Written by Jasmin Dixon
Photographed by Natasha Magino and Morgan Forde
Who run the world? GIRLS! Womyn, to be exact, and the y is for you. Femme Fatale DC, a creative collective for ladies, started from a party on Halloween in 2016. “There were so many creatives, so many makers, it [evolved] into the idea of having a pop-up,” said Femme Fatale DC (FFDC) CEO Cee Smith. In summer 2017, H St. was home to the first Femme Fatale. The collective is now in its third year.
FFDC is a space exclusively for women entrepreneurs of all levels to grow, create, and learn. “It's important to do what we can on the ground level to expand and grow entrepreneurs,” Cee explained, “[and] give them tools and skills to compete at an already large deficit.” On the significance of having a female creative community, FFDC co founder Adriana Mendoza said, “A lot of women had no clue they needed that; it really creates a whole different energy...it’s very beautiful.”
You may be familiar with the term “femme fatale,” the archetypal seductive man-eater. Femme Fatale DC has reclaimed the term, attributing it to a woman who follows her truth and lives in confidence and empowerment. “We attract a certain type of woman into this space,” said Adriana.
I had the pleasure of meeting the collective’s two leading ladies at their current pop-up. Greeted by various colors and fabrics, it’s a vibe wonderland.
Both DC natives, Adriana and Cee are dedicated to helping women find their voices and live their truths. Mastering the business model of a continuous pop-up, this season’s location is right off the red line, in Tenleytown. “The whole reason of the pop-up is to attach to new neighborhoods [and] new people [and to] bring peoples’ products to the community,” explained Cee. The ladies of Femme Fatale approach pop-up spaces from scratch and build the ambience by hand. Through the power and beauty of women’s minds, a completely new space is created. The pop-ups remain active for about five months; then, a new location is scouted for the next season. “I think I carry into the space that idea of being unapologetically dope and bringing who you are to create here...If you're covering yourself, you are not proud; you are not your best self and we allow everyone here to be that,” said Cee.
Femme Fatale DC exudes energy, captivating and magical. You can find art everywhere, from the floor to the reconstructed sushi bar. This collective is made of four spaces: retail, workshop room, art lounge, and Cosmic patio. Each represents a unique personality. Beautiful patterns, jewelry, and literature can be found for sale in one part of the space, while entrepreneur education is going down just one wall away. Next to providing an artistic space, Femme Fatale DC is an incubator for business. Events galore take place here. Pilates on the patio, DIY fragrance workshops, and a “Solstice Shake Down,” to name a few. Don’t worry fellas, you are welcome to select events. “We don’t hate boys or anything like that,” said Adriana. All are welcome at these select events, but make sure to leave misogyny at home.
You can enjoy all the magic of Femme Fatale DC until the end of September. The final Closing Party full of surprises, will be September 27. Keep up with all events at Femme Fatale DC.com. The next pop-up may be on a block near you! Follow Femme Fatale DC on Instagram @femmefataledc and at femmefataledc.com.