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Clarendon Gift Shop Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Knightsbridge Trading Company, one of just a handful of small business retail shops in Clarendon, is celebrating its one year anniversary this weekend.

From noon to 4:00 p.m., customers and passersby can walk into the shop at 2871 Clarendon Blvd and enjoy free wine, cheese, tea and hors d’oeuvres, according to shop owner Murat Etili. The celebration comes after a year he says met his expectations when he opened his shop with national retailers like Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and Orvis all just steps from his doors.

“The first year is always where you build your business and pay your dues,” Etili said. “We’ve been extremely well-received. We’re a family business and we’re local, so people seem to appreciate that.”

The shop offers a wide array of gifts and knick knacks, with a consistently changing selection “at surprisingly attractive prices,” it says on its website.

Etili, a graduate of Washington-Lee High School, closed Knightsbridge’s other location in Rockville last year when its building was demolished, but plans to reopen in the same spot when the new development is complete. Until then, Clarendon will be Knightsbridge’s only location.

Despite some criticism for his business model when he first opened, Etili said the people who have come into the shop have been nothing but positive.

“When I was negotiating for the space, there were a few chains ahead of me and I didn’t think I was going to get it,” Etili said. “People have loved it. They were saying there was a huge need, and they were happy it was not another huge chain.”

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