At Last – Non-Food Retail Coming to Barracks Row
Woman’s Exercise Apparel Outlet Will Focus on Green Brands
by Larry Janezich
Summit to Soul, a women’s fitness and lifestyle boutique will open by the end of July according to founder Kimberly Wattrick. The retail space at 727 8th Street on Barracks Row was formerly the home of Capitol Hill Sporting Goods which closed recently after 13 years.
Summit To Soul is a Washington, DC, based boutique that provides high-quality women’s fitness and yoga apparel and gear. The store is committed to carrying only eco-friendly, sustainably-sourced, or Made in USA products. Those brands include: Beyond Yoga, Onzie, Wear It To Heart/WITH, Rese, Coeur, United By Blue, Manchuka, and Oiselle.
Wattrick said she chose to open on Barracks Row because she “lives on Capitol Hill and loves the community and saw a need for a women’s apparel outlet.” After the store launches she has plans for Summit To Soul sponsored community events such as free run clubs and fitness groups.
Wattrick is a long time DC resident, a former collegiate tennis player and avid exercise enthusiast. After a career in socially responsible investing, she founded Summit To Soul in 2015. She received her BA from Georgetown University and an MA in International Affairs from Johns Hopkins SAIS, where she won a national business plan competition for sustainable business practices. For more information on product lines, see the store’s website here: https://www.summittosoul.com/
Capitol Hill residents who have been pining for non-restaurant retail to return to 8th Street will undoubtedly welcome the news. In addition to Capitol Hill Sporting Goods, two other “real” retail stores on the block closed recently: Homebody lost its lease to make way for Pineapple and Pearls – Aaron Silverstein’s high end, $250 fixed price companion restaurant for Rose’s Luxury – and City Bikes closed earlier this year because of an increase in rent. Barracks Row has struggled to attract retail on a commercial corridor where some landlords hold out for higher rents only food and drink establishments can afford. As word spreads of the clout of the well-organized nearby neighbors who have been successful in requiring new restaurants to meet best operating practices, these landlords may be waiting for a while.