Cool Store: Wit's End

A funny thing happened on the way to my in-laws' house the other day. I found the coolest store in Springfield. Wit's End is a small establishment tucked in a strip mall along Old Keene Mill Road. At one end you'll find Whole Foods and at the other, Washington Sports Club.

At Wit's End you'll see everything from furniture and greeting cards to stained glass picture frames and baby onesies. The goods at Wit's End are unusual but also trendy, and several of the items have been featured in magazines like O, The Oprah Magazine, and US Weekly.

Olga Barber founded the store in 1998 and strives to carry items that you wouldn't find at a typical gift shop.

"I try to be ahead of the game and out of the ordinary," she says. "We just have a lot of stuff that's just fun and original and something people don't already have 12 of."

Take for example the rubber gloves that a harried housewife would slip on her hands to wash the evening's dishes. Wit's End's rubber gloves, priced at $38, are hot pink with black lace attached to the end of the glove to make for a nice dishwashing experience. And in case you were wondering what to do with your old license plate collection, someone has figured it out. Small purses are the perfect way to reuse a license plate and you can find those at Wit's End as well, for $58.

The store even carries the works of artists that are lesser known in the world. Like pottery by Ed & Kate Coleman, a husband and wife ceramic art team based in North Carolina. Wit's End had a collection of their brightly colored bowls with small pipes on the inside for flower stems for $27.

If you lean toward the more trendy side of things, then slip on one of Dillon Rogers' leather bracelets for $33. It's what Jennifer Aniston is wearing, according to a past issue of US Weekly prominently displayed next to the small collection of bracelets. And if you just can't take your mind off of ice cream, even when you bathe, pick up a few scoops of ice cream soap. It's not edible even though it comes in flavors like strawberry kiwi and looks totally believable. The bath scoops, which run $9 each, were featured in O. The magazine also wrote about the frosted drinking glasses carried by Wit's End, which feature painted tributes to every state in the union. The Catstudio glasses, which go for $11 apiece, are one of the store's most popular items.

Even the store's small furniture collection is unusual. Wit's End carries Dust Furniture, which is a line that looks straight out of a Dr. Seuss book. The lines are wavy and brightly colored and stacked on top of each other in unusual ways. The store's collection of Dust shelving units can run from $1,040 to $3,100.

Have you been to Wit's End? What cool store have you stumbled upon lately? What's your definition of a cool store? Post your discoveries below.

By Tania Anderson |  June 19, 2008; 3:00 AM ET Cool Store Alerts
Previous: Tuesday Tips: Shopping for the Cheapest Gas | Next: Tuesday Tips: Shopping for a Doctor


Please email us to report offensive comments.

Thanks, another one I can add to the list of stores with overpriced unnecessary crap that becomes useless as soon as it's no longer trendy in a month or two.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 19, 2008 9:46 AM

Zazu in Ashburn, Olde Mill Furniture in Ashburn and Eyetopia in Leesburg all have unusual, funky things - things you don't find everywhere.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2008 8:40 PM

I like Artscape in Old Town Alexandria and Impulsive in Falls Church for funky/handmade/offbeat things.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 26, 2008 12:58 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company