The pandemic hasn’t stopped entrepreneurship in the district as new businesses have opened and thrived. When Summit to Soul’s Kim Wattrick decided to close her store this spring, Barracks Row had another empty storefront to contend with at 727 8th Street SE, not to mention a space that had been dedicated to building community. But on Saturday June 27, Honey made, a lovely new store has filled the void and promises to bring not only adorable handmade goodies and gifts, but a much needed sense of community.
At Honey Made, all clothing, tea towels, wine coats and other fabric items are made on site. When she first left Thailand in America, Moo lived and babysat in Los Angeles while studying to be an electrical engineer. Moo also has a degree in applied physics, by the way. She drew all kinds of adorable cartoon faces for her fillers – the same adorable menagerie that appeared on her brand Li’l Fishy, which started on the West Coast and continued when life brought the Honeys in DC about 10 years ago. When she first started, Moo couldn’t sew: she learned on her own through YouTube tutorials. When I ask her if her rigorous scientific training helps her in her role as a designer and a marketer, she just smiles and says, “You have to think about how things work.
And think she does. The ever-expanding Li’l Fishy line offers, among other things, flowing and delicate cotton dresses for women and clever reversible dresses for little girls. Moo also learned to create and scale patterns herself, but she draws the limit of scaling baby girl patterns to adult female proportions – a fact that devastated my dreams of having a reversible dress. She also learned to screen print, stamp her menagerie on onesies, t-shirts and many other items.
But the best part is how much Moo appreciates the connections she’s forged along the way, and how it shows in her store: Honey Made’s jewelry is from Ofina, designed by a friend from his days in LA who is now based in San Francisco. The adorable luminous pouches to store your makeup or your wipes Scarvelous, a longtime eastern market seller who is also a friend. Moisture Rich Shea Butter Lotions and Soaps are made by BAMI, another friend and market vendor. Its candles are made by Handmade habitat, a local candle maker who has a shop at Monroe Arts Walk and has become a friend of the holiday market. Whimsical photos of Joe shymanski and coasters inspired by pop art and interior design by Nude Decor– yes, more sellers in the market – complete the inventory, with more sellers coming in the following weeks. In a way, shopping at Honey Made is like having the Eastern Market available to you on days when the outdoor vendors aren’t around. The youngest collaborator – and arguably Moo’s favorite – is his daughter BB. BB has designed several pieces, which bear his name, throughout the store. She also makes mask cords for toddlers – a very chic and unique item that could be all the rage in playgrounds across the Hill and beyond this fall.
Moo envisions Honey Made as a space for crafting and learning, and she looks forward to having classes as well as meeting regulars and new customers in the store.