Think Outside the Store promotes creative expression and consumer consciousness through clothing, crafts, and community events.
We focus on teaching sewing and jewelry making because we believe that making and wearing your own artwork is a fun form of personal expression that makes the world a more interesting and beautiful place for everyone to enjoy.
We enjoy using recycled or sustainably produced materials in our own designs and encourage creative reuse in clothing art and jewelry design because we like to promote wearable art that is also eco-friendly and affordable.
Why Think Outside the Store?
The mass manufactured and marketed clothing items available in retail stores weren't made to fit you--your size, your style or your social values. When you think outside the store, your clothes and accessories can be anything you want them to be!
The same principle applies to anything you can buy -- toys, games, household items, beauty products, and more. The things you surround yourself with can better reflect your personal taste and values when you have a hand in making them yourself or in learning where they came from. By learning about the products you buy, you can also choose to avoid making purchases that support environmentally damaging or socially irresponsible manufacturing practices.
That is why we also promote the idea of "buying creative," especially during the holidays -- choosing to purchase handmade and artistic functional items from local artists rather than mass produced items from major retailers. As they say, "it's the thought that counts."
Who we are
photo by Elissar Khalek
Sarah Gingold has always loved decorating herself. She began making her own clothes in high school as a form of self-expression. Years later, while pursuing an undergraduate degree in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, she read "The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy" and developed an interest in studying how clothing affects world culture and politics.
In January 2009, while researching water issues at an advocacy nonprofit, she made a New Years resolution to make all of her own clothes, and to make them as eco-friendly as possible. She invested in a foot-pedaled sewing machine and began sewing, thrifting and swapping with a passion, focusing on using simple sewing techniques to restyle old articles of clothing or create new designs. She is still working on it.
In 2011, she started Think Outside the Store to share her love of clothing art, and provide inspiration for socially conscious clothing-lovers in the D.C. area. From September 2011 through July 2014, she provided personalized sewing instruction for children ages 8 and up as well as adults, and provided custom sewing services at a studio space located at CREATE Arts Center in downtown Silver Spring.
Her Introduction to Sewing class for adults has been featured on Sidetour, which promotes "handpicked activities, tours and memorable things to do" in the DC area, as well as Groupon. Her spring break and summer 5-day intensive wearable art workshops provided local teens with an opportunity to explore their own designs when they had time off from school. In June 2013, she won the People's Choice Award at Pyramid Atlantic's KikiDC Wearable Art Competition. Later that same year, the team she put together won the Montgomery County Fair Project G Street Sewing Competition (up from sixth place the previous year!) and she had a design featured in Inova's Project Blue Wrap at DC Fashion Week in Fall 2013. (Although she was much more proud to see the work of one of her high school students featured in that same event!)
Today, Sarah is working on becoming the most fashionably dressed transcriptionist/court reporter in the DC metro area, while continuing to provide sewing instruction and think-outside-the-store-inspiration at space88 in downtown Silver Spring, as well as other locations and events in the area.
photo by Elissar Khalek
Jamillah Abdullah is an independent artist in Silver Spring who joined Think Outside the Store in 2011. She specializes in jewelry design, but has been sewing and crafting since the age of thirteen.
Jamillah is a part-time art tutor and has been teaching since 2006. She received her BFA in Art Management from Marymount University.
Jamillah is the instructor for the "Jewelry with Jamillah" workshop series at Think Outside the Store. She teaches wire and bead jewelry making techniques, as well as sewing methods that can be used to make jewelry out of fabric. You can check out her blog and see more examples of her work at Jamillah's Jems.
She also creates and sells paper decorations for children's rooms at her Etsy site, Paper Candy Shop.
Think Outside the Store in the news/blogosphere
Lower your carbon footprint, create eco-friendly clothing Silver Spring Patch, 9-22-2011
Silver Spring entrepreneur patches together new business The Gazette, 10-05-2011
Recycle 'old' costumes at Halloween costume swap Silver Spring Patch, 10-22-2011
Visiting the flower avenue holiday market Just Up the Pike, 12-1-2011
Fabric jewelry workshop comes to Silver Spring The Gazette, 12-7-2011
Out and About: Weekend Picks dcist, 5-18-2012
Art Beat with Sean Rameswaram, May 18 WAMU 88.5 FM, 5-18-2012
Cutting Edge Silver Chips (Blair High School Newspaper, print version), 10-10-2012
Local shops welcome Small Business Saturday The Gazette, 11-20-2012
Think Outside the Store Mini Documentary by Docs in Progress students, 11-26-2012.
Book club: Self Sufficiency DC Ecowomen blog, 12-5-2012
Re:boutique Part 2 SCRAP DC blog, 12-22-2012
DC Breaking Local News Weather Sports FOX 5 WTTG, June 4, 2013
Costumes for Fringe Festival play reviewed on My Civil War Review DC Theater Scene website, 7-15-2013
Teams compete to out-sew in fair fashion competition, The Gazette, 8-13-2013
Wearable art, Silver Spring Mini Maker Faire Blog, 9-2013
Project Blue Wrap, and Project Blue Wrap Fall Collection 2013, Inova.org, Fall 2013.
"My Stuff: Sew it goes." Bethesda Magazine, November/December 2013 Print Edition.
Sew a Valentine Open Studio, Washington Post Going Out Guide, February 2014.
FREE Art Wednesdays: New pARTnership Sparks Creativity in Downtown Silver Spring, DCThriftyMom.com, Feb 3, 2014.
Free Art Wednesdays Gets Kids Thinking Beyond Paint by Numbers, Silver Spring Independent, March 4, 2014.
For more thoughts on thinking outside the store, you can also check out Sarah's blog on the Silver Spring Patch