GW’s Hidden Holiday Gem: The Museum Shop

Find gifts for everyone on your list at the George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum Shop.

Museum store
December 07, 2015
‘Tis the season for holiday shopping—and you’re in luck if you’re behind on buying gifts.
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum Shop is a little-known secret right on the Foggy Bottom Campus stocked with unique jewelry, household goods, books and accessories from artists all over the world that fit any budget.  
George Washington Today browsed the store with Director of Retail Operations Chabrina Williams and found some of the most interesting and eye-catching items the shop has to offer.
From $6 fortune cookie purses to $22 leather wallets, our guide is filled with stuff that’s both artsy and sustainable, and it’s all just within steps of your residence hall or office.  
For Your Stockings 
Fortune cookie coin purse, $6
These are as functional as they are adorable—and they come with little predictions inside that just might help your own fortune grow. 


Recycled bracelet, $8
The museum shop is fully stocked with original jewelry you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Bracelets come in all shapes and sizes, and many of them are handmade from recyclable materials in countries throughout Africa. 


Camera bookmark, $3.50
Have a bookworm in your life? These sturdy film camera bookmarks boast a little magnifying glass in case you need to inspect text more closely.


Tube pens, $2
They look like little tubes of paint, but these trendy writing utensils are simply black ballpoint pens in disguise. Scoop a couple up for those friends who can never find their pens in their jumbled purses.  


For Her
Handmade apron, $24.50
Add some pizzazz in the kitchen with these dressy aprons handcrafted by women in Mali. The pieces are each made out of traditional geometric fabric, and the purchase of an apron helps women in Africa earn a stable income. 


Felt necklace, $24
Iris Apfel, anyone? These necklaces, handmade in Nepal, would make the New York style icon proud. The pieces from the fair-trade company Hamro Bazaar instantly punch up any outfit for a bold fashion statement.  


Faux fur scarf, $38
Make someone’s winter a little warmer with these chic faux-fur scarves, handmade in Seattle by the company Pandemonium. You get luxurious, animal-friendly materials without any of the guilt—or hefty price tags.


Peruvian gloves, $52
Keep frostbite at bay with these toasty, double-lined Peruvian gloves. You can even snag them in fingerless mitten versions (the better to text with in the cold). 
For Him
Necktie, $20
The skinny tie is in—and hand-woven, sustainable ones are even better. The shop’s varieties are made from recycled Guatemalan textiles, and they’re each decorated with unique and dapper prints. 


Leather wallet, $22
Who needs bulky wallets? Lighten someone’s load with these sleek and slender cardholders made of real leather and embossed in India. 


Socks, $12
Dinosaurs, koi fish and animals in sweaters, oh my!” These socks will keep your friends and family fashionable from head to toe—which makes sense from a company that declares “Be Awesome, Wear Awesome.” 


Handmade cufflinks, $38 
These cufflinks, made by the mother-daughter duo Zass Design in North Carolina, are made of up-cycled materials for new and crafty designs. The shop carries a few different styles, including some map- and president-inspired ones for history buffs.


For the Little Ones
Finger paints, $18
Let your kids get a little messy this season with these finger printing sets. The different colors and animal-inspired themes are guaranteed to help their creativity blossom.


Marrakech board game, $35
Just one of the shop’s many board games, Marrakech is entertainment for the whole family. Each player takes turns playing the role of a salesperson trying to become the most successful in the whole bazaar.


Animal slippers, $38
Give the gift of cuteness overload with these felt animal slippers that come in adorable lion and cow varieties. They’re perfect for a child pitter-pattering around the house over the holidays. 


For the Household
Votive holder and candle, $28
These laser-cut candle votive holders will glam up any table setting. The décor comes from Pennsylvania’s Baltic by Design, known for intricate, winding bowls and vases out of birch wood. And they come complete with a candle to light. 


Washington ornament, $45
Have a D.C. enthusiast on your list? The museum shop secured these ornaments to go with the Washingtoniana exhibitions they unveiled this month. The glass pieces commemorate our capital city, and they even come with GW’s map coordinates on the back.


Hand-painted towel, $16.50
Keep the Washington theme going with these printed tea towels. The colorful cityscapes will be a constant reminder of campus in your parents’ kitchen.