The DC 8 Spotlight Series features small business owners throughout the District of Columbia - representing each of the eight wards - who are all signatories to a letter of support for Airbnb in DC.
Situated on a beautiful block of Connecticut Avenue in Ward 3 is woman-owned and operated boutique, Core 72. With a background in business and finance, owner and fitness aficionado Ferrall Dietrich blazed her own trail, setting up not one, but two brick and mortar retail spaces to house her favorite activewear brands for women. “I grew up in DC. I wanted to bring brands that I loved to the DC area, particularly in the neighborhood I grew up in,” she said. “It’s a community that supports local businesses. When I had the idea to open the stores- that’s exactly where I wanted to be.”
“As the retail landscape changes with things bought online, I really do believe people want that sense of connection and going into stores and seeing it be very well curated and very personal and a true reflection of the person who owns it.”
Giving back to the community has been a huge part of Farrell’s business model. Core 72 has partnered with various local non-profits, including the Hope for Henry Foundation, which supports pediatric cancer, and Girls on the Run, whose mission is to empower girls to be healthy and confident through an experienced-based curriculum that integrates running. Farrell is also passionate about Exchange of Pace, an organization that offers volunteer opportunities for women to go to Cuba, Haiti or the Yucatan to work with underserved populations while focusing on their physical and emotional wellbeing.
“There’s so much opportunity for small businesses in DC and we don’t have nearly enough of them. It’s what gives neighborhoods character. As much as an organization like Airbnb can promote that and work to create that – I think that’s a win-win.”
While much of her customer base is comprised of locals, Core 72 does see quite a bit of foot traffic from visitors, some of which are Airbnb guests checking out the local shops on Connecticut Avenue. “There’s no question that [Airbnb] brings in more foot traffic and more visitors,” she noted. “That’s what you do when you stay somewhere. That’s why you’re there- to experience. People who stay at Airbnbs are looking for hosts to give those local recommendations to get much more of a flavor of the city – where they get coffee, where they read books.”
Despite the retail landscape shifting into more online shopping and less brick and mortar shops, Farrell is convinced that Airbnb guests, in particular, are seeking a more tangible local experience. “More and more we’re going to be seeking that – trying to get that sense of local flavor,” she concluded.