Becky Waddell, owner of a new Georgetown wellness shop, didn’t arrive in D.C. to pursue a wellness brand. Waddell’s first career was nuclear waste management, but after moving to the city and taking a policy job four years ago, government bureaucracy quickly took its toll.
“It didn’t last long,” Waddell said in an interview. “It was not a lifestyle or approach that I liked. Things would never seem to get complete.”
Waddell’s environmental expertise, however, did not go untapped. In 2014, Waddell started a natural skin care shop called Be Clean, first online and then out of a third-story studio in Northeast. Be Clean’s studio doubled as a community space, offering yoga, makeup and floral arranging classes, as well as private shopping events.
Waddell’s aspirations outgrew Be Clean’s small studio and in May, she created Take Care: For Self & Sanctuary, located at 1338 Wisconsin Ave. NW.
While Be Clean was focused on skin care, Take Care offers products to care for the body as a whole. The shop, which offers a selection of natural, independent brands including cosmetics, hair care, cleansers, toners, moisturizers, perfumes, clothing and, soon, jewelry, is also fitted with a studio, where Waddell plans to run yoga and DIY classes for the community.
She selected the Georgetown storefront for its abundance of natural light, and local designer Veronica Revilla optimized the bright space, ensuring that sunshine ricocheted off its white walls and wooden floors.
“I hope the shop lets you take a break for a second, and check in, and experience your senses and how you’re feeling, and look for things in a way that isn’t panicked and rushed,” Waddell said. “It’s a respite from the rush of the city.”
Lively chatter filled the shop at its grand-opening event on Aug. 17, and many of the women in Waddell’s network of business owners in the wellness industry were on hand to offer their support. Susannah Compton, owner of organic perfume startup Fluorescent, gave out samples of healthy, homemade scents that Waddell stocks in the shop. A female-owned juicery, Green Heart Juice Shop, handed out drinks and homemade health balls, and Almila Kakinc-Dodd, a health blogger behind “Thirlby,” offered rock salts that she’d crafted for the occasion. Katie Marshall, a holistic health coach, plans to give yoga classes in the studio in the coming months.
Waddell launched Take Care the same month that her daughter, Lily, was born. Waddell takes Lily to the shop most days.
“I’m truly lucky and beyond blessed that I’m able to bring her to work with me,” Waddell said. But she conceded that balancing motherhood with a new business has been challenging. “You can’t get a full thing done because your attention gets broken up so quickly. It’s been a challenge to feel like I’m accomplishing as much as I would like to.”
But Waddell is looking to the long term. She was delighted to learn that Take Care’s retail space was previously occupied by a family-owned clothing store for almost 30 years and hopes to similarly embed herself in Georgetown, getting to know residents and merchants alike. “I can’t wait to be a part of the community for many years to come,” said Waddell.