By Betsy Garcete
Introducing our Power woman of the month, the talented Leigh George, PhD., founder of Freedom, an innovation-focused un-agency. Freedom uses different processes, tools and teams to help brands create new solutions to connect with people in our dynamic, digital world.
I met Leigh over a year ago. Instantly, I was enamored by her edgy style and knew we'd be great friends. Recently, Zophia had the honor of designing a CEO skirt for her. Once finished, we met at Urban Butcher to chat about fashion, life, etc. Not surprisingly, we started chatting about how D.C. Is changing and how much we love the district. So, I thought it would be appropriate to let Leigh take over and share what she loves most about the Nation's Capital. Oh and have her show off her bold new CEO skirt.
Leigh : I wasn't born in DC but it's become my hometown. I've always felt like an outsider and the incredible community of DC finally makes me feel like I've found my tribe. Here's why :
I love vintage fashion and Desiree Venn Frederic has brought together the most distinctive collection of women’s and men’s wear, objects and artifacts spanning decades and continents unlike any I’ve ever seen. Each exquisite piece has a story. But this is so much more than a clothes store. It’s the heartbeat of a creative community that Desiree has nourished and fought for as a much needed space for collaboration and cross-pollination.
To put it simply, Maketto is my happy place. Erik-Bruner Yang and Will Sharp designed a hybrid space—combining retail, coffee shop and restaurant—whose events, activities and interactions cultivate and support community. I celebrated the one year anniversary of my brand consultancy, freedom, with a party at Maketto because its sense of innovation and community so closely resonates with the principles I founded my own company on.
Looking for a spiritually nourishing place to work? Locale Workspace is it. With its intimate open space, rough hewn community table and meticulously selected decor, Alison Beshai and Stephen Miller have created an oasis among the corporate co-working desert in DC.
I easily fall into workaholism and struggle to make time to take care of myself. The brilliance of the Lemon Bowl is that it takes all the effort out of finding ways to recharge your batteries and flex your creative muscles. The Lemon Bowl hosts a wild variety of workshops: block printing, weaving, terrariums, nail art, tea and on and on—there’s no way you can’t find something that will inspire and reinvigorate you.
Not a day goes by that someone doesn’t complement my hair. I’m not bragging that’s just how freakin’ talented Ryan Mitchell and Meg Walsh are. The cut is all Ryan and the red color is thanks to Meg. At Ryan’s salon, Eastern Confederate, a basement space in Mount Pleasant decked out in thrift store splendor, I’m immersed in a wonderful world of kitsch. Ryan also runs Suns Cinema, an independent movie theater right across the street, so you can do your ‘do and then grab your alcoholic beverage of choice, some snacks and watch Scanners.
I’m always complaining about the lack of interesting clothing stores in DC and without Redeem I’d be totally adrift. Redeem is an independent boutique focusing on emerging designers from DC and around the world. Owner Lori Parker selects pieces that share a minimalist sophistication. The jewelry and accessories are eye catching and distinctive, echoing the streamlined and elemental sensibility of the clothes.
Morgan and the team at A Creative DC connects and promotes the the vibrant and diverse creative community in DC. The #aCreativeDC hashtag is an incredible window onto DC’s spaces, places and happenings from every angle and perspective. I was honored to be featured in A Creative DC’s ANTHOLOGY series, a look at the city's creative contributors – emerging, established, and everyone in between – whose projects, plans + vibes make the District a better and more interesting place to live, work, and visit.
Though not technically in the District, these three spots just outside its borders add to its creativity, color and culture.
Jewelry designer Sophie Blake and women’s wear designer Erika Schrieber beautifully complement each other in a bright shop in the Mosaic District. Sophie’s earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings are dramatic and architectural. Erika crafts clothes that are stunning in their simplicity.
Unlike most steakhouses DC, The Classics seeks to be as inclusive as possible by offering incredible food at reasonable prices. It’s a neighborhood gathering spot. My family has been coming to The Classics since it opened. My daughters have grown up there. Whenever we’re there we run into friends or meet new people at the bar. Be sure to try the coconut cake!
With garage doors spanning one side of the building, Urban Butcher brings the outside inside. I love sitting at the bar with my husband when the weather is nice and the garage doors are open, enjoying a glass of Rose and their tuna ceviche and amazing grilled brussel sprouts.
And of course but certainly not least is ZOPHIA
Pencil skirts are the epitome of feminine style, confidence and sophistication in a professional wardrobe. Betsy Cohen, Zophia’s founder, gives you the opportunity to own the pencil skirt of your dreams. Choose from a wide selection of fabrics and silhouettes to create a custom skirt that not not fits you perfectly but captures your personality and style.