Friends Open Dalton Pratt Boutique
By Kate Parham
Caroline Dalton and Brittany Carlson make themselves at home in their luxurious boutique.
It should come as little surprise that Caroline Dalton and Brittany Carlson are shaking things up in the Georgetown boutique scene, offering chic and trendy ideas for jewelry, interiors, and gifts on upper Wisconsin Avenue. After all, Dalton and Carlson are DC retail royalty.
Fourth-generation retailer Dalton, who grew up with Dalton Brody as her playground—her mother was a former owner of the Cathedral Heights boutique—and her longtime friend, Carlson, who worked at Dalton Brody for more than a decade, joined forces to open their own shop, Dalton Pratt, where they play off each other’s tastes (not to mention their names—Pratt is a Carlson-family name).
After attending college in New Orleans and living for a year in Paris, Dalton felt it was the right time to open her own store. “Paris really broadened my range and opened my mind to European styles. I didn’t know I loved to shop so much until I lived in Paris. But retail is in my blood,” says Dalton. “My family has been in it my whole life, and I’ve always wanted to be, too. I love doing something creative. I got the bug.”
But Dalton didn’t want to open just any old store. She wanted to fill a void. “I found it hard to find accessories in DC,” she explains while pointing to a Waylande Gregory ceramic, her favorite piece in the shop. “The guy’s great-uncle was a famous ceramicist in the ’30s, and he brought pieces back and redid them. It’s real and pure—original. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
That’s the kind of detail that fits Dalton’s ideal: “Nothing is a knockoff or mass-produced,” says Dalton. “That’s very much our style. We have a lot of unique pieces, hidden gems—just stuff you can’t find anywhere else.” The two-story shop sells everything from Palecek and Bungalow 5 furniture to Studio A and Barbara Cosgrove interiors to jewelry by Alexis Bittar and Kara Ackerman—even some of the duo’s own lines of candles and gourmet goodies. “We’re a one-stop shop: You can come in for a hostess gift, a piece for your home, some jewelry. We’ve got it all.”
That something-for-everyone mindset is also reflected in price range, with pieces from $50 to upward of $3,000. The shop has already seen much success. “We have both old and new customers coming in, plus Georgetown residents like to shop in the area, keep it local,” says Dalton. “And we appeal to the women of Georgetown: very highend chic, sophisticated, classic.”
Unlike Dalton, a Washington native, Carlson came to DC from Kentucky in 1989 because “it wasn’t cold like Chicago or hot like Atlanta.” What was supposed to just be a yearlong adventure turned into full-time residency. Now, 23 years later, Carlson happily calls the District home. “My favorite piece is the Camomile Hixon print,” she says, motioning to a wall covered with a large lilac canvas with big block letters spelling YES across it in glitter. “It’s positive and unexpected—it could go traditional.”
“It’s just fun,” says Carlson. “We like sparkles in this store.” 1742 Wisconsin Ave. NW, 202-333-3256
photography by greg powers
Celebrating the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner at Carnegie Library.