Think Outside the Store is a wearable art studio in downtown Silver Spring where local residents can explore alternatives to store-bought fashion. We provide everything you need to make and model your own unique, eco-friendly clothing, jewelry, accessories, as well as opportunities to make your own toys, doll clothes, quilts and household items. We offer:
Beginner sewing classes: Never sewn before? That's ok! We can teach you everything you need to get started.
Personalized sewing sessions: Learn at your own pace through a progression of personalized workshops, or get personalized help with your own projects. Opportunities exist to use the studio with or without instruction.
Workshops: Our sewing, jewelry making, yarn art, quilting, and doll making workshops are designed so that participants can complete a project in one afternoon, with a focus on upcycling used materials. Check the events calendar for scheduled sessions or contact one of our instructors to set up an appointment for an individual or group.
Eco-friendly materials: The studio space provides hand tools, foot-pedaled sewing machines, and a variety of salvaged sewing and jewelry-making materials for use during sewing sessions and workshops.
Fun with photography: If you want to model your creations, we've got colored fabric backdrops and basic studio lighting for you to play with.
Sewing/craft parties: Looking for something fun to do with your friends? Host a sewing or craft party at a fully equipped wearable art studio.
Custom and handmade clothing and accessories: Don't want to make it yourself? We can make custom designs by request.
Creative handwriting services: An alternative to computerized graphic design; check out our handwriting page for more information.
Want to learn more? Watch a Mini-Documentary by Docs in Progress about Think Outside the Store!
Why Think Outside the Store?
The mass manufactured and marketed 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 can be anything you want them to be!
Who we are
photo by Elissar Khalek
Sarah Gingold began making her own clothes in high school as a form of self-expression. 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. She is still working on it.
In 2011, she opened Think Outside the Store to share her love of clothing art, and provide inspiration for socially conscious clothing-lovers in the D.C. area. You can buy her handmade items at the Think Outside the Store etsy shop.
Jacqueline Bryant Campbell (a.k.a. "Jackie")
Quilt Artist and Doll Creator
Jacqueline Bryant Campbell is a former economist who now creates art quilts and cloth dolls. She started quilting because she bought three yards of a very cute ballerina print and then realized she had no idea what to do with it. Reluctantly at first, Ms. Campbell learned to quilt, but soon discovered that cutting up perfectly good fabric to create pictures satisfied her need to create.
The dolls came later, when her then-five-year-old daughter asked her to make a doll. Knowing nothing about doll-making, Ms. Campbell persevered until she developed doll patterns that did not result in floppy necks. Today, Ms. Campbell produces Jacq’s Girls, a line of customizable handmade cloth dolls.
Ms. Campbell is currently working on a children’s book series. She lives in Washington, DC with her very supportive husband and two children, all of whom are now used to fabric scraps festooning the floors in their home.
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 is currently the Office Administrator for CREATE Arts Center. 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.
Amina Ahmad is a local designer, blogger and knitting enthusiast. She is self-taught and loves exploring all yarn arts from basic knit accessories to home decor.
At Think Outside the Store, she offers knitting and crocheting as well as a variety of crafty yarn-related workshops.
You can learn more about her work on her of Cats and Crafts blog, and check out her Handmade Habitat clothing and crafts for sale online or at Fenton Street Market in downtown Silver Spring on select Saturdays during the summer.
Special thanks to CREATE Arts Center for the space and support, Scrap DC for being a great source of reused fabrics and sewing supplies, Jonathan Flores for the logo design, and Trevor Moore for the website design. Most of all thank you to Mark and Janet Gingold for the constant love and support.
Think Outside the Store in the news/blogosphereLower 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
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
For more thoughts on thinking outside the store, you can also check out Sarah's blog on the Silver Spring Patch