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We sat down with Carmen Lopez, founder and owner of Current Boutique, to learn more about her business, what inspires her, and what she loves about owning a business in DC.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I moved to the DC area when I was 5 years old and have lived here ever since. My parents were drawn to this area for the job opportunities. My father left his factory job in Buffalo, New York in 1983 and the family settled in Bowie, Md. I went to University of Maryland and always loved visiting downtown DC. I fell in love with what DC had to offer and I purchased a condo near Georgia Ave and 16th Street shortly after college and enjoyed DC restaurants and nightlife. I love staying fit, working out and eating healthy. Wine and chocolate are my weakness. I currently reside in Arlington, Va with my husband and have 2 adorable girls named Annie & Lucy.
Something that people may not know about me is that my mother, Annie, passed away from brain cancer years ago. I took care of her through her treatment journey and it changed my life forever. My daughter Annie (I named her after my mom) was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic when she was 3 years old. I hope one day doctors can find a cure for these and other diseases. These causes are near and dear to me and it is my goal to contribute as much as I can to these causes.
Tell us about Current Boutique – what makes it special?
We are a woman-owned business founded over 15 years ago by me, Carmen Lopez. Not only are we woman-owned but 99% of our staff are women. We hire staff members that are creative, have pursued degrees in fashion & merchandising, and have a flair for fashion & styling in general. The amazing women we hire are the reason behind the success of the business. They have the ability to sort through clothing, have an eye for quality to find amazing pre-loved gems for others to enjoy.
Customers come to us for our stellar merchandise and for a special shopping experience in pre-loved fashion. In-store and online you can shop sections like “Schitt’s Creek, Emily in Paris, Floral Favorites, Summer Sequins, Backyard BBQ, Boho Romantic, Downtown Darling, Classic Beauty, Rebel Style Star, or Vintage Lover.” Our consignors sell their clothing with us season after season, year after year, because we have succeeded in selling their clothing and have confidence in our expertise. That expertise has given us the ability to expand to 4 locations in the DC area and an e-commerce website.
Pro tip: We put some of our best items online so you must check it out!
What inspired you to start your business?
I knew I wanted to open a business in DC. I saw an opening in the market to make consignment shopping cool, modern, and trendy. In 2007, my dream became a reality when Current Boutique opened its doors. My ambition as a female entrepreneur and my desire to bring women quality, sustainable, budget-friendly fashion have driven the success of Current Boutique. What started as reselling a few designer goodies has grown to today’s four welcoming storefronts and a thriving online presence, all driven by the mission: sustainable luxury for less.
The modern woman requires a revolving wardrobe for work, home, and play. No matter what you’re doing, your clothing should reflect your personality and sense of style. Current Boutique was founded as a community for fashion lovers who want to purchase pre-loved designer gems that are both timeless and on-trend, so you can always show off the freshest, rarest looks that make your individuality and self-expression shine.
I grew up amidst the clothing racks of vintage and thrift stores. For as long as I can remember, I loved that thrill of discovering unique fashion finds that are constructed beautifully, from the material and silhouette to the buttons and stitching. At an early age, I began collecting some of the most unique, ageless, and stunning pre-loved gems in my closet. For me, shopping secondhand means being creative, allowing me to mix and match and curate a style that reflects individuality and makes my self-expression shine.
I have always loved the feel and concept of secondhand stores, but felt a misguided industry stigma around shopping consignment. To me, it’s so much more than bargain hunting. For me, buying and selling consignment has always been about giving renewed life and love to timeless pieces that should never collect dust in the back of a closet or end up in a landfill. It’s about connecting fashion lovers through the clothing that we admire so dearly.
If you could tell all of the residents in your community one thing, what would it be?
It’s cliche but…treat others the way you want to be treated!
Visit Current Boutique at 1318 14th Street NW – hours are 12-8PM Monday-Friday, 11AM-8PM on Saturdays, and 11AM-6PM on Sundays.