ALEXANDRIA, VA – After nearly a year since opening Threadleaf, Nicole McGrew has outgrown 121 S. Royal Street. Next month she’ll wave farewell to the 520-square-foot location and set up shop at a space more than twice as large at 102 North Fayette Street.
“What’s nice about this space is that because it’s small it gives you a chance to really test your concept and see if if it works,” McGrew told The Zebra. “It’s been great. Like, one thing I didn’t anticipate was how many like really fantastic people come into the store.”
The new space is currently home to Stitch Sew Shop, which is in the process of moving to a new location.
If you don’t know McGrew’s story, it’s fascinating. She initially left the world of fashion behind as a student for the Fashion Institute of Technology and took a complete 180 degree turn toward a less frivolous life. She transferred to the University of Chicago and got a degree in history, received a master’s degree in political science and government from Hofstra University and then a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
“I transferred because I I enjoyed it, but I thought it was really frivolous. And, you know, my favorite class at the time was, was art history in draping,” she said. “So I switched schools. I majored in history and it was awful.”
McGrew’s impressive credentials include five years as the assistant general counsel for the Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs and as the deputy general counsel for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy during the final year of the Obama administration.
McGrew said that her target demographic is women on the go, and that the designers she uses are eco-friendly and employ fair labor and use natural fibers.
“This store is really speaking to women who want to be comfortable, but also look polished and together,” she said. “They don’t have a ton of time to get ready, they’re going from work to school to some event, and then maybe some evening events. So they need something that we able to wear all day, at all these different things that will make them feel confident, have them be comfortable and then just make them look beautiful.”
McGrew is married and has a nine-year-old son who attends Alexandria City Public Schools.