THANK YOU, we met our goal within 10 hours. Please stay tuned for Phase 2 of our fundraising. Thank you!!
Friends, I am happy to announce that nomad yard collectiv is crowdfunding a 0% interest loan on Kiva. Kiva is the first and largest micro-lending service in the world that has distributed $709 million over 10 years, in 85 different countries, among 1.5 million small businesses.
I am currently in a private fundraising period, during which I have 15 days to get 22 lenders in order to make it on the public platform where anyone on Kiva can lend to me. The funds from this loan will go towards consolidation of debts incurred due to the displacement from our location at 411 New York Avenue NE Washington, DC. This loan will help me toward my goal of relaunching our brick and mortar incubator.
I would like to ask you to lend as little as $25 (which you will get back!) so that I can progress to the public fundraising period. If you would like to support me, please follow this link to my profile page here. This is the only way your loan will be tracked as coming through me. Thanks for your support, I am honestly so grateful!
Desirée Venn Frederic is most at home when she’s inside her vintage shop in Northeast DC, where she is surrounded by the goods she has collected through her travels.
Venn Frederic greets every client with a warm smile. She is proud of her collection and is happy to share the story behind some of her unique pieces.
Venn Frederic reached the American dream two years ago when she opened Nomad Yard Collectiv. The shop was inside the Union Arts building, an artist incubator that shared the space with about 60 other artists.
“The work of teaching history through vintage goods is to decolonize vintage,” said Venn Frederic. She added, “Is to expand that narrative, to our own sensibilities to the things we find aesthetically pleasing.”
Her locale was more than just a shop for her and the surrounding community. As redevelopment around Northeast D.C. continues, Nomad Yard was one of the few places that kept their doors open to homeless people and allowed them to take shelter on cold days or,“to just take sit from walking all way.”
When Venn Frederic moved into the building she was aware it was on sale. She had intentions to buy the building.
“I was seven million dollars short,” said Venn Frederic with a sarcastic laugh.
The demand for new housing comes from younger tenants moving into the city. In the last 15 years over 35% of the population in the city is made-up by 18-to-35-year-olds.
“Most notably as the city is changing and is undergoing a very rapid redevelopment I thought it was significant and important that small businesses be part of that redevelopment,” said Venn Frederic.
The building was sold to D.B. Lee Development and Construction and Brook Rose Development, which plans to turn the arts building into a “boutique hotel.”
“As of Nov. 27 we will no longer be in business in Washington DC we are closing our doors due to gentrification,” said Venn Frederic. She added, “the irony of it all is that we’re continually and consistently named the best vintage store in the city.”
A few days before closing her doors, Venn Frederic told some of her customers that the building will close around Thanksgiving. Some of the local shoppers were surprised, while others were upset since it was their first time inside and like what they saw.
They felt that closing the store would be a lose. The Union Arts building was the last arts building in the district.
The incoming developers formed a collaboration with Cultural DC, a non-profit organization, “that makes space for art through its programs and services,” according to their mission.
A statement from the group said, “The proposed hotel project includes artists’ studios, gallery and exhibition space, a sculpture garden, a community classroom, with portions of the ground floor, hallways throughout the hotel, all of the 2nd floor and most of the 11th floor being dedicated to the arts.”
The developer’s art proposal and Venn Frederic’s business did not match and she was left without a space.
A couple of blocks over in Fifth Street, Adnan Hussain shows a customer his large selection of natural body oils.
He opened his store, D.C. Ideal Wholesale five years ago, and body oils and African skin care products are his biggest sellers. He also stocked up on his toy selection for the holiday season.
His wholesale sits across the street from the newly renovated Union Market.The two buildings face each other but they’re two different worlds. The customers do not intermingle.
Union Market caters to shoppers in search of upscale goods. Expensive wine and organic foods are next to the oyster bar and the Korean taco stand. The shoppers are young and well dressed.
These are the customers the boutique hotel developers sought after.
“The neighborhood became a little safer since the customers from the market, but we don’t get any of their customers, they don’t shop here,” said Hussain.
Hussain said the younger hipster customers who visit Union Market rarely go inside his store and when they do they walk right out.
The area where Hussain’s business is is changing. It will soon have a new boutique hotel to house more of the young and hip crowd that the Union Market attracts.
The area is a few minutes walk from Gallaudet University Metro station and only a few stops away from Downtown Washington. Luxury apartments now flood that area with new construction is seen on every corner.
While Hussain spoke, cranes and bulldozers made a loud noise near his wholesale. Redevelopment is happening behind his Ideal Wholesale, but Hussain did not seem worried.
His lease was recently renewed and he said, “business is good.” His brother owns a similar wholesale in the district and Hussain said they would combine the stores if their sales went down.
That’s somewhat of a privilege that Venn Frederic did not have. The cost of moving and storage all came out of her pocket. Another unforeseen cost of displacement.
A neighboring business owner opened his store doors to her to use as temporary storage. Venn Frederic said she will miss the community that existed in the building and those she served.
Venn Frederic plans to open Nomad Yard Collectiv in a new location in the district soon.
However, she thinks beyond just her store. As a co-founder of Artist Union DC, Venn Frederic plans to prepare creative entrepreneurs to represent the interests of artists in local government and prevent another loss like the Union Arts Building.