From leather cuffs to sculptural handbags, Chevy Chase’s Anna Stewart looks to her Argentine roots for inspiration
Anna Stewart may have been born in Washington, D.C., but the first-generation daughter of Italian and Argentine parents says some of the most formative time in her life was spent on her grandparents’ farm in Argentina. “My grandfather was a gaucho, an authentic Argentine cowboy, and I used to watch him weave his own lassos and whips, and train his own horses,” says the 46-year-old Chevy Chase resident. “I have a special connection to the country, both the culture and the craftsmanship.”
So in 2017, after rebounding from a cancer diagnosis and reevaluating her career options (“I’m doing fine now,” she says), Stewart left her job in nonprofit fundraising and launched Gaucha Chica, an online boutique selling gifts, accessories and home goods with Argentine flair. Everything is made by vendors who have a connection to Argentina—either they’re from there or they live there, or they make their products in the traditional Argentine style. “I wanted to bring a little bit of Argentina here for the U.S. to appreciate,” Stewart says.
Some of her most popular items include laser-cut leather cuffs and necklaces, home decor hewn from cowhide, and sleek, sculptural handbags. She also sells homemade seasonal soups and stews made from traditional Argentine recipes.
Gaucha Chica items are available at gauchachica.com, Core72 in Chevy Chase, D.C., and pop-up events in the area.