The sweet smell of doughnuts frying tugged us in one direction, while waist-high barrels of artisanal pickles pulled us in another. The cash stuffed in my wallet held steady as we made our way past the food, bins of colorful produce and pots of fresh herbs and crossed the street into a converted parking lot, now marked “Flea Market.” I had one mission: score a one-of-a-kind accessory to accompany the modest, homogenous collection I had back home.

I circled the potential that overcast, slightly cooler D.C. day. I said no thanks to the beaded and sterling silver options and glazed over the gaudy, the overly ornate and the downright impractical. I began to wonder whether it was time for more coffee when a beautifully organized table of gold chains, pastel stones and geometric shapes came into focus just as we came full circle.

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