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Alexandria VA, City Guide with: The Shoe hive
Hart Babes! Are you planning a trip to the Virginia or the DC area anytime soon? Well,  Be sure to stop by our favorite store “shoe hive” and buy a lovely pair of #hartearrings. Read below as this cute store gives you the go-to spots in town!
If you were a tourist or your friend was traveling to the city where would you tell them to stay!
There is a new Kimpton hotel in Old Town Alexandria called Hotel Indigo right on the waterfront. The restaurant hasn’t opened up yet, but it’s backed by the best restaurant group in town and is sure to be a major hit. I want to take a staycation there just for the experience!

What is your favorite spot to grab a bite at?
My very favorite place for lunch (and dinner, and breakfast if they’d let me) is Sonoma Cellar. Located in the heart of Old Town, their wine list is enviable, their service impeccable, their tacos to die for, and their back patio is pure magic. I have been known just to keep ordering more wine and food so I could hang out longer in their patio guilt-free.

Where is your favorite drink spot, whether it's a cafe or lounge!
If I’m not at Sonoma Cellar, I’m at Grape & Bean which is just a couple of blocks away. Another wine bar with great small plates. (Are you sensing a theme here?) Grape & Bean is more indulgent and the dark, cozy, inviting space is more East Coast-inspired. Order the duck rillette and the mushroom soup.
What are the must go shopping places!
 We have two locations in Alexandria. The Shoe Hive carries shoes (obviously), jewelry, bags, and accessories…as well as our Hart tassel earrings! Our second location, The Hive, carries clothing with brands ranging from Ulla Johnson, Rag & Bone, Veronica Beard, Mother Denim, and so much more. Beyond our stores, we are members of the Old Town Boutique District—a collection of nearly forty independently-owned boutiques. We live in a unique place that offers a truly special shopping experience.

Do you have any favorite activities in your area?
When it comes to my favorite activities in the area, I could point you to my favorite yoga or cycling studio, but let me tell you about something that is truly unique! Kazaxe. You’ll need to head about twenty minutes away to Springfield to get there, but it’s worth the drive. Every night about 400 people pack into a boxing gym. The lights are turned off, and the music is turned up, and the dancers on stage lead the crowd in a one-hour workout that falls somewhere between Zumba and hip hop. It is the best endorphin rush you will ever get in addition to being a great workout!

What is the best spot to SEE?
Alexandria is only ten minutes away from Washington, DC. I always recommend that people stay in Alexandria and spend a day in DC instead of the other way around. But if you’ve done the DC scene, Alexandria has one of the coolest art incubators on the East Coast. The Torpedo Factory Art Center is a naval munitions factory that was converted into an art center right on the banks of the Potomac River. The artists are supported by the community, and we all benefit from having them nearby!

Where are you most Inspired in your city?
 I am most inspired by the incredible group of female entrepreneurs in Alexandria. All but two of the business owners in the Old Town Boutique District are women. I know female chefs, fitness studio owners, restauranteurs, marketing gurus and jewelry designers, stylists, and photographers. My experience has been that they go out of their way to support one another and foster an environment in which other women feel enabled to break out and do their own thing too. I feel so lucky to live in Alexandria and be a part of this community.
 
What are the best selling items at your store?
The best-selling earrings at our store are obviously Hart tassel earrings—we can’t keep them in stock! Thus far, we’ve had the best luck with the red and pink combos and the emerald color that came out around Christmas. The black and white topknots are kicking butt now, too, though! I do believe that women shop in our stores for two reasons. First, we have something for everyone. No matter your style or lifestyle, you can find something you love at a price point that makes you comfortable. Second, we provide an exceptional customer service experience. More often than not, we know your name when you come in and what you’ve purchased recently. We are aware if you got a new puppy or your kid just graduated. And we follow up with thank you notes and phone calls to ensure you’re happy with your purchase. We’ll open the stores for you early or keep them open for you late if you can’t make it during our set hours, and there’s always a glass of wine ready to be served!