By Kristi Guillory Reid
Gossypia – Old Town’s Most Eclectic Boutique
There is an interesting array of clothing, art and jewelry that I hadn’t seen anywhere else and in some circles, if you were to wear or buy these items, it would surely lead to good “gossip” for the purchaser. You would be the talk of the town.
During high school and college, Amanda spent a considerable amount of time living abroad. After college, she moved to New York and served as a guide at the United Nations. In terms of the Latin American influence, she said that she has lived and worked in the region. She lived in Mexico at various times and her family lived in Guatemala at one time.
Many of Gossypia’s wares are imported from Mexico and Central America. Clothing remains her biggest sellerHer items commemorating the Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead, are also big sellers as well. Surprisingly, men are the largest purchasers of the Day of the Dead. I also spied a lot of items with Frida Kahlo’s image on them. Amanda referred to those items as “Frida Mania.” Many customers clamor for items with Kahlos’ image.
Locally, she is active in her community and raises money for local organizations. She has been active in fundraising campaigns for Alexandria INOVA Hospital and was part of an effort to raise money for the TWIG Pavilion at the hospital, which is sixteen-bed single patient unit.
Over her forty plus years in Old Town, Amanda has witnessed many changes come to Old Town. Like an old pro looking at the new kids on the block, Amanda looks back at her time in Old Town with a wistful eye toward the past and a hopeful eye toward the future. She recalled both the positive and negative changes in Old Town. She noted that there is increased congestion and possibly a loss of small town appeal that has occurred. But, she has also noticed that Old Town has gained a more cosmopolitan feeling and become more nationally known. To her, a key factor in Old Town’s success is if it can manage to keep its individualism.
Lasker is particularly impressed with what she terms as the “new blood,” a crop of new female entrepreneurs who have opened business in Old Town. She said that they are “injecting life” into the area and “livened up the town.” She is grateful for what these new entrepreneurs have done for Old Town.
Amanda Lasker is bringing Latin America to Old Town. You may leave with a paper mache doll from Mexico, a picture of Frida Kahlo, or a linen dress