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The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Jurisdiction in Cabin John Village is more than just a clothing store

Photo by Amari Suissa
To fit the welcoming vibe, Jurisdictions store has an open space, bright lights, and inspiring messages are displayed on their walls, such as “we are all beautiful”.

In February 2023, Maryland and D.C.-based lawyer Jessica Markham launched her online clothing site, Jurisdiction Clothing. Markham had always loved creating and working with clothing, while she wanted to keep up her law career, Markham also wanted a brick-and-mortar shop.

Over the summer of 2023, she opened another Jurisdiction in Cabin John Village. For her to be able to keep her practices open, she hired Ande Riggins-Johnston to be a full-time manager. Previously, Riggins-Johnson worked in buying and remodeling and worked for a major fashion store in Washington D.C. for a few years to help establish itself right after it opened.

“Jessica Markham, the owner, is a family attorney, but she also has a very creative side,” Riggins-Johnston said. “She has always loved clothing and started an online site that just turned a year old this month but wanted a brick-and-mortar. She opened last summer and I came on board in August to help make her vision a reality.”

The goal of the staff is to make sure that the store looks welcoming from the outside, and that all people feel comfortable to walk in. The store rarely has clothes that are over $120 in hopes that anyone can come in and find clothing fit for their style.

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“A demographic is defined many ways,” Riggins-Johnston said. “I think for us, we want anybody and everybody to be able to walk in and find something. Our price point is low, so anybody can get an outfit versus just one piece from a boutique.”

Jurisdiction also hopes to support small business owners, especially female, LGBTQ+, and African-American owners. They also partner with both local and national businesses to make sure the shop has a unique and wide variety of clothes.

“There are various buyers’ markets all over and they usually hit their regions’ demographics, so you have to travel and do research so you don’t get what everybody else has,” Riggins-Johnston said. “Everything is sourced individually, it’s very important to us that we use a lot of local artists’ businesses and individuals, especially women-owned.”

When Markham first envisioned opening a store, she had to find a way to operate her two law practices and still have the store open and running. Since being hired, Riggins-Johnston has been bringing Markham’s ideas to life.

“Jessica had already started her online site when I came aboard, but the challenges so far have been permitting, getting things in on time, and for me, making sure that Jessica’s vision became a reality,” Riggins-Johnston said.

Another challenge that the staff faced was trying to get the store to open before the fall so that the clothes they had in stock wouldn’t be out of style and season. Additionally, part of the team’s sourcing is to research what is projected to be in style the next season.

“You also have to buy a season in advance, so we’re already buying for next fall,” Riggins-Johnston said. “That being said, we already had clothes in stock for fall before we opened in the summer so we had to meet a lot of deadlines to make sure we could open and the clothes wouldn’t be out of season.”

Jurisdiction also hopes to help boost women’s confidence in their bodies by finding, wearing and styling clothes they look and feel good in. Another reason that it’s important to the shop to have their clothes reasonably priced is so that customers can buy full outfits in the store.

“There’s something here for everyone,” Riggins-Johnston said. “That’s what we strive for. Comfort, to make you feel good. So many times women go into a store and they’re unsure and they take it home then don’t wear it or they don’t know how to create in their wardrobe.”

The staff takes time to help customers navigate their way around the store so they feel empowered to pick up something that catches their eye. Jurisdiction wants to ensure that customers not only feel that they look good in what they’re wearing but also feel confident in the small businesses that they’re supporting.

“You also have the benefit of experts helping you and taking the time to help you navigate the clothes and find what best fits for you,” Riggins-Johnston said. “I want customers to feel that they’re being helped and achieving the goal of feeling comfortable and confident in what they’re buying and wearing.”

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About the Contributor
Amari Suissa
Amari Suissa, Internal Communications Manager
Amari Suissa is currently a sophomore at WCHS and this is her second year taking journalism. Amari was initially interested in taking this class because she wanted to be an author when she was young. In her free time, Amari likes to watch the MLB and NFL, play softball, and hang out with family.

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