Nana Women’s Clothing Store Closing Brick and Mortar Shop in Mt. Pleasant

by Prince Of Petworth January 8, 2013 at 11:00 am 30 Comments

3068 Mt. Pleasant Street, NW

In 2011 Nana moved from U Street to Mt. Pleasant. Nana’s owner Jackie Flanagan shares some bittersweet news:

After 10 years as a brick and mortar clothing store in D.C., Jackie Flanagan is making changes to her business model for 2013. Flanagan will continue to design the Nana Clothing line produced here in D.C. and host numerous sales events but will close the brick and mortar store in Mount Pleasant.

“This is an extremely personal decision for me — one based on my desire to spend more time on my favorite aspects of the Nana business: designing the Nana line and planning fabulous shopping events! It is bittersweet to leave the brick & mortar environment after a decade, but I am excited to focus on the design and styling side of Nana and to stay connected to our wonderful community of customers through our events in 2013,” says Flanagan. She adds, “I love Mount Pleasant, and the Nana spot is a great one. I am excited to see what entrepreneur scoops it up and brings a new idea to the neighborhood.”

Flanagan adds:

“There is no firm closing date yet, but it will be between January 21st and 24th. Our Winter Clearance Sale is in full-effect. Stop by before your favorite styles (all on sale) are scooped up! Then the store will be all ready for our clothing swap on January 26th.”

Keep up to date with Nana here.

  • Becket98

    So sad. Really liked that store. Wish it got enough business to justify the rent.

  • Sad news 🙁 This was a lovely store with lovely things. But it seemed empty a lot, and I was usually the only shopper in the store. Wishing the owner the best of luck with her business!

  • Lenzergirl

    Has anyone been to the swap before? Sounds like a great idea but am curious about the kind of clothes you find at it.

    • JS

      I went to the first swap at the Nana MtP location, just before the store opened there. I brought a lot of stuff and most of it was of good quality and style. I think I dropped off 3 or 4 Trader Joe’s paper bags worth. I felt jipped at the swap because if you didn’t get in there and pretty much fight for things, there was no way you were going to get anything. I think too many tickets were sold. I also think putting all of the items folded on tables made it really hard to sort through it and find anything.

      I went to a few swaps at Black Eyed Susie’s (all these places are closing, wonder why) and thought they were crowded, but better. I think it was the flow and the sizing in different parts of the store.

      I don’t know if I’d go back to the Nana swap, but I am sad to see a handmade, stylish shop close, especially as another sewist in the area.

  • la_niña

    This is the problem with a lot of the retail in DC and why it does not survive = killer rents!!! when I hear how much business owners have to pay I swear I get heartburn – there is just no way to make a sustainable business and those who do survive is at t the cost of all of us paying astronomical prices for whatever they sell (food or goods). Yes, DC is a desirable place to be but it will never flourish like other places. There are a lot of people moving in and buying stuff but not that many and not at those prices no matter what other people say.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry to hear this, but not surprised. They have had a lot of very big sales almost constantly in the last few months, which isn’t a good sign for any business. I love the lines they carry, but the stock lately has been low. I wonder if the move from U St didn’t work out as well as they had hoped.

    The owner and staff are so nice. I hope the next phase works out for them.

  • Anonymous

    Sad news. But for a few exceptions, Mt. Pleasant retail is pretty dismal.

    • Anonymous

      And not easy to get to by Metro etc.

      • DC

        Her store is a little over 2 blocks from the Columbia Heights metro. Parts of MtP are a hike, but Nana is not. The problem is that the neighborhood has not been able to bring in businesses that make people want to come check it out. Nana was one, but no one followed. Supposedly, the rents are very high on the street, which I find bizarre given the fact that such low-rent type businesses occupy them. I really believe that MtP could be a nice area, but the development is moving very slowly. Hoping that Beau Thai brings in a new energy and is very successful.

      • Anonymous

        That’s absolutely ridiculous! Nana is 3 blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro. What are you smoking??

        Not to mention the Circulator, 42/43 and H buses that stop at the corner of Irving & MtP sts.

      • As the others have already stated, this is a pretty ridiculous statement.

      • Add me to the “Mount Pleasant is not served by transit” is absurd crowd. It’s a beautiful neighborhood (hardly “isolated”) that just hasn’t had luck in getting retail or restaurants going. Just be careful what you wish for.

    • Anonymous

      I have to agree, even though I live nearby and think there are a number of other aspects of the community that are nice. When I first moved to this area, I had a couple of people tell me that Mt. Pleasant was “the Brooklyn of DC.” No disrespect to Mt. P, but I’m not sure about that comparison…

      • Anonymous

        I think one of the problems is that it’s isolated from other parts of the city, in that it’s not easy to get to by Metro, and parking is nonexistent. So people are unlikely to come in from other neighborhoods to shop there, but the rents are often higher than a neighborhood-serving establishment can afford.

        • I think you are on to something here, except for the “not easy to get to by metro” bit. See above, it’s very easy to get there by rail and bus.

          • Anonymous

            Well, maybe, but if there’s little else to do in the surrounding neighborhood, it might not be worth the effort of waiting for a bus, or walking over from the Metro.

        • dcdude

          Honestly, I don’t consider MtP’s “isolation” a problem but rather a blessing. True, MtP will never be a shopping or dining destination for people from other parts of the city, but that’s what makes MtP special and what gives it that quaint, small town feel. Granted, this means that certain types of businesses will not be able to thrive here, but it also means that the businesses that do thrive do so because they cater to the people that actually live here.

          • Anonymous

            I agree, it’s a double-edged sword.

          • Mt. P Resident

            Yeah a blessing…and not. I’d say that “blessing” is partially what is responsible for the never-ending supply of people hanging around in front of the 7-11 and in the “park” in various states of inebriation. I don’t want the area to become Adams Morgan or Columbia Heights but still…it would be nice to see the area improve and cleaned up a little. Instead it often feels like Mt. P is being left behind while interesting new bars/restaurants/coffee houses open up in other parts of the city. I’d love to see Heller’s get some real competition, for example…that place seriously sucks.

        • JB

          Completely agree with those disputing the crazy notion that its not accessible by metro and rail. To me, as someone who now lives there, I think the issue is that it is hard to accidentally stumble on to Mt. P because of its location. Thus all of the retail has to serve locals or be destination spots for folks. To me, this is in sharp contrast to 14th street, Eastern Market etc., where you go for one reason but just walk and stumble upon many other things you didn’t know where there. I think Mt. P has that potential, but it will need one or two destination spots before others start coming. Unfortuantely, it doesn’t look like it will be happening any time soon.

        • Anonymous

          I agree with you. It’s quite easy to get there, but it feels out of the way. Every time I go I am surprised again at how easy it is to get there, and since I’ve been there probably a dozen times over the last year, that says something. If you don’t live or work right near there, it feels isolated. Since there’s not much else nearby that I want to go to, I end up going much less than I did when it was on U St, where there are many other places I could also visit.

  • Anonymous

    Great lady, and great store that tired to support local and sustainable products. Looking forward to Nana’s next venture.

  • not a woman, so I wouldn’t know – but don’t dress shops have a harder time when it’s a little cold to wear a dress?

    • They sold more than just dresses, like blouses, skirts, jewelry, accessorizes, and some secondhand stuff. Also most dresses can easily be worn in the winter with the addition of tights and a cardigan.

  • I’ve never been to this store in particular, but having just visited Philadelphia I’m noticing these days that there’s a serious dearth of little, local businesses in this town. It seems like everywhere you turn in Philly there’s an independent coffee shop, record shop, BYOB restaurant, clothing shop, tea shop, etc. Why not here? Meanwhile, there are tons of vacant properties, even in bustling neighborhoods like Columbia Heights. Is it the customer base (we’re just jerks) or the rent (it’s too damn high)?

  • bb

    This is really too bad. MtP has had a hard time gaining critical mass, which is odd considering the successful retail developments on all sides. I always blamed it on the fact that there are too many identical businesses on that strip. It needs more variety.

    • Anonymous

      It needs more variety of leadership, too. Some influential people are stuck on the notion that MtP is still the center of the Latino community, and some are anti-gentrification and refuse to see the demographic shift that’s occurred in recent years.

      I agree with the high rent argument, but then how are the check-cashing places and nail salons affording it? Are they just really successful but unassuming business models?

  • Anon

    So sad to lose Nana. I buy all my clothes here or at Secondi in Dupont.

  • ILiveinMtP

    i dont feel too bad about that store closing. the clothes were wayyyyy too overpriced and it didn’t bring anything good to the community. or, i just didn’t find it very…communal. what we need are more spaces that bring people together, that encourage the co-mingling of the classes. not a place like nana where you can buy an organic handmade hemp handbag with an aluminum cap strap for $93. please. good riddance.

    • This is ridiculous and borders on nasty. Good riddance? I’m all for the mingling of classes, but does every single retail establishment need to offer something for everyone?

      Whether you shop there or not, Nana is an excellent, independent establishment with a low impact on the neighborhood. It’s brought some needed attention to our retail strip and the owner has been active through the MPBA and by herself helping to encourage other business owners. I live in MtP too but it’s this sort of thinking that discourages any new businesses that might better serve everyone in the surrounding area.


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