Dang, I can’t find the cents symbol on my keyboard. A long time ago I had a little contest to see what the name actually said. The answer, of course, was Foreign Exchange. 4NXC is located at 1019 U Street right across the street from the 10 Street side of the U Street metro. Ed. note: I would have liked to written the word street a few more times in the previous sentence but I was tapped out. When you first enter the store it is a bit uncomfortable as you have to buzz in before gaining entry. Fortunately, that discomfort vanishes immediately as you enter a bright and lively space and are greeted by the beautiful proprietor, Grace. Grace, 27, has owned the shop for nearly a year and is among the most enthusiastic people I have met on my journeys around town. I asked her how she chose this particular location and she told me that she grew up in DC and felt that the area was really up and coming. She also cited the diversity as one of the great things about the neighborhood. She came up with the name of the store 8 years ago when she was “just goofing around” and realized it was a really great name that would be a great conversation starter.
The layout of the store is beautiful. It is a nice space that has two distinct sections. While her shop originally featured exclusively women’s items she has recently expanded the merchandise to include men’s items as well. Her merchandise comes from all over the world including Paris, Thailand, Africa and elsewhere. I asked Grace to describe the merchandise and she replied that it is “trendy, fresh and fun”. She likes the fact that her store is unique and carries items that are a “little bit more edgy”. She also notes that she has pieces for everyone from inexpensive to high end. You can get a pair of earings for $10 or a linen dress for $300. In addition to clothing the store also carries jewelry, perfume, shoes, handbags and other accessories. So next time you are in the area of U Street before heading to 14th Street, it is worth a trip a few blocks east to check out this great store. Lots of photos of the interior after the jump.