked at San Francisco’s Michael Mina and Brasserie Beck in Washington, DC. He also worked as executive sous chef at Bourbon Steak in Georgetown. Morris told Sietsma that he wants to continue what Chittum started and “progress from there.” Morris also has been helping out at Old Town’s Columbia Firehouse Restaurant, which, like Vermilion, is owned by the Neighborhood Restaurant Group. Chittum’s last day at Vermilion will be Valentine’s Day. President Obama and the first lady chose to…
Thursday, January 17, 2013
The restaurant at Franklin and S. Washington streets announced its closure Monday.
Chakra Café abruptly announced on its Facebook page it would close permanently. The Indian and Asian fusion restaurant is located at 600 N Franklin St., next door to Balducci's near the intersection of Franklin and S. Washington streets in Old Town. “We are sorry to announce that Chakra Cafe is now closed," the restaurant's owners wrote in a Monday post. "Thanks to all of you for your support and patronage. It has been wonderful to serve you and such fun to meet you all. We are sorry to go but will always cherish the memories.” A call to the café was not answered, but a voice mail message says the café is closed and thanks its patrons for their support. Chakra celebrated its grand opening in September 2011. Commenters on the Facebook page …
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Thief smashed the shop's front window and stole the cash register.
Children’s boutique Monday’s Child was burglarized over the weekend. The thief smashed the Lee Street shop’s front window and stole the cash register. Store owner Melinda Lynam said the register only had coins in it with a value of about $5. The police advised her to leave the cash register drawer open at night with the money clips facing upward so that it’s clear there is no money in the drawer. The store’s alarm system was not triggered when the burglary occurred. “I’m just glad that they didn’t ransack the place and ruin everything,” Lynam said. The thief did not take available jewelry, a printer and a sewing machine as well as the many children’s items. Lynam said that several cars in the shop’s back parking lot also have been broken …
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Children's book store will be closed for several days in January but reopens by hosting some fabulous authors.
Hooray For Books! on King Street will close for inventory at 2 p.m. Jan. 5. It will reopen at 10 a.m. Jan. 9. The children's book store in Old Town also hosts a variety of events for children throughout the year. On Jan. 11, author S.S. Taylor stops by the shop to discuss The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon for ages nine and up. On Jan. 12, enjoy the Feisty Females Young Adult Panel as the store welcomes three first-time young adult authors. Jessica Spotswood returns to Hooray For Books! to celebrate the paperback release of the first book of the Cahill Witch Chronicles, Born Wicked. Ellen Oh, author of Prophecy, and Alex Lidell, author of The Cadet of Tildor also will be on hand to discuss their writing and books…
Monday, December 17, 2012
Make this the year you start running your business stop letting your business run your life.
December is a time of goal setting for the coming year. This is especially true for small business owners for whom the old adage “Plan your work and work your plan” holds special meaning. But what goals should you aspire to achieve in 2013? Higher revenues? Lower costs? Landing that one Big Fish account that’s been eluding you? Allow me to suggest that you shoot for a much higher goal. Make 2013 the year that you truly begin to manage your business and stop letting it run your life. Many non-entrepreneurs are under the misconception that small business owners “have it made” and so aspire to someday also be captain of their own ship, setting their own hours and pay scale, sticking it to The Man. Sadly for many first-time business owners, …