When you walk into Flex All Day, a new store at Bethesda’s Wildwood Shopping Center, you are quickly immersed in a sensory wonderland. A neon pink Flex All Day sign hangs on one wall, the sweet scent of a candle fills the air, and a spectrum of colors and patterns pops from cozy sweats, workout gear, bags, shoes and even a disco ball. You’ll find pink gumballs and pink Hershey’s Kisses for the taking, pink smiley-face slippers, uplifting lotions and an equally happy soundtrack.
The store is filled with easy styles designed for girls and women of all ages and stages. On a recent afternoon, customers include a trio of middle school girls in the market for the perfect friendship bracelets, an animated group of young women deciding between butterfly and tie-dye for their new workout look, and two friends already in workout gear—one exploring bags while the other makes her way to the dressing room with a store associate, arms full of finds.
Owner Sydney Rosenberg, 40, an Upper Northwest D.C. entrepreneur with two school-age kids, is buzzing around the store, engaging with her customers, offering water, finding different sizes and placing special orders. “This is what I always wanted—a store of my own where I would not only be able to focus on women but also emphasize goods made by women,” she says. Items for sale include Year of Ours ribbed capri leggings in black ($97), a black-and-white houndstooth bra by Terez ($65), and Goldsheep’s acid-washed windbreaker ($160). “I am committed to local vendors, as well,” Rosenberg says as she points out handbags by Washington, D.C.-based The Lilley Line, which supports basic living needs for people in El Salvador.
After working as an elementary school arts educator for seven years, Rosenberg grew interested in opening a store to sell fitness apparel along with items that are ultra comfy. For eight months starting in November 2019, she sold items from a corner in Bethesda’s PureRyde Cycling + Pilates. In early 2021, she set up shop in a co-op space in Georgetown and stayed there through December. Flex All Day opened in a 727-square-foot space in Wildwood in February. The timing of the pandemic worked in Rosenberg’s favor. “People want to be comfortable. That is what we sell: comfort and support with a little luxury and whimsy thrown in for good measure. I have customers who come in to see what we have that is new nearly every day,” Rosenberg says. “This is exactly what I had imagined: a store that creates fun and offers all forms of comfort.”
Her customers seem to be embracing the concept. “I may never wear another zipper again,” says Paula Simon of Bethesda as she takes her full reusable bag from Rosenberg, who smiles and offers a hug as Simon leaves the store.
Flex All Day, 10231 Old Georgetown Road (Wildwood Shopping Center), Bethesda, 202-760-0876, flexallday.com
This story appears in the July/August 2022 issue of Bethesda Magazine.