Light pink walls, warm smiles and a neon “We Are All Beautiful” sign welcome each customer to Jurisdiction Clothing, the latest addition to Cabin John Village in Potomac.
The boutique, which sells women’s clothing ranging in price from about $25 to $245 as well as gifts, accessories and jewelry, is the creation of Jessica Markham, and supported by Sarah Hais. The two met in the ‘90s working at Gap in Montgomery Mall and 30 years later they are running their own business right down the road.
Markham, 43, practiced family law for 18 years—running her own firm for eight—but loved keeping up with fashion trends and finding deals so she says she asked herself “What would it be like to have a business where [I] didn’t have to do the law part?”
A resident of Potomac, Markham thought up the store in January, launched online in mid- to late-February and opened a brick-and-mortar location in October.
“I thought, well, I’m already spending a great deal of time shopping in my leisure time… so I figured instead of shopping for just myself, I could shop for the store,” Markham said.
Many of the items cost less than $125 and include trendy items such as quilted bomber jackets and form-fitting Skims-esque dresses. Markham said that sweaters by Adora and cargo jeans by Hidden are some of their most popular items.
Bracelets from Kensington-founded Arm Candy by Alysa are among some of the best sellers in the whole store, Markham said. She shared that Jurisdiction is always looking for more local brands to carry.
“There are a couple brands that you could potentially get at the mall, but to a large extent, there are brands that I haven’t seen anywhere else,” Markham said.
Assistant manager Hais, 42, said she knows all too well the blood, sweat and tears that go into running a small business as the daughter of two small business owners.
“I loved coming in and starting with a mess and leaving with a put-together store,” said Hais, who lives in Chevy Chase. “It’s been nice to be a part of it and play a part in [Markham’s] story and the store’s story.”
The store opened on Oct. 28 with six staff members and minimal marketing, according to Markham. The owner encourages customers to return, because they’re constantly adding new products to their shelves.
“We get stuff pretty much every day so people can come back, come back and come back and hopefully they’ll find something new every time they come,” Markham said.
Hais added: “We are all beautiful and we want people to come in here and feel beautiful when they’re leaving.”