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Jeff Schwartz / Jake’s of Old Town

Posted on Sep 04,2008
Filed Under Local Leaders , Community,

Jeff Schwartz / Jake’s of Old Town

103 King Street

Alexandria VA 22314

(703) 299-4663



About Jeff:

Originally from Connecticut, Jeff came to the area 22 years ago as many do, following the allure of politics and government. He worked both on and off the Hill, first as a congressional staffer and later as a government contractor.  Not long ago the company he was working for was bought. After wondering what to do next, the Life is good ® opportunity crossed his radar screen and Jeff jumped -- his first foray as an entrepreneur. Jake’s is now celebrating its five-month anniversary.


About Jake’s:

Jake’s of Old Town is an independently-owned Life is good® Genuine Neighborhood Shoppe.  What is Life is good®? Jeff explains it as, “a colorful clothing and specialty goods brand that celebrates the great outdoors, the spirit of sports and an appreciation of the good things in life.  It is the glass half-full perspective of life.” 


Business Philosophy:

“This is a business, but for me it’s not just about selling goods. I want customers to feel like Jake’s is a place to hang out.  If you buy something, great.  If not, that’s OK, too.  Maybe next time.  We’re glad you came by to look around…or like some, hang around.   A lot of our customers drop in to see Tiko, our beagle, even when they are not planning on shopping.  That’s the type of place we want this to be. We’ve had many customers comment that “this is a happy place!” That’s exactly what I’m looking for.”


Why did you choose to do this?

“After the company I was working for was bought, I knew exactly what I didn’t want to do. What I did want to do was about as clear as mud.  I knew some people who were opening a Life is good® store in Connecticut last summer.  I was familiar with the brand, and started to think that such a store would be great in Old Town.  The Life is good® motto “Do what you like.  Like what you do®.” really resonated with me.  I guess it was a sign.  I also was attracted to the charity work that Life is good® does and the opportunities for making a contribution to those efforts.  The whole idea just clicked and the rest is history.” 


Why Alexandria?

“I’ve been in the area for 22 years now.  As I started to pursue the idea of opening a store, I immediately thought it would be a perfect fit for Old Town. Our location on King Street is great, and our positive message rings true here.”


Funny Story?

“One day I’m sitting in the store when a woman comes in with three crying girls. She ends up being a teacher with a group of seventh graders on a field trip. She explained that they were having a mini crisis, and asked if she could come in with the girls to work it out (which she did). I thought it was rather humorous – what better place to resolve your problems than a Life is good store!”

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