Join Club

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Listen to Attorney Kristen Wilson talk about estate planning topics on a recent episode of Legacy Leaders Podcast.

K. J. Wilson Law, PLLC, led by its founder and estate planning attorney, Kristen J. Wilson, has been a beacon of trust and vision for the Arlington community since its inception on June 21, 2022.

The firm’s core mission revolves around helping individuals and families navigate the intricate landscape of estate planning. From drafting essential documents like wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and operating agreements to providing expert guidance on tax minimization and probate avoidance, K. J. Wilson Law, PLLC, stands as a pillar of support in estate planning.

The journey began with a proactive connection to BizLaunch. This pivotal moment significantly impacted the trajectory of this budding law firm. Through BizLaunch’s personalized counseling and insightful events like Brunch and Business, the founder received invaluable advice on refining marketing strategies, enhancing client retention, and expanding their professional network. “BizLaunch has been a game-changer for me,” says Wilson.

Its legal expertise and estate planning approach set K. J. Wilson Law, PLLC apart. “I make the estate planning experience positive, forward-thinking and design-centered. Clients are encouraged to engage their imagination, envisioning life’s infinite possibilities while crafting their estate plans,” says Wilson.

The firm is rooted in Arlington and benefits from the vibrant community of small businesses and startups that foster collaboration and support. However, it has its challenges. The competitive landscape can be demanding, requiring resilience and adaptability. Yet, the founder is determined to thrive, bringing her unique approach and innovative strategies to stand out amidst the bustling small businesses.

As the firm looks ahead, the vision encompasses expansion and diversification. Over the next five years, K. J. Wilson Law, PLLC aims to broaden its scope, addressing the complexities of strategic tax planning, philanthropic giving, and cross-border wealth transfer. The firm aspires to serve a more diverse clientele, including entrepreneurs, athletes, and entertainers, establishing themselves as trusted advisors in estate planning and wealth transfer within the Arlington community.

In the heart of Arlington, where entrepreneurial spirits flourish, K. J. Wilson Law, PLLC, stands ready to sculpt legacies and empower families. With a commitment to compassion, creativity, and a forward-thinking approach, this firm leaves an indelible mark on the landscape of estate planning in Arlington and beyond.

For more information about K. J. Wilson Law, PLLC, visit


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

This fall season brings a plethora of opportunities for Arlingtonians to discover local art in the community. Returning for the second year, one such event is the “Arlington Art Walk” on Thursday, October 5, from 3-7 p.m.

Visitors can visit multiple exhibits and sites in one day along the Clarendon-Ballston corridor. Are you looking for an after-hours unique activity? Discover galleries, a Made in Arlington Market, live music, demonstrations and stop-worthy public art installations along this vibrant creative corridor.

This year’s event brings back 2022 favorites Arlington Art Truck, Cody Gallery, MoCA Arlington, ARC 3409 studios, Fred Schnider Gallery, Mason Exhibitions and WHINO. Adding to the fun, the Art Walk welcomes Arlington Independent Media (AIM), The Shop at Arlington Public Library, Made in Arlington Market at MoCA, Northside Social Arlington, Public Art installations and GMU Mason Square activities.

The “Arlington Art Walk” is a self-guided art experience that connects local galleries, artist studios and cultural events. During the walk, gallery hours for participating organizations will be extended so that our friends, neighbors and artists can see what we’re up to.

Don’t miss special guest “Reclining Liberty” by Zaq Landsberg, installed on the front lawn of MoCA through June 2024.

Once you’ve enjoyed Art Walk’s live music at Northside Social, a pop-up market at MoCA, the Arlington Art Truck at Welburn Square Mega Market Thursday, wine offerings, public art installations, a broadcast from AIM and more, be sure to keep these gems on your cultural go-to list throughout the year.

Care to network with creatives? Don’t miss the finale reception at WHINO in Ballston Quarter at 7 p.m.

Learn about Arlington’s celebrated art and vibrant network of stunning gallery spaces on this walkable, self-guided cultural tour.


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

While small business owners communicate with their customers and stakeholders in numerous ways, e-mail continues to be a popular communication method. Thus, it’s essential that your e-mail is secure and represents your business well.

Since its inception in 2002, BizLaunch has helped over 80,000 clients start, grow or scale their businesses. Often, communicating with clients via e-mail using an address such as [email protected]. While there is nothing wrong to use a free e-mail service for personal use, you should think of your e-mail as your business card, and it should match your website domain, for example [email protected].

Let’s face it, anyone can use Gmail, AOL or Yahoo, and that’s the problem. By using a more generic e-mail, you’re missing the opportunity to add credibility and to personalize to your business. Additionally, these free e-mail providers aren’t necessarily free; remember those terms and conditions you agreed to but didn’t read?

For companies to provide free e-mail service, many sell these e-mails causing many small business owners to receive an enormous amount of spam, possibly missing essential messages from prospective clients, updates on grant applications and other important communication sent via e-mail. Additionally, since anyone can purchase these e-mails, small businesses are targets for phishing attacks putting vital information at risk.

The good news is that creating a customized e-mail is very affordable and straightforward. At BizLaunch, we like the easy button, and there are two simple ways businesses can easily customize their e-mail domain.

Arlington small business owners can apply for our ReLaunch program, and our tech experts at Nub8 can create a customized e-mail domain for your business. Many clients have already received this as part of their project scope with Nub8.

Businesses can quickly and affordably get a customized e-mail through Google Workspaces or Microsoft 365 if you prefer to do this yourself. Both services make it easy for clients to set up a customized e-mail, and data is stored securely in the cloud — able to be accessed on any internet-connected device.

The first step in securing your customized e-mail is purchasing a domain name. There are numerous places businesses can buy domains; however, since your business domain is essentially your digital billboard, here are some tips for selecting a domain name from our partner, Score.

While e-mail continues to be widely used, it’s essential that your e-mail address represents your business well and is secure. For support getting a customized e-mail contact your BizLaunch advisor today.

2 Comment

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

For anyone who runs or is looking to open a business in Arlington, the answer is yes.

With only a few exceptions, Arlington business owners need to get a business license and maintain that year over year. This includes businesses of all types of sizes. If you’re a freelance artist/maker, own a retail establishment or restaurant, operate as a consultant or even have a home-based business or nonprofit, an Arlington Business License is required to operate.

Obtaining that business license is pretty simple through the Arlington Commissioner of Revenue, which issues business licenses every year and assesses the amount of tax businesses are required to pay. The entire process can be done online via the CAPP — Customer Assessment and Payment Portal. Simply go to the website and click on “Register a new business/location.”

Be sure to have your EIN (Employer Identification Number) or SSN (Social Security Number) and your home occupation permit or your Certificate of Occupancy (CO) number handy as you’ll need those to complete the application. Once you’ve completed your business license application, click submit and you officially applied for your business license. A business tax inspector will review your application, once approved, you will receive an e-mail confirmation, and you’re done.

But why is having a license so important? A business license serves as the taxing mechanism for both the Business License Tax, which is based on the gross receipts of a business, and the Business Tangible Personal Property Tax, which is based on the individual tangibles, or personal assets, of a business — things like furniture, machinery, tools or programmable computer equipment.

We all know that no one is overly excited about the prospect of additional taxes, but it’s important to remember that not only does that tax revenue help to fund Arlington’s many amenities, like public transportation, social services, public art, parks, community centers and bike trails. But even more importantly, if a business is found to be operating without required licenses, it can be fined and/or sent to court for each day of operation without required licenses. Making sure all of our businesses are operating in full compliance of the law is key, and the BizLaunch team is here to help ensure Arlington businesses are up to date.

We know the various licenses, taxes and fees can be a little overwhelming, especially at the beginning, and BizLaunch and the Arlington Commissioner of Revenue are here to help.

For new businesses wanting to start, the BizLaunch team has put together a thorough Small Business Checklist outlining each step a business needs to take to launch, including licensing and regulation. Additionally, the Arlington Commissioner of Revenue’s Office has put together a helpful guide for businesses opening in Arlington.

For more information about BizLaunch visit


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Alex Held

Emmanuela Cosmetics, an Arlington-based skincare brand, is on a mission to empower women to embrace their natural beauty with confidence.

Founded in July 2020 by Yvonne Tazem, this luxury, inclusive skincare brand has been making waves in the industry by providing effective skincare solutions and celebrating beauty in all its forms.

At Emmanuela Cosmetics, the focus goes beyond achieving a flawless complexion. “We understand that skin issues, such as hyperpigmentation, can significantly impact self-esteem,” says Tazem. With this understanding, they have created a range of high-quality, gentle, and effective products that help women feel beautiful and radiant in their own skin.

One of the proudest moments for Emmanuela Cosmetics came in December 2021 when its Glow serum was featured as the #1 product in Vogue Magazine. “Being recognized in Vogue not only showcased the brand’s commitment to excellence but also opened doors to new opportunities,” says Tazem.

As part of those companies, Tazam was looking to expand, and to do so, she partnered with BizLaunch. “BizLaunch played a crucial role in refining Emmanuela Cosmetics’ rebranding efforts. This partnership helped the brand solidify its identity and reach a wider audience,” says Tazem.

Choosing Arlington as the location for her business was a strategic decision for Emmanuela Cosmetics. The vibrant and supportive community, along with the ample resources available for business owners, made it an ideal place to establish their brand. “I particularly appreciate the tight-knit small business community and the unwavering support from local residents,” says Tazem.

However, like any other business, Emmanuela Cosmetics faces challenges. The high cost of commercial rent in Arlington can be a hurdle, but Tazem’s dedication and commitment has allowed her company to overcome such obstacles.

What sets Emmanuela Cosmetics apart from other skincare brands is its commitment to using only the finest ingredients. All products are 100% vegan, cruelty-free and made with non-toxic ingredients. “We take pride in creating a community of women who support and uplift each other, celebrating beauty in all its forms,” says Tazem.

“When not revolutionizing the skincare industry, I enjoy exploring Arlington’s diverse culinary scene. It’s my way to relax and draw inspiration from the vibrant local culture,” says Tazem.

Emmanuela Cosmetics continues to thrive as a small business in Arlington, empowering women to embrace their natural beauty. With effective skincare solutions and a commitment to inclusivity, it is leaving a lasting impact on the industry and helping women feel confident in their own skin.

For more information about Emmanuela Cosmetics visit or follow them on Instagram.

2 Comment

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Arlington Pride is back for a second year. This year’s event, which will be held June 23-25, is again being organized by Polished Kreative and offers an entire weekend of celebration after an overwhelming public response from last year’s festival.

BizLaunch and the Arlington Convention & Visitors Service are proud to support this year’s pride festival as sponsors once again.

“We’re so thankful for the community for their overwhelming support! The Polished Kreative team is honored to bring inclusion and diversity to Arlington through pride,” says co-founder Lindsey Hinton.

This year, there are three main events taking place on Arlington Pride Weekend with countless activities taking place all weekend long:

  • Friday, June 23The Inaugural Miss Arlington Pride Pageant, hosted by Shi-Queeta Lee at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, is a local community event that will shine a light on the talents of our local drag entertainers.
  • Saturday, June 24 — The Arlington Pride Festival at Rosslyn Gateway Park has a message of Moving Forward Together, highlighting the importance of working together to make the LGBTQ+ community stronger. The Pride Festival is a free event for all ages and will include:
  • Sunday, June 25 — Concluding Arlington Pride Weekend is the Arlington Pride Drag Brunch at the Departures Bar inside Alamo Drafthouse at National Landing, where host Evita Peroxide and her cast of performers entertain guests while they enjoy a fabulous brunch.

Arlington Pride is a community event developed by and for the Arlington community and wouldn’t happen without the generous support from volunteers and sponsors. Additional volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are also available.

For more information about Arlington Pride, visit

Reena Bawa, Founder of Beauty Fair Hairstylists

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Alex Held

Relocating a small business to a new space is a significant undertaking that presents many challenges. Moving to a different location can be a daunting task for small businesses, whether due to expansion, cost considerations or changes in the business landscape.

When Reena Bawa, Founder of Beauty Fair Hairstylists, learned she needed to find a new location after running her Columbia Pike business at the same location for more than 35 years, the process seemed daunting. Luckily, she had BizLaunch to help her find a new space for her business.

First and foremost, finding a suitable space that meets the needs of the business can be a significant hurdle. Generally, this process can take one to three years. In Arlington, particularly along Columbia Pike, vacant retail space can be hard to find, and with low supply, rents are rising. Currently, the retail vacancy rate along Columbia Pike is 2.8%. This challenge can be further amplified if a client is looking for industrial space, which according to CoStar has a 0.8% vacancy rate in Arlington.

In Beauty Fair Hairstylists’ case, Bawa was already about double the industry average (about 17% of sales) for rent and was facing yet another increase in the current space. However, Bawaknew she wanted to remain close to her customer base along Columbia Pike and for the space to be easily accessible.

Through ReLaunch, Beauty Fair was able to leverage Revby’s expertise in analyzing different options, such as purchasing a space, leasing another space or remaining at the existing location with a rent increase. However, with the cost of acquisition, build-out and rent rising, none of those options made financial sense nor aligned with Bawa’s goals. Thus, she decided to rent out space within an existing hair salon. Such an arrangement is commonly referred to in the industry as booth rent.

Once it was clear which direction Bawa wanted to go, the BizLaunch team identified several booth rent opportunities throughout Arlington. Finally, Bawa settled on her new location inside Samaris Hair Salon at 38 S. Glebe Road.

With the location selected, the logistical challenges of the move itself came into play. Small businesses must plan and coordinate the physical relocation of equipment, inventory, and furniture, which can be complex and disruptive to daily operations. In Bawa’s case, since she would rent space from an existing salon, much of her equipment was no longer needed, forcing her to liquidate or store equipment.

Additionally, BizLaunch supported Beauty Fair through the move, helping her update her address and apply for a partial Certificate of Occupancy for her new space while also being supportive in the transition. In this case, Bawa had been in her location for more than three decades and was understandably attached to the location. It was part of her business identity, and it was important not to lose that identity.

Another significant challenge is notifying customers, clients, and suppliers about the relocation. Small businesses rely heavily on their existing networks, and a move can disrupt established relationships. Communicating the new address and contact information is crucial to maintaining strong connections and minimizing any potential loss of business.

Thankfully Revby was able to help develop collateral material such as fliers and business cards with the new address and update the website and Google My Business page, letting customers know of the change. Additionally, the Revby team was able to assist in extracting customers’ information from the owner’s phone into a spreadsheet, easily accessible in one place.

“While the adjustment has been hard, I’m grateful for the resources Arlington has provided my business as well as the support from my customers and colleagues within Samaris Hair Salon,” says Bawa.

For businesses facing a relocation decision, reach out to BizLaunch as early as possible, as finding a suitable space for your business can take some time. Schedule some time with one of our experts today. For more information about BizLaunch, visit


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Alex Held

National Small Business Week is a time to celebrate the contributions of small businesses to our economy and to our communities. From April 30 to May 6, we recognize the hard work and dedication of small business owners and entrepreneurs who are the backbone of our local economy.

This week is an opportunity to shine a light on the challenges faced by small businesses and to provide resources and support to help them thrive.

For Arlington small business owners, BizLaunch, Arlington’s small business and entrepreneur center, has been providing small businesses and entrepreneurs with tools and resources to thrive since 2001. Since its inception over 20 years ago, BizLaunch has helped more than 75,000 entrepreneurs and small businesses in Arlington and throughout the Washington metro area.

BizLaunch provides numerous tools and resources for entrepreneurs and small businesses such as:

“Small businesses are what make Arlington unique and a great place to live. If our small businesses are successful, then so is our community,” says Tara Palacios, Director BizLaunch.

Small businesses have three upcoming events taking place in May, allowing them to network with their peers and connect with new customers. Check out our events calendar for a list of upcoming programs.

National Small Business Week is also a time to discover new businesses in your community. Through our Open Rewards Program, shoppers can get 5% in cash back rewards for every purchase made at Arlington small businesses. More than 900 businesses are currently listed on the platform, and more are being added every day.

This National Small Business Week let’s celebrate and recognize the contributions small businesses make to Arlington’s economy. For more information about BizLaunch visit:, or schedule your one-on-one consultation today.


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

As spring begins, entrepreneurs work restlessly as ever. Juan Luis Salazar, the owner of La Coop Coffee, is no exception. He has recently opened a new small business in Arlington.

Salazar, originally from Guatemala, has decided to bring the taste of his native culture to Arlington through a delicious cup of coffee. La Coop Coffee is known for providing single-origin Microlot coffee, including the farmer’s name on each coffee bag. No blends. Just single-origin, specialty coffee from the Salazar’s hometown. “Our goal is to bring heart and home to customers through our coffee,” says Salazar.

The brews are roasted fresh on-site at the original coffee house and roastery located in D.C. Recently, Salazar opened a new venture in the Arlington Forest Community located at 4807 First Street North.

Even though La Coop Coffee is already a known entity in the District, Salazar knew opening a store in Arlington would be different. Therefore, he turned to BizLaunch for guidance, where he learned the county’s requirements for zoning, signage, taxes, etc.

With the help of BizLaunch en Español La Coop Coffee was able to polish the final details for its new home for single-origin coffee in Arlington and finally opened its doors on Saturday February 13, 2023.

To learn more about La Coop Coffee and its story, visit the company’s websiteFacebook pageInstagram and Twitter.


Many of us use coffee to perk ourselves up on a slow day, whether for the taste or the energy.

Regardless of how we use coffee, many drink it with friends, family, or on a date to lighten the mood. Despite knowing the benefits of our favorite coffee, do we know where it comes from and the provider’s history?

That was the question that sparked the curiosity of Maria Martinez and Maximilian Ilea, owners of Red Bean Harvest in Arlington; this small business imports authentic Colombian coffee from various regions of Colombia and focuses on offering its customers an exceptional customer experience. The business works in collaboration with coffee growers in Colombia to select high-quality beans and ensures that every coffee bean sold has the best possible flavor.

“We work directly with farmers to ensure that all our specialty coffee comes with a hundred percent traceability guarantee. In addition, we embrace certifications such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, and Organic to help reduce food waste and make that cup of coffee more enjoyable,” Maria said.

Another important aspect of this business is its commitment to sustainability. Red Bean Harvest cares about the environment and works to minimize its impact on the planet. It uses recyclable and compostable materials for wrappers and other disposable products. Red Bean also ensures that it buys coffee beans from suppliers who use sustainable cultivation and production practices. Consequently, a unique and delicate marmalade is made from the coffee skin so that coffee farmers can reduce food waste and make the process more sustainable.

Before opening the business in Arlington, Red Bean Harvest sought help from BizLaunch en Espanol for guidance on fulfilling the county requirements and complying with all the regulations. Since Red Bean Harvest is a home-based business, it needed to have a website and e-commerce. Thus, BizLaunch helped Red Bean Harvest create those platforms through ReLaunch to expose its business to a new target market.

“BizLaunch has been an incredible help, for which we are very grateful for the exposure that Red Bean Harvest has received. This year we will start selling at events during spring, summer, and fall, and very soon at the Columbia Pike Farmers Market,” Maria said.

Red Bean Harvest products focus on offering their customers an exceptional coffee experience with high-quality beans, expert preparation, sustainability, and accessibility.

If you would like more information about Red Bean Harvest, visit, or learn more about BizLaunch en Español resources.


This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Alex Held

BizLaunch and the Arlington Public Library have joined forces to host a panel discussion celebrating Women’s History Month. The Panel will feature four Arlington-based women entrepreneurs who have successfully launched a business.

Whether you are a female business owner who wants to connect with other entrepreneurs or an entrepreneur who’s thought about starting your own business, the Inspiring Women in Business Panel Discussion is for you.

Meet Our Powerhouse Panelists

Paulina Enriquez, Director Wonder Kids Learning Center, founded Wonder Kids in 2022. Wonder Kids Learning Center is a high-quality childcare program for children 0 to 5 years old. It offers a Spanish immersion program in a loving and enriched environment.

Jennifer Jones, Creative Founder, Cosmopolitan Plated: Jones is a female entrepreneur of color and thought leader. She uses interactive cooking activities as metaphoric and experiential experiences to build and strengthen communities with diverse and inclusive perspectives. Through her company, Cosmopolitan Plated, she has provided and facilitated recreational and team-building classes for more than 10,000 participants.

Jennifer Mulchandani, Founder and CEO, Arlington Strategy: Mulchandani founded Arlington Strategy in 2012 with a mission to build thriving brands working to better the world. She leads a growing team of marketing, branding and advertising professionals who support nonprofit organizations, public agencies and businesses at every growth stage.

Alexandra Trakas, Founder and CEO, Bash Boxing: Trakas has spent ten years in the fitness and wellness industry. In 2017 Alex began her entrepreneurial journey. She conceptualized and founded Bash Boxing alongside her four partners. Trakas grew the brand to two locations in less than one year while grossing over $1.4 million in their first year in business. Trakas led her team and company through the COVID-19 pandemic, defining the brand’s path toward corporate and franchise growth. In September 2022, Bash opened its third location in the Mosaic District and recently opened its fourth location in Gainesville.

Join us on March 8 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Arlington Central Library in the Barbara M. Donnellan Auditorium for this inspiring discussion, networking and light refreshments.

2 Comment

Subscribe to our mailing list