Could you introduce yourself?
I am Virginia Arrisueno, owner of Steadfast Supply. We carry a little bit of everything: cards, accessories, clothing, plants. All the products are predominantly made by small businesses that are based across the globe.
Where are you originally from?
What made you decide to be an entrepreneur?
I always knew I wanted to pursue this kind of a route: a career path that generally looks out for myself, and pursuing my own dreams versus working for another person and pursuing their dream.
How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I’ve had a few businesses prior to Steadfast Supply, and at the time, there weren’t really many opportunities for small businesses like mine to sell directly to consumers in DC. I knew a lot of my friends are small business owners who never knew how to run it, or the process was very intimidating. So I created a concept and I brought in a lot of my friends.
When did you start your company?
I started Steadfast in October 2016 as a pop-up for three months. And then we were invited back again in 2017, and we’ve been here ever since.
What makes the products at your shop unique?
Whenever we bring a brand into the shop, we’re always looking for something different. One, we want products that are unique—items you’re not gonna find in every shop in the area. Two, the price points are not outrageous, or very cheap, because our products are independently made in small quantities. And three, we’re looking for brands who have a good story to support their products. I think those stories really resonate with our customers, which helps form a relationship between the consumer and the maker.
What makes your shop unique?
My background is in the arts. So when you come into our store, it’s very bright and colorful, and you just get a good vibe from it. And we always want to provide our customers with this sense of, “Oh, this is fun, and this space is large.”
What is your company’s mission?
Steadfast is all about supporting small businesses and independent makers. For those brands that are new to the retail industry, we really want to provide a platform where we’re supporting them on how to present products, how to reach out to store owners, and how the products could be presented. If I have any sort of ideas or constructive criticism that I can provide to them, I will.
How does your business help the neighborhood or community?
I think that we add to the community. If you look at our customer base, half of our customers are repeat customers because they know they can come to a shop and find something that’s really unique. They also can come in and feel comfortable and know that they’re not being profiled or judged or any of that.
Could you describe your company’s success? Were there any pivotal moments?
Every year we’ve been growing organically. So I think that’s a testament to how well we work as a team and how we’re received by the community and our brands.
What made you choose your location?
I had the opportunity to pop up here back in 2016, when there was so much development happening over here, and you could visualize the amount of growth that was about to happen in this area. It’s very exciting to be a part of. I love the Yard, and the neighboring businesses are great. I love the fact that we’re right by the water. It’s just such a pleasant area to be in.
What’s a fun fact or a unique thing about your business?
You look at me and I dress all in black all the time. That’s my aesthetic: minimal and simple. But then you look around the store and see these colorful flowers and decor.
How would you define your business in three words?
Creative. Supportive. Steadfast.
What’s your favorite holiday?
Christmas, of course! Also, Halloween and the holidays.
What would you recommend that people buy from your store?
We carry a little bit of everything so that people can see what fits their aesthetic or what they’re in need of at that time.
What’s your favorite product?
I love the candles; they smell so good, and there’s so many different scents available.
What’s the best thing a customer has ever said to you?
A customer would say, “I love this store, it’s so cute. I wish I could spend hours here.” Hearing our customers say that, while sometimes not knowing I’m the owner, makes me feel really good.