, a shop specializing in nifty and creative handcrafted gift items, jewelry, and art, decided to celebrate its third year in a big way: by getting smaller. The colorful shop with its vintage-inspired displays and minimalist atmosphere moved from over 1,000 square feet near Ottawa Avenue and Pearl St. NW to just 400 square feet in MoDiv
, 40 Monroe Center Ave. NW.
"At Ottawa and Pearl, I was off the beaten path. My lease was up, and I wanted a place on the main street," says owner Angie Seabert.
Seabert, who has a penchant for cat-eye glasses and 1950s anything, smiles and laughs as she talks about the freedom of dressing a smaller boutique space and having ready-made neighbors of other shop owners at MoDiv, a multi-shop retail incubator.
"The shop is more streamlined, and I can focus on handmade by local artisans," she says. "I'm hoping that, because I've been in business three years and have established customers, I can bring some business to MoDiv."
Minty Keen's niche is quirky greeting cards, local postcards, vintage books-become-journals, handmade jewelry that includes items made from vintage watch gears, and a selection of handcrafted ceramic buttons that would make any DIY crafter giddy.
Clothing offerings include unusual screen-printed Tees for kids and adults, hand-knit arm warmers and leg warmers, and bright and cheerful winter scarves and ear warmers sewn from upcycled sweaters. (The ear warmers have ultra-soft cashmere linings.)
Seabert still offers a selection of her vintage items at two online shops, MintyKeen.com
Since Minty Keen is a family affair, with Seabert "manning" the shop, husband Brad doing deliveries and heavy lifting, and their two sons, ages 8 and 5, playing Legos in the back room, one shouldn't be surprised to get a little gift selection help from a wee one.
"A customer was here and my five-year-old said, 'I know where there are some earrings!' and the lady bought them," Seabert says with a laugh.
I mean, how could you not?
Hours: Tues., Weds. 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Thurs. 11 - 7; Fri. 11 - 6; Sat. 11 - 5; Sundays in December, noon - 4.
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor