Ginger Root Design opened its doors on September 18th, 2010. The clothing and neckwear in the shop is designed and sewn by the 2 owners, who love to repurpose and show people how eco-friendly can be classy. The art and accessories at Ginger Root are created by local artists, with the one exception of Metal Musings–the jeweler out of Wisconsin, who is also the mother of Ginger Root owner, Erin Derge.
Ginger Root Design was born out of a combination of events, which we hope can only be encouraging to those who wish to follow their dreams. Kristen Swenson moved to DC with a waitressing job in September of 2009, and by November she started her own tailoring business (by the name of ReVamp) out of her apartment in the Shaw neighborhood. Three months later, Swenson was in need of an additional tailor and called up her best friend in Minnesota, Erin Derge. By the end of the conversation, Erin agreed to move out to DC within the month. The 2 friends quickly became busy with new customers and discovered their niche of repurposing old items from people’s closets that they weren’t wearing, but also couldn’t quite seem to let go of. The girls loved working with customers on how they could redesign and update the item into their new “favorite” item.
After 2 months, it became clear that the friends had already outgrown their apartment tailoring shop, and they began to look for studios. One very important day, Swenson and Derge sat out on the sidewalk enjoying the sun after a long day sewing, and they both admitted to their crazy dreams of each wanting to open their own shop. Both girls, trying not to give away their excitement said “That would be nice…” and realized without even saying it that they were going to make it happen. The girls found the perfect space and realized that there was the slightest possibility of having their own store–they just had to transform the space in 6 weeks…while each tailoring 60 hours a week. So obviously they went for it.
ReVamp became Ginger Root Design–two redheads getting back to the roots of handmade.
Ginger Root has been open for over a year now, and even though it’s a lot of work, Erin and Kristen wouldn’t have it any other way.