It has become a frustrating trend that shopping for women’s clothing has turned into a task more daunting than it is enjoyable. Ifat Pridan, owner of LiLi the First boutique, is turning that trend on its head.
Tucked inside a cozy Wisconsin Avenue space, LiLi the First is quickly making its mark on Georgetown, one month after opening its doors. The modern boutique, previously located in Vienna, Virginia, is a haven for women who are seeking a positive shopping experience and confidence boost, no matter their shape or size.
“I just want women to feel beautiful and comfortable,” said Pridan. “Clothes should not be just for women who look like models.”
Female empowerment is at the forefront of Pridan’s business, as she partners with the Women’s Center in Washington, D.C., to support local women going through any number of difficulties. The boutique’s “Fashion Support” rack features gently used, chic pieces of clothing available for grabs, with 100 percent of proceeds donated to the women’s nonprofit.
The effort is already proving to be a success, as Pridan has raised more than $1,000 in donations that go toward classes, training and counseling for local women. “I just want to help women to be stronger,” she said, adding that even under a calm exterior, there are plenty of issues a woman may be dealing with and in need of support.
Aside from the “Fashion Support” rack, Pridan often holds in-store events as a way to thank customers and celebrate fashion, with 10 percent of the events’ proceeds donated to the Women’s Center.
The fusion of chic styles, emerging designers and community outreach is enough to make LiLi the First a desirable boutique, but Pridan’s friendly, customer-oriented service is what keeps shoppers coming back for more. She creates a personal connection with customers by offering tips on pieces that would help them look and feel their best. After seeing a number of repeat customers within her first month of business, Pridan says the trust she establishes with them goes a long way and brings back what traditional shopping should be. “It’s something you can’t find online,” she said.
Pridan said she hopes to continue the success of LiLi the First’s strong Georgetown debut: “From my perspective, growing is part of every entrepreneur’s business goal.” While she doesn’t know about expansion happening in the immediate future, the next step for Pridan is to put her own name on clothing labels and delve into designing, a fitting venture for the woman behind a pioneer business.
LiLi the First is at 1419 Wisconsin Ave. NW.