Jenny Zinn, the former manager of Georgetown's Betsey Johnson store, has found a new home at The Magic Wardrobe (1661 Wisconsin Ave.), a move she said was like "going from one dollhouse to another."
When Zinn learned on a phone call that Betsey Johnson was going bankrupt and the store she had worked in for 10 years would be closing, the first thing she worried about was the community she had come to love and the clients who made Georgetown home for her.
"I was worried about where we were going to go next," she said.
Her clients and the community she had become a part of through the store were "everything that made me happy," said Zinn.
After her store closed, she took some time over the summer to figure out her next move. And if that contemplation happened to involve watching the wild horses of Assateague and taking her dogs for walks on the beach, who can blame her?
"I know that you can start over in Georgetown," Zinn said. “I just know I want to work here.”
So when the opportunity arose to work several days a week at the Magic Wardrobe, managed by Alexa Johnson, Zinn went for it.
While at Betsey she said she learned to dress women from 12 to 102 and now she would like to be a "master dresser" by perfecting the zero to 12 age group.
Much of Magic Wardrobe's clientele are existing and loyal customers, rather than casual passersby.
Compared to Betsey Johnson, "You have all this downtime," said Zinn. "But then when someone comes in they get all of your attention," she added.
Bookhill, where the store is located, is a quiet section of Georgetown. Foot traffic is lighter than M Street and lower parts of Wisconsin Avenue. But the clients are calling and spending.
And this new client base at the Magic Wardrobe has opened her eyes to the world of "Georgetown women." The ones you might read about in The New Yorker and wonder if they exist.
These women travel the world — Paris last week, the Bahamas next month — and are having kids and doing it all with style.
“There’s just these amazing women from around the world that connect with the Magic Wardrobe” said Zinn about her new clientele.
Though new to the store, Zinn quickly made her mark on her new retail home. The first change she made to the store is reflective of Zinn's infectiously fun personality.
“The first thing we did was put the pony in the window,” she said with a smile. "It stops traffic people come in all of the time."
The "pony" is a carousel-sized rocking horse that runs a cool $5,500 and up, depending on choice of saddle.
The small change, though, started bringing people in from the street. Zinn is connecting with her community once more.
In an email sent to Patch Wednesday, Zinn shared a photo of her and her Betsey Girls on Fashion's Night Out.
Zinn wrote, "This is the beginning of a new chapter."