panda head interviews...
shannan fales stocks her store, junction, with smartly edited collections of vintage clothing, shoes, and jewelry. named for the place where 'old meets new,' junction also features pieces from local designers. shannan recently expanded her u street shop to make room not only for more wearables, but also for vintage furniture and housewares. stop by wednesdays-sundays to check out the revamped store and new spring pieces.
when and why did you start junction?
I’ve always loved vintage. I have a friend back home in Massachusetts who owns an amazing vintage shop and he inspired me to open my own. After miserably working day jobs for 6 years, I needed a change. Because opening a business is such a risk, I decided to see if there were other like-minded people in DC who wanted to share a space. I placed an ad in the City Paper and the Post and put up flyers around Adams Morgan. A few people responded and after some meetings, 3 women decided to moved forward with me. We opened our doors in December of 2003. Although the previous partners have left, I’m determined to maintain the same collective atmosphere for creativity where old meets new.
how did you choose your location?
We found a small space in the basement of a building on U street and luckily were the first to respond. We wanted to stay locally in the Dupont/Adams Morgan area and with 14 and U turning into such an up and coming neighborhood, we definitely wanted to be a part of the action.
how do you go about choosing collections?
I feel that vintage is always in style, whether it's a mod scooter dress or bell bottoms from the 70s. So I don't necessarily choose my pieces based on trend. I just keep an eye out for what's cool - pieces that are original and functional.
when/why did you start selling local designers?
From the start, Junction was inspired to encourage creativity among local designers. One of the original partners designed her own clothes, which defined Junction as a creative avenue for other artisans. Over the past 3 years, I'm happy to say that many designers have found Junction to be a beneficial venue for their work. I currently sell items from 7 local designers: jewelry by Renee Prioleau and T Street Designs; original designs by muss and Space Weather; and hand silk-screened t-shirts by Kristina Bilonick, Tim Gibbon, and Arvin.
what do you like about being a shop owner in DC?
I like having the creative freedom of owning my own store. I hand select every piece that goes into Junction, so the store really is an expression of myself. I'm also proud to be a part of the U Street community, as it's gone through so many historic changes and continues to progress.
what's your take on DC style, in general?
I think that a lot of DC fashion is understandably conservative. But don't get me wrong, there are definitely a few risk takers with a creative style. And I love it when they come into Junction because they really appreciate vintage and all its possibilities. But for the most part, I think DC follows the safer trends. I wish more Washingtonians would step out of their comfort zone and really explore their own style.
interview: morgan. junction is located at 1510 u street NW and is open wed 3-7, thurs - sat 12-7, and sun 12-5.