Nomad Yard: D.C.’s Vintage Treasure Trove

One of the most magical experiences of January's mini get-away was wandering across the bridge at sunset and into the wonder of a shop that is Nomad Yard Collectiv. I was immediately greeted by the majestic Desiree Venn Frederic who stands at what felt about 6'0 in flats (was it her spirit? Was it her hat? Is she actually just a really tall person? I'm not sure). She smiled warmly and focused her attention back on the visitor speaking to her before my friend and I entered.

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What can I say about this place that encapsulates it's magic? I will try my best, but the assemblage seems to fall short somehow. It's a space you must immerse yourself in, a sensory voyage. You cannot hear the electronic remixes of Nina Simone classics and Afrobeats filling the space. You cannot see the strategically placed selenite wand, propped against the doorframe (because I did't take a picture of it unfortunately). You cannot smell the mixture of aged textiles, used books and sage once burned. You must make the trip if you can, but I will do my best to share.

I was impressed by the masterful merchandising. The combination of organic and man-made. How each rack held a thought-out palette and mix of textures. By the door, you are brought into the space with a splash of jewel toned dresses. On the far left, there is a pink, black, gold and cream collection of aged lace, sequins, jacquard weaves and faux fur. The back wall supported a nook of 70's mustards, camels, periwinkles and eggplants.  The left wall held cool hues of blue and brown. My wandering was filled with this realization: I was in a shop grounded in love and time. There was nothing superfluous. Everything had its most perfect home. Each detail placed with thoughtfulness and care.

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This is not the place you come to on your routine weekend of thrifting. Nomad Yard is to be reserved for the special moments: searching for a birthday dress, an outfit for a dear friends wedding, finding that special something you need to organize your prized record collection with functionality and style. While you will find many items that are priced below $30, you should not intend to come here if you want cheap items in abundance. Leave that to the Salvation Army and Goodwill.

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What really got me about this place, however, is the soul of it all. I was a bit afraid to talk to Desiree because I am a shy when I don't know how I will be received. People are not always very kind. I mentioned this to my friend and she said, "Come, let's go say hi," and we walked over together.

Giselle BuchananComment