In a special series, please check out our feature on these wonderful local businesses, non-profits and artists who bring local loveliness to us all! Please enjoy meeting Meghan Evans, owner of Park Story in Chevy Chase and DC. Photos by Ana Isabel Photography (@anaisabelphotography)
Tell us about yourself. (Who are you/ What is your business name?)
In August 2017, I launched a clothing line under my name, Meghan Evans, and in the process got to know a lot of local artists, makers, and designers. While growing my business online, I longed for a brick and mortar boutique dedicated to local and independent womenswear, handbags, and accessories brands. Park Story was born in October 2018 as a temporary pop up with the help of fellow designers turned friends. We opened our permanent location in Chevy Chase DC in October 2019.
What has it been like with the Covid19/ Quarantine Scenario and how have you had to pivot your business?
I closed the brick and mortar effective Tuesday, March 17 and moved everything online. At the time, I had a very basic e-commerce website that I didn’t update regularly and no one used because it wasn’t user friendly. I was in the midst of preparing to launch a new, more robust online site on April 1 as part of a complete overhaul in our point of sale system. When I closed the shop, I expedited the launch of the new website and took orders via Instagram and email in the meantime. I’m proud of our new website which launched March 24th and is much more comprehensive, cataloging the vast majority of the shop and easy to navigate. It’s updated weekly as I continue to receive new arrivals.
Have you always had the entrepreneurial spirit?
No. Funny enough, it never occurred to me that owning your own business was a real possibility until recently. I decided very early on that I wanted to be a lawyer and never looked back. I graduated law school, took the bar, and practiced in my home state of North Carolina before moving to DC in May 2015 once I got married. I then practiced here for a couple years before launching my clothing line in 2017 which ultimately led me to opening Park Story, the brick and mortar.
Do you have a morning routine?
Yes! I truly enjoy taking time to drink my coffee, eat breakfast and snuggle with my pup before starting my day. I also try to get in a barre method workout several times a week.
When did you decide being an entrepreneur was right for you?
My husband is the one who suggested I start the clothing line and I slowly eased into it while keeping my day job as an attorney. Once I could no longer handle both the demands of the clothing line and my full time job, I quit my job as a lawyer. Soon after that, I decided that I was going to look into testing the waters with a brick and mortar with a pop up of some sort.
What made you choose this location?
I wanted to be a neighborhood shop surrounded by other locally owned and independent businesses. Chevy Chase is the most welcoming neighborhood and I’m so thankful to have found a home for the shop there.
How do you think your company is different?
We are a womenswear boutique featuring local and independent brands committed to producing in an ethical and sustainable manner. There aren’t many independent apparel shops in the DMV and even fewer catering to local and independent designers.
I’m providing a marketplace for local and independent brands that have no or a very small physical footprint while introducing customers to brands they never would have discovered otherwise. I’m also committed to selling goods that are ethically and sustainably made.
Where is your favorite place to go in NoVa for a secret escape?
We love hiking at Great Falls and grabbing drinks at Caboose.
What word best describes your company?
If you weren’t running your business what would you be doing?
I’d probably still be practicing law.
When you started your company, did you have an idea about what would go into the day to day? To a large extent, yes. I tried to talk to other shop owners and business owners about their experience to learn as much as I could.
What is playing right now in your playlist?
I have a secret love for country music, so usually it’s on in the car.
Do you have a favorite hike and bike trail?
What fitness regimen do you follow?
I try to take several barre method classes a week in conjunction with regular walks with the dog.
What trends do you think we should be looking at now?
I think the current pandemic is giving us an opportunity to slow down and examine what really matters to us and appreciate the little things. I hope that when we resume full daily functions, we continue to prioritize small and local shops along with handmade goods.
What is your style?
I love clean, modern and minimal spaces. Clothing wise, I love a statement top paired with denim.
What is your favorite food? Do you have a favorite local hotspot?
I’m a french fry addict. My favorite local restaurant is Unconventional Diner.