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.


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.


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.


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