Spruce Lane Shops: 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Greetings from Spruce Lane! I sincerely apologize that it’s been so long since I’ve hopped on here to actually write a blog post! To make a long story short, life happened and I got busy, but with the holidays right around the corner I am ready to get back on my game and continue to build this (little) blog of mine!

Given all of the research and findings I’ve gathered visiting boutiques throughout the year, I figured compiling a “Locals Only” type of gift guide would be the perfect way to close out 2018. Check out my holiday picks from many of my favorite shops and brands based in the Philadelphia area! This list could have gone on for much longer, but I had to be strong and stop myself somewhere. It was not easy but hey, there’s always next year, right? Best of all, many of these products can be purchased online from the comfort of your home. While I’m a big proponent of brick and mortars and actually visiting these amazing boutiques, I understand how busy schedules can get during the holiday season. So, I’ve made it easy for you to shop local and buy your loved ones (or yourself) something special that you probably can’t find anywhere else! Without further ado, I present Spruce Lane’s first ever Gift Guide! Happy holidays and happy shopping!


Vestige

Woven Leather Pom Pom Bag - $248

This gorgeous bucket bag is your perfect warm-weather staple, whether that’s this spring or summer, or even sooner on your next tropical getaway. I love the contemporary silhouette, woven detail and charming tassels. I imagine this paired with a vibrant caftan or a crisp white linen top and the bluest of blue jeans. This beauty just makes me crave summer, if you couldn’t tell.

Stoneware Mini Vase - $38

These pieces evoke Vestige’s refined sense of bohemian elegance that I love so much. Each stoneware vase is one of a kind and hand-thrown by Brooklyn ceramist, Nedda Atassi. I love the neutral coloring and how they are styled with a few dried plants. This is a subtle but beautiful vase that I would definitely display in my home.

 Image c/o Vestige; Pom Pom Bag

Image c/o Vestige; Pom Pom Bag

 Image c/o Vestige; Stoneware Vases

Image c/o Vestige; Stoneware Vases

Kin Boutique

Keepsake The Label Jumpsuit - please contact Kin for pricing & availability

To me, this is holiday dressing done right. I’m also on a major jumpsuit kick after making the fatal mistake of wearing a slightly too-short cocktail dress to a recent work event. I really like this one in particular for its beautiful, rich navy coloring and elegant top embellishment. I feel that many of these are hit or miss, and this is definitely a hit. I’m telling you, Kin is the place to go to if you want to dress fashion-forward!

Botkier Kitten Heels + Citizens of Humanity Lace Up Denim - please contact Kin for pricing & availability

I always gravitate to Kin’s shoe selection because it’s just, how do I say this, really good. I’ve purchased mules and slides there that I’ve worn countless times, and these are next on my list. Hate it or love it, I wear a lot of black and this lace-up denim / kitten heel combination kills me (in a good way).

 Image c/o Keepsake The Label

Image c/o Keepsake The Label

 Image c/o Kin

Image c/o Kin

Trove General Store

Tortoise Cup Candles - please contact Trove for pricing & availability

PSA: I already own one of these and love it dearly. If you’re a tortoise junkie like me, get one of these! I know tortoise hoop earrings are really “in” right now, but have you seen tortoise candles like these? I hadn’t until I visited Trove. Aside from how chic they look, they come in a variety of natural scents that smell nothing short of great.

Woolrich Snap T Sweater - please contact Trove for pricing & availability

PSA: I already own this sweater as well and I also love it dearly. If you’re shopping Woolrich, you know you’re shopping quality, and that’s why I was compelled to buy this. It comes in navy or white. I preferred navy because my pastiness can’t handle light colors in the winter, but if you can rock a winter white, go for it! It’s made of wool so in full transparency, it’s a tad itchy but totally manageable and warm as HECK! I like to pair with black denim and black ankle booties.

 Image c/o Trove

Image c/o Trove

 Image c/o Woolrich

Image c/o Woolrich

The Geisha House

Spell Oasis Short Kimono - $160

Treat. Yo. Self. This kimono serves dual purposes in my mind. Yes, I would love to drape this over myself on a leisurely sunny morning as I get dolled up for the day and sip on my coffee. But I also could see this transitioning into an everyday piece as well, paired with denim and a white or black tee. I love the beautiful, detailed yet neutral print. And if you’re looking for a longer kimono or different color-scheme, The Geisha House has plenty more options like this one to offer. Love you, TGH!

 Image c/o The Geisha House

Image c/o The Geisha House

Plume and Thread

Alexandra Knit Top - $124

As soon as P+T released this photo, I was in love! Reversible, you say? I must know more. This top comes in black and white and is made of 100% combed cotton. Yassss to cotton. If I’ve learned anything from shopping Plume and Thread, it’s that their products are comfy AF and made with the utmost care and quality. This is no fast fashion throw-away piece.

Taylor Leggings in Mineral Black - $65

I’ve really gotten into yoga over the past year, even though I still have yet to accomplish a successful “crow” pose. Sigh. I’d love to sport a pair of these at my next class though, and stand out amongst the swarms of Lululemon logos I see on the reg. I also am really drawn to P+T’s mineral black dye. I only own black leggings so this is an exciting opportunity to switch it up!

 Image c/o Plume and Thread; Alexandra Knit Top

Image c/o Plume and Thread; Alexandra Knit Top

 Image c/o Plume and Thread; Taylor Leggings

Image c/o Plume and Thread; Taylor Leggings

Voloshin & Printfresh

Mini Velvet Gratitude Journal - $18

A crushed velvet journal that’s strikingly beautiful both on the outside and inside! Printfresh offers a way for you to get a positive start to your day with their gratitude journal that inspires meditation and self reflection. I own something similar and it really is crazy how much of a difference it has made on my outlook. I can be pessimistic, so this thing really helps, especially in the dead of winter when the sun never comes out. See? Pessimism sucks! Buy this journal!

Productivity Large Noteblock - $24

Printfresh noteblocks are awesome and so chic to begin with, but this one is on a new level because it keeps you on task! Bring it to work and wow your coworkers, or keep it at home for personal projects. If you fill one sheet out once a day, you’re sure to accomplish some pretty amazing things. And this is is no ordinary notepad, it has a luxurious cork base and metallic edging. Pretty!

Keiko Linen Wrap Dress - $368

Voloshin has pretty much mastered the wrap dress at this point, producing it in some of the most beautiful prints I’ve ever seen! The Indigo Stratus Tie Dye coloring is perfect for winter and early spring. Designed in Philadelphia and handcrafted in India, this piece truly is a work of art and fine craftsmanship.

 Image c/o Printfresh; Gratitude Journal

Image c/o Printfresh; Gratitude Journal

 Image c/o Printfresh; Productivity Block

Image c/o Printfresh; Productivity Block

 Image c/o Voloshin; Keiko Wrap Dress

Image c/o Voloshin; Keiko Wrap Dress

Moon + Arrow

Latchkey Avery Earrings - $102

2018 has been the year of the statement earring. No more boring studs for me! I love to peruse Moon + Arrow’s selection of handmade jewelry, particularly because they pretty much always will have bold pieces on display like these curved metallic and ceramic drop earrings made by California-based designer, Whitney Sharpe. I love the copper, blue and cream tones in these earrings. Shine on, friends.

Daughter of the Land Bath Soak - $33

I was at Target today and was blown away by how many bath bombs, fizzers, salts, you name it, are sold there. Some were fluorescent pink and cotton candy flavored, while some were teal and unicorn themed. Barf! Go to Moon + Arrow to buy real natural apothecary products that you can actually feel good about putting on your body. This one is organic and is made of “hand harvested French gray salt from the Guérande region of France. It is harvested in the 200 year old tradition of using only wooden tools. The salt is a beautiful grey color, derived from over 80+ trace minerals, including clay, that each crystal carries”. Any questions or uncertainties? Didn’t think so.

 Image c/o Moon + Arrow; Avery Earrings

Image c/o Moon + Arrow; Avery Earrings

 Image c/o Moon + Arrow; Bath Soak

Image c/o Moon + Arrow; Bath Soak

Threads

Kyi Kyi Purple Rainbow Pom Hat - $53

Alert! This pom hat is selling like crazy. Many of the classic hues are already sold out, so grab this adorable purple (or I’d say more of a lavender) multi-color version fast! I pretty much only own beat up Philadelphia sports beanies so it’d be nice to have something that actually looks chic and feminine for a change. This is a great gift to give to a friend or family member too; you just simply cannot go wrong with this classic look. Period. Thanks, Threads!

 Image c/o Threads

Image c/o Threads

Givens Circle

Jessica Hans Set of 2 Pablo Cups - $70

I had an actual heyday in Givens the first time I discovered it. No joke, I went back 3 times over the course of 24 hours to scoop up everything I could afford, which was not as much as I make it sound like because I am a poor millennial. I got off track, apologies. These cups are pretty self-explanatory; gorgeous print, handmade in right here in Philadelphia, totally unique and artistic. What more could you ask for? Where else will you find these?

Young in the Mountains Arc Ring - $180

So my taste in rings is kind of opposite of my taste in earrings. Subtle, refined, elegant. That’s exactly what I see in this beautiful gold Arc ring. This is 14k gold, handmade in the Denver Mountains, which makes me like it even more.

 Image c/o Givens; Pablo Cups

Image c/o Givens; Pablo Cups

 Image c/o Givens; Arc Ring

Image c/o Givens; Arc Ring

Llani

Embellished Room Slide in Peche - $135

Llani is a PA-based shoe brand that specializes in making unique slippers, slides and flats, with its production headquartered in India. These flats are so special and scream holiday to me. Sparkle, sequins, gold and pink all rolled into one beautiful shoe that is sure to make a statement. Since these are so incredibly beautiful and therefore popular, they are currently on backorder but you can sign up to be notified when they come back in stock. Hopefully that’s sooner rather than later!

 Image c/o Llani

Image c/o Llani

Pineapple on Main

Teardrop Beverage Dispenser - $89

The holidays are the season of entertaining. Work parties, family parties, friend parties, parties with your dog; there are just so many! If you have a special host or hostess in mind who deserves a housewarming gift, head over to Pineapple on Main to shop amazing homeware items. Shout out to my coworkers if any are reading, as they showed me this piece when we recently visited POM. This item is just so unique. POM displayed it with a bunch of bright red cranberries in water and it was absolutely eye catching and gorgeous.

 Image c/o Pineapple on Main

Image c/o Pineapple on Main

Navona Handmade

Headlands Plate - $30

River Gorge Mug - $35

Coast Range Double Wick Candle - $50

These are all from the same collection so I am going to write a collective description for all. Navona is a PA-based artisan brand that sells a variety of products including handmade jewelry, ceramics and textiles. I am very fond of the ceramics in their recent Portland collection, inspired by the terrain and environment of Portland, Oregon. The crisp whites paired with soft hues of blue and green are a beautiful addition to anyone’s home. Each handmade piece is 100% unique and microwave/dishwasher safe. Thank god.

 Image c/o Navona; Headlands Plate

Image c/o Navona; Headlands Plate

 Image c/o Navona; River Gorge Mug

Image c/o Navona; River Gorge Mug

 Image c/o Navona; Coast Range Candle

Image c/o Navona; Coast Range Candle

Ritual Shoppe

Moon Rivers Naturals Night Vibes Oil Elixir - $15

This is a crystal-infused oil elixir that is meant to help soothe you into a sweet, serene sleep. It has notes of lavender, sage and marjoram as well as a tiny amethyst crystal to evoke nothing but POSITIVE VIBES! I hate nightmares (who doesn’t?) and will do anything to improve my sleep quality so I think this is an A+ purchase. I can’t help but geek out over Ritual Shoppe every time I write about it, ugh! <3

Ritual Kit “LOVE” - $34

This special kit channels self-love and compassion. What a beautiful and sentimental gift to give! The kit includes Rose Quartz + Black Tourmaline, Aura/Allure essential oil, Palo Santo smudge, Abalone shell, Tea light candle, Matchbox and Ritual Guide. I’d be lying if I tried to act like I knew what all of that does or means, but there is a detailed description on Ritual’s website and it comes with a guide so I am going to trust them on this one and very much want to give this kit a try myself. All about that positivity, especially going into a new year! Namaste.

 Image c/o Ritual Shoppe, Oil Elixir

Image c/o Ritual Shoppe, Oil Elixir

 Image c/o Ritual Shoppe, LOVE Kit

Image c/o Ritual Shoppe, LOVE Kit

Cash and Clive

Clare V. Flat Clutch - $215

Red, white and blue baby! I love the pops of color in this leather clutch. The perfect cognac hue with vibrant, contrasting stripes. I don’t see this piece ever going out of style, like many things sold at Cash and Clive.

3X1 Relaxed Split Crop Jeans - $285

3x1 is a personal favorite denim brand because they are the “fun” denim brand, experimenting with new silhouettes and washes. I love this high-rise, relaxed fit and I love the light shade (would go great with the aforementioned Clare V. clutch). Most notably, I love the split detail at the hem because it makes them stand out. I last but not least love that you can buy these down in the Jersey Shore.

 Image c/o Cash and Clive; Clare V Clutch

Image c/o Cash and Clive; Clare V Clutch

 Image c/o Cash and Clive; 3x1 Jeans

Image c/o Cash and Clive; 3x1 Jeans

Omoi Zakka Shop

BAGGU Leather Mini Backpack - $320

This nubuck leather looks so buttery smooth and comes in the prettiest shade of taupe I ever did see. I love the mini backpack trend and appreciate carrying smaller, lighter weight bags so I can live more of a minimalist lifestyle. My current tote feels like it weighs ten pounds and that’s just not ok.

The Monocle Guide to Cosy Homes - $60

Adulting means sometimes splurging your minimal disposable income on fancy coffee table books to make your home look pretty, and this is one that I would get because not only is the title intriguing, but I feel like I could actually learn some interesting things too. It touches on European architects, furniture makers, interior designers, gardeners and more, sprinkled with a bit of “hygge” here and there that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

 Image c/o Omoi Zakka Shop; Baggu Backpack

Image c/o Omoi Zakka Shop; Baggu Backpack

 Image c/o Omoi Zakka Shop; Coffee Table Book

Image c/o Omoi Zakka Shop; Coffee Table Book

Wax + Wine

Select Label + Vintage Packages - $35-45

Cue the SNL Christmas Candle skit. Why not gift the experience of making a candle instead? Choose your vessel and choose a unique combination of scents to make YOUR ideal candle with the help of a Wax + Wine specialist. No need to guess if he or she will like a certain smell anymore. Let your friends choose for themselves, and best of all, bring a bottle of wine to sip on to make your DIY experience that much more enjoyable. Who’s coming to Wax + Wine with me?

 Image c/o Spruce Lane

Image c/o Spruce Lane


Thank you for reading! Have any questions, thoughts, comments, suggestions? Shoot me a note at sprucelanecontact@gmail.com to chat!

Happy holidays!
Laura


SHOP INDEX

  1. Vestige | Fishtown, Philadelphia: 2041 Frankford Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19125

  2. Kin Boutique | Washington Square West, Philadelphia: 1014 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

  3. Trove General Store | Paoli, Main Line: 19 Paoli Shopping Center, Paoli, PA 19301

  4. The Geisha House | Old City, Philadelphia: 149 N 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

  5. Plume and Thread | Kensington, Philadelphia: 2930 Jasper St #219, Philadelphia, PA 19134

  6. Printfresh / Voloshin | Kensington, Philadelphia: 2930 Jasper St, Philadelphia, PA 19134

  7. Moon + Arrow | Queen Village, Philadelphia: 754 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

  8. Threads | Manayunk, Philadelphia: 4353 Main St, Philadelphia, PA 19127

  9. Givens Circle | Cape May, New Jersey: 418 Washington St, Cape May, NJ 08204

  10. Llani | PA Suburbs

  11. Pineapple on Main | Manayunk, Philadelphia: 4347 Main St, Philadelphia, PA 19127

  12. Navona Handmade | Philadelphia

  13. Ritual Shoppe | Rittenhouse, Philadelphia: 2003 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19103

  14. Cash and Clive | Cape May, New Jersey: 302 Washington St, Cape May, NJ 08204

  15. Omoi Zakka Shop | Old City, Philadelphia: 41 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

  16. Wax + Wine | Washington Square West, Philadelphia: 1034 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Spruce Lane Shops: KIN Boutique

KIN Boutique
Neighborhood: Washington Square West, Philadelphia
Vibe: Upscale, Sophisticated, Feminine, Contemporary
Good for: Women’s apparel, shoes, accessories

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Our latest feature is with KIN Boutique, a new(ish) addition to the Washington Square West neighborhood of Philadelphia! And what a great addition it is! KIN offers an amazing mix of women's apparel and accessories for the more serious fashionista; the type of gal who knows her way around the closet and keeps up with the latest emerging designers. You can find some incredible pieces at a more mid-level price range, so you know you're getting something of quality but don't totally have to break the bank account buying it! I highly recommend following KIN's Instagram account, as they style their own photo shoots and post some amazing original content. In fact, KIN's Instagram has translated to two purchases of my own! A pair of beautiful black Senso mules that I have frequently worn this spring season, as well as a newly bought pair of Botkier beach slides that I also have happily debuted a few times. When making both of my purchases, I knew these were great pieces that I would wear time and time again. They were WORTH it, unlike many of my previous fast-fashion buys that would result in maybe one or two wears, max? Sighhh. I believe this mix of high quality meets expert curation is what makes KIN really special and elevated. You can find trendy pieces or timeless classics here, all of which won't disappoint. The store carries notable brands including Eugenia Kim, Lem Lem, Joie, Sir The Label, and Keepsake, to name a few. 

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I had the privilege to do a quick Q&A with KIN's owner and founder, Joey Clark, to learn more about her background and how she's done such an amazing job launching the boutique. I am including the entire thing here, essentially unedited, because her insights are so amazing, articulate and relatable! Read below and get inspired to chase your career dreams and also learn a thing or two about the fashion industry...

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Q: What inspired you to open Kin?
A: I’d been in the industry for awhile and felt like there was a lack of boutique stores with a mid range price point, inclusive environment and designers that we see and know online but for some reason can’t find in brick and mortar locations. I felt like for my age group and other young professionals, I either had Banana Republic or other mundane department type stores where it’s overwhelming, expensive and unhelpful (for lack of a better word). I wanted a store for the modern working woman, who has a career, family, dogs, travels and enjoys fashion but doesn’t always have the time to shop for appropriate pieces that can translate into their budget and everyday life.

Q: When did you open KIN? 
A: I opened last September, and it’s been amazing.  Obviously challenging but I’m incredibly grateful to be where we are at in a little less than a year.

Q: What was your career path leading up to owning your store?
A: I actually started in social work, and received my degree in Sociology and Philosophy from Colorado College. I’d always been interested in fashion and would participate in school fashion shows and sew, but I didn’t think I could make a career out of it. After doing some social work I realized I missed the creativity of being around clothing and I started getting my foot in the door as a stylist. It took a lot of coffee runs and unpaid internships but I eventually started working as an assistant at Amazon’s photo studio in Hebron, Kentucky and worked my way up to an e-commerce on and off figure stylist.  From there I took a lot of freelance gigs, and have worked with companies like The Limited, Net-a-porter, Gilt, Luxottica and Amazon, to name a few. I loved working freelance because I was able to travel, but that freedom also came with a lot of tax expenses and no health insurance, so I started managing clothing stores. I’ve managed about four different retail stores, including South Moon Under and Skirt in the city, and consistently saw areas of opportunity when it came to merchandising and client service experiences. I worked extremely hard and contemplated, why not work this hard for myself? I left Skirt to go back home to Arizona to take care of my Dad who was sick last March and started writing a business plan of my own. Six months later KIN was born.

Q: What sets KIN apart from other shops?
A: You can get an entire outfit at KIN right down to the hanky pankys. Pieces start at $25 and go up to $1000. You can easily get an entire outfit here for under $500, or you can buy that statement leather jacket for $650 that will live in your closet forever. I’m from the West and wanted to incorporate that type of ease into East Coast dressing, and the idea that your wardrobe should consist of elevated contemporary basics. We have local designers, Australian brands, and lots of West Coast vendors. When you are shopping at KIN, you can almost guarantee you won’t see our pieces in other stores. We have some crossover but for the most part I do my best to buy unique pieces from emerging designers. Some I’ve been wearing for decades. I grew up wearing Senso shoes and Adina Reyter Jewelry, and I love finding new designers and hearing their stories. I’d always prefer to work with smaller brands than big names because the quality is better and the overall experience is almost familial.  I want that energy to translate to the vibe of the store all the way down to where and who I purchase from.

I pretty much took all the things I didn’t agree with from managing other stores and tried to create a different experience. Fashion is and should be fun! Putting on a new outfit or getting a new pair of shoes can literally transform your day. A boutique experience doesn’t need to be stuffy.

I named the store KIN because my customers are like family; I text with them all the time, know their families, birthdays, and even spend holidays with them. When I buy, I’m thinking of what can be paired with that specific garment, how does the fit work with different proportioned bodies, and does the quality of materials make sense for the price? I try to stock trendier items under $125 and wardrobe staples at a higher price point. For example, a ponte black blazer will be in your closet for the better part of a decade whereas that printed romper may only last for a few summers. The store was designed as a walk-in closet. I wanted customers to feel like they were in their best friend's closet, sipping wine and playing dress up, but also understanding the cohesion behind the clothing to make the whole process of getting dressed effortless.  

Q: What are some goals you have for Kin? How do you see it evolving over time?
A: I am trying my hand at a pop-up in Margate, NJ at Stacey’s Surf & Paddle right now. It’s been a learning experience figuring out how to balance two stores but I’m grateful for the opportunity. I love the idea of having more pop-up locations, even over by the University or trying something more concrete during the summer months. My main goal when starting KIN was to be able to evolve and open more brick and mortar locations. I have a solid 5-year plan to really perfect my vision of KIN and then hopefully see if this business could translate in the West.

Q: One piece of advice to give anyone contemplating starting their own business?
A: DO IT! I kept waiting and waiting to take the leap. I kept telling myself, "I’ll manage this store and improve that location and then I’ll be ready," but I think that was fear holding me back. Obviously opening a business is terrifying! The rate of success is incredibly low, but if you’re true to yourself and creating something you love, then the time and effort involved is 100% worth it. Know your limits and know your strengths. Outsource and find people you trust to help with the parts of the business you might be less knowledgeable in. Once you invest or start a business plan, you just do it. There’s no looking back because you literally can’t and there isn’t time to worry about yourself or feel discouraged. Stay focused on your vision and focus on the work. Trust your gut and believe in yourself and you’ll be fine.

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If you'd like to check out KIN for yourself, pay Joey and the staff a visit at their beautiful flagship in Philadelphia on 1014 Pine St, Philadelphia, PA 19107. They are only a few steps away from our friends at Wax + Wine! As Joey mentioned, you can catch KIN at Stacey's Surf + Paddle in Margate, NJ during their summer activation too (I love the idea of popping up at the shore; brilliant!). KIN also hosts some fun shopping events in the city, so follow their Instagram account to keep up with what's next on the docket! Most recently, they began a Haute Dog Happy Hour series where they set up a cute refreshment stand in their back patio weekly from 5-8 for sips, bites and amazing deals! 

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I'm excited to continue to watch KIN evolve in the community (and to keep shopping there too, of course). Check them out, now! :)

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Spruce Lane Shops: Threads The Shop

Threads The Shop
Neighborhood: Manayunk
Vibe: Feminine, Trendy, Contemporary, Upscale
Good for: Women’s apparel, denim, shoes, accessories, jewelry

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Located in the heart of Manayunk on Main Street, Threads The Shop is a haven for urban shoppers with a chic sense of style. The boutique, although somewhat small in size, packs a punch with its impressive assortment of merchandise. Shop from the likes of popular brands such as Michael Stars, DL 1961, Agolde, 525 America, Zadig + Voltaire and more! Threads is great because it is a one stop shop women’s apparel and accessories with varying price points. The store carries shoes, bags, jewelry, tops, bottoms, dresses, you name it. Invest in a high value leather jacket, or get a good deal on adorable earrings. You can do it all here.

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Some of my favorite standout pieces while perusing the boutique included straw crossbody bags that are perfect for the summer, a pair of tortoise hoop earrings, statement skinny jeans from AG and a white floral and lace-trimmed top from Michael Stars. If that grouping doesn’t get you excited to shop contemporary women’s fashion, then I don’t know what else does!

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I also was lucky enough to speak briefly with shop owner and buyer, Anna Purcell, to learn a bit more about her background and how she was able to launch Threads in 2016. To make an already small world even smaller, it turns out that Anna is from the same hometown as my brother in-law, which is located in the Finger Lakes of New York. She went to school locally at St. Joe's University and began her early career in fashion working in wholesale. She wasn’t crazy about her initial jobs and working a 9-5 schedule (something I can very much relate to), so when she heard that a storefront in Manayunk was opening up, she took the leap and bought the space. How AWESOME is that? Having previously worked in wholesale, Anna always aspired to be on the buying side of fashion. So with the launch of her own shop, she attained that and so much more!

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I always am baffled by the entrepreneurial spirit that many of these store owners have when I speak with them. To leave corporate life and open your own store is a major risk and no easy task, but Anna and many other boutique owners make it look pretty darn easy! She runs the shop in tandem with her husband, and when I asked if they had any prior experience with running a small business, they both chuckled and said that most of what they do is self-taught and a learning process. Each day brings something new and they do their best to take it all in stride and enjoy the ride. *I didn’t even mean to make that rhyme, so apologies if it sounds a bit cheesy!

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As for Threads and its future, the shop is currently migrating more and more to online sales in addition to its brick and mortar outpost. Anna seems to have a nice client base going in Manayunk and has been focusing on catering to customer needs by offering seasonal wardrobe curations and styling services. I can attest to her loyal following, as I know a few friends and acquaintances off the top of my head who are regular shoppers at the store. That’s pretty impressive when it comes to small business and good ol’ word of mouth marketing.

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You can shop Threads online via their e-commerce site here, and also follow them on Instagram at @threads.the.shop to see when the latest items come in and how to perfectly style them! Threads is located at 4353 Main St, Philadelphia, PA 19127, so if you live in Manayunk or are taking a day trip out there, definitely stop in for some retail therapy. You won’t be disappointed!

Xo

Spruce Lane Shops: Meadowsweet Mercantile

Meadowsweet Mercantile
Neighborhood: Old City, Philadelphia
Vibe: Eclectic, Urban-chic, Artistic, Natural, Free Spirited
Good for: Textiles, vintage denim, t-shirts, locally made accessories, women’s apparel

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Meet Meadowsweet Mercantile in Old City, a veteran shop within the Philly retail landscape that has been on my watch list since I started Spruce Lane back in December. So, what is Meadowsweet Mercantile and why is it so great? Well, we can begin with the “what” by explaining that Meadowsweet is a gorgeous, spacious storefront that serves up an incredible mix of vintage denim and tees, along with other amazing apparel and accessories from some of the area's best local vendors. Considering that 90’s fashion is very much "in" at the moment, this shop is a haven for denim aficionados looking to channel laid back, street style vibes. You can also find an eclectic mix of t-shirts and colorful tops to pair perfectly with your newfound denim. Some of my favorite picks included a rainbow Phish band tee as well as a Camden Catholic High School Football long-sleeved shirt. My mother went to Camden Catholic so I knew she would get a kick out of seeing that. I mean, where else can you find such hidden gems?

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In addition to the rad vintage selection, Meadowsweet features a nice assortment of women’s apparel from long-time vendors Lilian Jackson Textiles and Riverside Tool and Dye, amongst others. Organized by every hue of the rainbow, these colorful organic cotton pieces are perfect for keeping cool during the dog days of summer we have ahead of us. The shop also offers a mix of home goods, gifts and accessories that are utterly charming. I absolutely loved the ceramics section with locally made mugs, catch-all dishes, bowls and more. We ended up buying a speckled trinket dish to go in our living room that brightens my day every time I see it. Basically, if you purchase anything from here you can rest assured know you are taking something very cool home with you. 

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So, onto the “why” part of my initial question. If you couldn’t tell from my aforementioned description of Meadowsweet and all it has to offer, the place really is something special. To add to the excitement of visiting this boutique, It is linked up with an awesome textile shop called Cuttalossa. Cuttalossa sells handmade linens, towels, pillows, napkins, you name it! Both stores’ aesthetics compliment one another so nicely and the entire space feels very cohesive. I really appreciate seeing local shop owners collaborate together like these two do. If you follow Meadowsweet Mercantile on Instagram, you will be able to keep tabs on the many exciting events these shops coordinate each season. There was a wine and cheese tasting in the spring that I was dying to attend (totally would have if I weren't traveling for my FT job, sigh). Hopefully there will be another opportunity soon!

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I chatted with store owner, Stacy Jackson, a bit to hear about her career leading up to the shop and what she finds important about running a small business given the market's competitive nature with online shopping and big name brands. Stacy has been involved with small business since her teens, accruing a wealth of knowledge through the many different professional hats she wore leading up to the launch of Meadowsweet in 2011. A few of her experiences included working at a coffee shop, a doctor's office, and eventually at Anthropologie's Walnut St. location. Each experience helped shape her views on comparing the nuances of small vs. big businesses and what is required operationally to manage each type. Jackson emphasizes that merchandising and special events are other key components to staying fresh in the Philly boutique scene. Shopping online has become so convenient (and an obvious threat to small business owners), but a visually appealing space with one of a kind pieces and interactive elements such as DIY workshops or designer pop-ups is unrivaled in e-commerce. These are the tangible things that make Meadowsweet and many of Philly's other small boutiques so special and irreplaceable. 

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I really believe that shops like Meadowsweet Mercantile, and many of the others I've featured on this blog are a crucial part of the city; more than many people realize. Could you imagine if you walked down the streets of Old City and only could find big name stores like Kohl's, Target, Williams Sonoma, etc.? *No particular judgment on those companies, just the first that came to my mind. Life would be so boring and commercialized! Meadowsweet, and boutique shops in general represent a pillar of Philadelphia's tourism. They are just as important as the many superb restaurants and sights the city has to offer. 

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Experience the charm of Meadowsweet Mercantile for yourself by visiting the shop located at 47 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Heck, you may even see me there shopping for my next pair of denim shorts, because I'm just about done with my old pair of H&M ones. Their beautiful Instagram feed is another way to stay connected, so shoot them a follow at @meadowsweetmercantile.  

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Shop on.

Spruce Lane Shops: Voloshin

Voloshin
Neighborhood: Kensington, PA
Vibe: Bohemian, natural, chic, feminine
Good for: Womenswear, easy dressing, fun prints, natural textiles

Discover Voloshin, a luxury womenswear brand based in Philadelphia’s Kensington Neighborhood that is known for its effortlessly chic aesthetic and high quality apparel. The interior photos also might look somewhat familiar, because their studio is based in the same building as Plume and Thread, another fantastic local brand that I covered a few months back this spring. Prior to my visit, Voloshin had been on my radar as the brand is carried in many of my favorite local shops; a few to name include Kin, Vagabond, Vestige, Moon & Arrow, and Harvey Oak Mercantile. Pretty impressive lineup, if I don’t say so myself!

The brand's founder, Amy Voloshin, is one very talented lady. Her early career began in design at Urban Outfitters and Free People, which was followed by the development of her highly successful print design business, Printfresh Studio. With an innate love for creativity as well as an entrepreneurial spirit, Amy took the plunge and simultaneously launched two more brands, printfresh (the label) and Voloshin in 2017. Printfresh is a stationery brand known for playing with fun textiles and prints to form durable notebooks, desk pads, and other small items. As Amy describes it, it reads more "fashion" than it does paper. And I LOVE that! Because really, no one else has seemed to successfully find her unique balance of style, whimsy and sophistication when it comes to paper products. I have a copper metallic tablet in my house and love it's simple elegance. In terms of inspiration, Amy said she hadn’t come across a notebook she truly loved, so she wanted to create one for herself. It was that simple. With the will, skill, and determination, you can leverage those creative juices and make something for yourself, and that’s exactly what Amy has done with both of her brands.

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As I toured the studios, which are actually managed in tandem with her husband Leo, I learned more about Amy’s business evolution. Downstairs is home to Printfresh Studio, and what I would describe as a creative’s labyrinth. Seen here are multiple desk stations where artists ideate new prints, as well as racks on racks on racks of prints and vintage pieces that inspire fashion designers from the likes of New York, Los Angeles, and more.

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We walked upstairs (past Amy and Leo’s gorgeous office space - I'll get to that later) to Voloshin’s showroom where I was able to peek at the brand’s latest collection: Pre Fall 2018. The collection was gorgeous and demonstrated Voloshin's simple sophistication to a tee. Wrap dresses with chalky reds, olive greens, and navy prints were intertwined with striped tanks and trousers that all paired perfectly! I couldn’t help but remark at how much I loved the colors and patterns and Amy replied stating, “there is an art in finding the balance of designing a cohesive collection that doesn't feel too matchy-matchy”. Well, she definitely hit the head on the nail with this one!

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The inspiration behind the collection comes from the idea of a young woman with an affinity for Chinoiserie and Japanese Textiles. It draws from Victorian fabrics and details, mixed with touches of Japanese antiques and ephemera. The fabrics are unique and natural, including cotton-linen blends, a cotton double gauze, and the use of special block printing techniques to add flair to simpler and more modest materials.

I obviously loved the show-stopper Kazuko Linen Wrap Dress, but other more subtle pieces caught my eye as well, including the Setsuko Maxi Slip Dress, the Jovita Dress, and the Kyouko Paper Bag Palazzo Pant. They serve as perfect staple pieces for those transitional months from summer into fall.

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As my visit was wrapping up, I asked Amy if it was OK to photograph her and Leo’s office, mainly because it was what I like to call "interior design GOALS". The space could not be more stylish and is a nice reflection of the creative pair that they are. The textured carpet, touches of plant life, statement light fixtures, and sprawling desks all added up to a perfect professional (yet creative) setting. If only I could trade my office desk for a setup like that! I must say that the studio as a whole (that encompasses both Voloshin and Printfresh) is very impressive. The exposed brick coupled with the modern lighting, vintage textiles and upholstery, and sweeping views of the city were all a real treat. 

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Prior to leaving, I observed the shipping area and briefly inquired about Voloshin’s manufacturing process. Amy proudly explained how everything is ethically made in India, emphasizing how every stigma and assumption she once carried about overseas production was shattered after witnessing her factory's positive environment. I'd say that really was the cherry on top to learning about this fantastic brand and all it has to offer. 

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To conclude, I find myself reflecting about how one of my main objectives of Spruce Lane is to become a credible platform of discovery for local brands, purveyors and artisans. Voloshin couldn't be a better example of that and I'm delighted to have had the opportunity to get an insider's tour of Amy's incredible talent! 

As I mentioned, you can shop Voloshin in many different ways. Shop locally here in Philadelphia or at other top stockists across the country! You also can find say hello to them at numerous local pop up shops, flea markets and design festivals, or to make it easy on yourself, simply visit their website and give them a follow on Instagram at @voloshin

Keep on shoppin'!

Spruce Lane Shops: Millay

Millay
Neighborhood: Manayunk, PA
Vibe: Feminine, natural, serene, posh
Good for: Vintage finds, jewelry, accessories, gifts, apothecary, home

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Take a step inside Millay, the beautifully curated vintage shop in located in Philadelphia’s Manayunk neighborhood. This shop has been on my list of places to visit quite some time now due to its impressive vintage assortment and amazing Instagram content. With its light and airy motifs, complete with the perfect touches of natural greenery, the interiors alone set this boutique apart from many others. The creative and artistic vision of owner, Mary Spears, is very apparent throughout the space.

  Featuring a 1960's Floral Mod Maxi Shirtdress With Pockets &amp; Belt; $75

Featuring a 1960's Floral Mod Maxi Shirtdress With Pockets & Belt; $75

Millay specializes in mixing vintage and modern clothing, and contextualizing them both to have a timeless appeal. Vintage ranging from the early 1900's-1990's comprises about 60% of the shop's inventory while modern ethical* designers make up the other 40%. On each vintage item, the hang tag details what era the piece is from and helps translate sizing to today’s standards, which was an interesting tidbit to learn. I didn’t even consider that the sizing scales have shifted over the years. Overall, regardless of the era or being modern vs. vintage, everything here feels wearable which is great.

*Ethical meaning the designers do not use polyester or other synthetics when producing their garments. 

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Aside from the beautiful clothing, you can also shop gifts, home goods, apothecary, jewelry and accessories here. All items are made by emerging female artisans from the US and abroad, which I love. Girl power! I noticed a few of my own favorite local brands gracing Millay’s shelves, including candles and apothecary from Zoet Bathlatier and jewelry from Whim.

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As I’m sure you know by now, I love to learn how the shops that I visit develop into what they are today. They all tend to include similar components of very hard work, some raw talent, and sometimes, a pinch of luck. The scenario is no different here. The name Millay takes inspiration from Mary’s favorite poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, the first female Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry in the 1910s. She told me that Millay really started as a hobby of collecting vintage goods from local flea markets, antique shows, or auctions for her home that previously was in Boston. When her stock started to pile up, she decided to sell some goods on Etsy to make some extra money while in graduate school. After using Etsy for some time, Mary grew tired of selling through a 3rd party and wanted to evolve Millay into something of its own. This is when she learned how to code and launched her online business - talk about some serious motivation and brainpower! The site quickly garnered some press attention, as Millay was one of the first shops to successfully curate vintage in a modernized way, launching Mary and her brand into the spotlight.

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Three years ago, Mary and her husband relocated from Boston to Philadelphia. While her husband attended medical school here, Mary continued to grow Millay and opened the Manayunk storefront, which was previously owned by another fantastic vintage shop called Meadowsweet Mercantile (another one on my "to feature list”!). Meadowsweet is now in Old City, but I love the synergy between these small business owners and how everything feels connected and supportive. 

  Featuring a 1940's Vibrant Embroidered Peasant Blouse With Pockets; $105 (I'm obsessed with this!)

Featuring a 1940's Vibrant Embroidered Peasant Blouse With Pockets; $105 (I'm obsessed with this!)

Fast forward to today, and here we are! Millay is about to undergo another big transformation. On May 13th, the doors will bittersweetly (I'm not entirely sure if that’s a real word but it feels like the best one to use) close in Manayunk, but for good reason. Mary and her husband are going back to their roots in Boston, and she is taking Millay with her! Luckily for us Philadelphians, the online shop still exists so we still have access to many of these incredible items. But, with that being said, since time is limited I highly encourage all of you to get over to Manayunk to check out Millay and shop many of its one-of-a-kind items. Personally, I haven’t spent much time in Manayunk up until this point, but Millay's street is super charming and has tons of action around it. You could totally make a day out of your visit, grabbing lunch or dinner nearby.

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All in all, Millay totally lived up to my dreamy Instagram expectations. The store itself is beyond beautiful and there were numerous vintage pieces I would love to buy and wear this summer. I’ve never really shopped vintage clothing before, so Millay has done a great job of opening my eyes and mind to this sector. Lastly, Mary is super talented, knowledgeable, and a great person to chat with if you’re simply interested in fashion, entrepreneurship, art history, and things of that nature. Stop by Millay during its final weeks in Manayunk to celebrate and experience this awesome boutique! Wishing Mary, Millay, and her hilarious dog “General Gazpacho” (who makes guest appearances on Millay’s Instagram account) the best of luck in their new and exciting chapter!

Shop on,
Spruce Lane

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Spruce Lane Shops: Plume and Thread

Spruce Lane Shops: Plume and Thread
Neighborhood: Kensington, Philadelphia
Vibe: Free spirited, feminine, quality comfort and leisure
Good for: Women’s wear, leisure wear, sun dresses, fun prints, jogger pants

Meet Plume and Thread, the womenswear apparel brand based near Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood. For this post, I’m slightly veering off my usual circuit of local retail, but for good reason – to give you an insider’s view of Plume and Thread’s industrial-chic studio as well as its unique brand philosophy that distinguishes itself from others.

To give you some context on the brand, Plume and Thread (P+T) was created by Jodi Schaff in a somewhat out of the ordinary manner. Jodi comes from a background in landscape design, but always had a natural sense of creativity and valued excellent craftsmanship, which ultimately brought her into the fashion world. Little by little Jodi began to experiment with producing her own clothing, and eventually was noticed by a local store owner who took interest in one of her pieces. The store owner asked Jodi to bring more of her samples of her work to the store, and the rest is history. Years later, here we are in Plume and Thread’s studio discussing her clothing line that is sold in over 300 stores in the country.*

In terms of product assortment, I previewed P+T’s spring line so I was able to peruse a number of beautiful printed maxi dresses, nautical striped shirts, feminine wrap dresses, the most comfortable jogger pants I’ve ever felt, and much, much more. The pieces are very versatile and can be worn on many occasions by a wide audience of both younger and older women. I also must say that the clothes were really a treat for my senses. Visually, the detailed prints and vibrant color palettes kept my eye bouncing from one item to the next, while texturally every piece felt soft and delicate to the touch. It was a unique combination that often gets lost or forgotten about in today’s world of fast fashion and trendy looks. These characteristics are no accident though, as the Plume and Thread brand pride itself on being USA-made, particularly with much of the production taking place within a 5-mile radius from their studio.

  Photo courtesy of Plume and Thread

Photo courtesy of Plume and Thread

Some of the print making takes place in California, but the cutting, sewing and final touches happen in here in good old Philadelphia. Jodi could have easily outsourced this work overseas, like many brands do, but then she wouldn’t have the quality control or level of involvement in her designs that she currently has. She drew an interesting parallel that I had never considered before when she posed the question, “why do people prefer buying produce from their local farmer’s market, and why do people gravitate towards a local flower shop over the supermarket?”. It’s the same reason she goes local with her manufacturers – because she knows them on a personal basis which builds an unparalleled level of rapport and trust. There is no cutting corners with this brand, which I love. Everything is done with thought and intention, hence their motto, “Mindful, Alive, Considerate”.

  Photo courtesy of Plume and Thread

Photo courtesy of Plume and Thread

During my visit, we spent some additional time chatting about the industry as a whole, particularly the importance of integrity in the fashion world and how P+T’s mission is to make women feel strong and their best selves when wearing these clothes. It was uplifting to talk with such like-minded individuals who have similar passions: a love for all things local, an appreciation for high quality design, and a “pay it forward” mentality, since at the end of the day we all care about fashion and want to help each other grow and succeed.

The Plume and Thread ladies were kind enough to send me home with a print maxi dress that I’ve already worn during my trip to Florida. It is perfect for the beach due to its relaxed feel (I’m not kidding, it’s so soft) yet feminine design. Each time I wear it, I’ll be able to reflect upon my visit to P+T’s Kensington studio and all of the interesting things I learned about this awesome brand. I’ll understand the amount of thought, work, and love that went into this dress and smile because it was made right here in the City of Brotherly Love.  

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Plume and Thread is sold at local retailers throughout the US and Canada (the full list can be found here), and also is developing their e-commerce business. You can follow their Instagram account @plumeandthread for updates on fun product giveaways, the brand’s involvement in the local community, and also visit their site’s blog to read more about Jodi’s unique and inspiring philosophy.

*To read the full article on Jodi’s background and the development of Plume and Thread, visit http://www.philly.com/philly/home/Plume-Thread-Jodi-Schaff-meet-your-maker.html

Spruce Lane Shops: Elan

Elan
Neighborhood: Newtown Square, PA
Vibe: Chic, feminine, contemporary, posh
Good for: Women’s apparel, accessories, jewelry, handbags

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How many times have you found yourself making the rounds internet shopping for a special occasion but are never able to land on something that’s the right price, size or style? I was in the midst of planning my sister’s baby shower and wanted something extra feminine and fashion forward to sport for the party. March is always a tough time of year for occasion-wear though, so it made my search particularly challenging. Do I go with sleeves, and if so, short or long? Open or close toed shoes? Dark or light colors? I found a dress on sale at Shopbop that was pretty basic but was the right shade of pink and had a nice silhouette. I held off from buying for a day or two to continue to look around, and of course when I checked back, the dress was no longer on sale and was way out of my price range! Ah, the woes of online shopping.

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Thankfully, Elan came to the rescue and posted the perfect spring dress on their Instagram for a baby shower, bridal shower, or really any sort of spring/summer occasion. After already being disappointed once on my “dress quest” (did I just coin a new fashion term..?), I quickly slid up into their DM’s and told them I needed that dress and would be in to shop the next weekend. One of their stylists then kindly offered to put the dress aside for me, it was easy as that! 

  Here we are for my sister's baby shower! I am on the left wearing a floral dress from Elan.

Here we are for my sister's baby shower! I am on the left wearing a floral dress from Elan.

Elan means “distinctive and stylish elegance; impulsive, confident energy”. Although I’d like to give myself credit for coming up with something as posh that, I didn’t just pull it out of thin air. The definition is written in beautiful block letters behind the store’s cashier. To explain things a bit further, Elan is a new and trendy boutique located in the suburban town of Newtown Square, PA and is the sister shop to Per Lei, a veteran high-end womenswear store in Media, PA. While Per Lei is amazing in its own right, Elan is special because it sells elevated apparel and accessories at more accessible price points, usually near or below $100. This is great for me and my millennial starter-salary that hasn’t spiked (yet).

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While browsing the racks and accessories, I got that feverish feeling of excitement I get when I feel like I’ve found a hidden gem of a shop that speaks to my style and taste perfectly. I recall experiencing a similar feeling at Cash and Clive in Cape May, NJ but that’s another story for another time. Anyway, my baby shower dress fit so I knew I was investing my dollars towards that, but I also was simultaneously formulating a list of needs for my next visit to Elan because everything was so great. They have the most adorable mini bucket bags that come in soft spring shades of pink, blue, and light grey and are paired with chic distressed jeans and pastel knit sweaters. The bucket bags are under $100 and looked and felt of very high quality, which was amazing. Elan also boasts a great jewelry selection that ranges from subtle gold chain necklaces to bold statement rings and earrings so there’s really something for everyone in their selection. You also can shop hats, scarves, candles and more, aside from the amazing clothes.

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What I also really appreciated about this store was its layout. It’s very clean and simple which can help more than you realize when shopping for apparel. To me, it had the right amount of stock available; just enough for me to easily browse through the racks and accessory displays without feeling lost or overwhelmed by too much product jammed into one space.

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I learned this lesson during my days of working in PR at a high end private showroom in New York City. We would often be criticized if we displayed too much product, prompting the higher ups to scoff and say, “what is this some sort of bazaar?” I have to say although I’m not as extreme, the rule has stuck with me going forward. Philly is known for its vintage shops which all are very cool and have lots of personality, but I never can actually shop in them because my eye can barely land on one thing. At Elan, I was able to view everything and fall in love with items very quickly! Which is what you want when you’re running a store, right?

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Elan recently opened this past August, and with such high caliber clothing and accessories, I am sure it will be around for many more years to come. I’m thrilled to have found this awesome suburban outpost and I hope that if you’re in the area looking for an upscale yet surprisingly affordable place to shop, you take a peek inside too. And Elan stylists, if you are reading, I will be coming back for a bucket bag if they’re still there! :)

Keep calm and shop on!

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Spruce Lane Shops: Petit Jardin en Ville

Petit Jardin en Ville
Neighborhood: Old City, Philadelphia
Vibe: Refined, Classical, European, Parisian, Elegant, Composed

Good for: Floral and Gardening Services, Gifts, Fresh Flowers

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Welcome to Petit Jardin en Ville, a beautiful flower studio located in the heart of Philadelphia's Old City Neighborhood. Petit Jardin en Ville draws its inspiration from Paris, if you couldn't tell already from its French name that translates to "small garden in town". The studio quite literally fits this description, except I would add a few more adjectives such as exquisite and elegant as well. 

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When I visited the studio, I had the pleasure of meeting Claudia and Vincent, who are husband and wife and also co-owners of the business. Claudia is originally from the Greater Philadelphia Area, but spent years abroad in living in France studying floral design under a prominent local florist. Her husband Vincent is from France and specializes in garden design from his many years of working on his family's orchard. Together, the pair decided to join their creative forces and relocate to Old City, Philadelphia to pursue their dreams of opening a local floral and gardening business. So here we are today. 

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Petit Jardin en Ville's elaborate exterior is what initially drew my attention to the store. Through my past years in New York and now Philadelphia too, I haven't seen anything quite like it. Claudia mentioned they've experimented with different exterior designs that have proven to be successful with attracting new clients and customers. This taught me to never underestimate the power of a strong exterior and/or window display.

The inside, however, is just as beautiful as the outside. You really can pick up on Claudia and Vincent's classical aesthetics through the colorful arrangements of roses, lavender, and greenery sprinkled in here and there. They also display an impressive set of vintage pieces they've collected during their frequent trips to Paris for inspiration. Between the beautiful florals and quintessentially French design, you really will feel as if you've been transported to Europe when visiting the studio. Aside from flowers, gifts, candles, and vases are also for sale. 

In addition to being a retail space, Petit Jardin en Ville offers a number of private services for floral designweddings and events, corporate services, as well as garden design and maintenance. I was able to also take a peek into their outdoor living showroom located just around the corner. Here, clients can view beautiful garden and patio spaces that can serve as inspiration for custom designs. For now, this showroom is by-appointment only but Vincent is hoping to convert it to a retail space similar to the flower studio soon. 

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I asked Vincent if he missed living in France, given how vastly different it seems from Philadelphia. He cheerfully proved me wrong, saying that Old City very much feels like a European city, with its quaint sidewalks dotted with many small local shops and historical charm. When you look at it that way, he's right. I'm really excited to see where things go with Petit Jardin en Ville. Between the development of its outdoor living showroom, veteran flower shop, and participation in Philadelphia's local Design District, this independent business has a lot of promise for a bright future.

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Speaking of bright, the next time you simply want to brighten up your day or stop and smell the flowers, I encourage you to visit Petit Jardin en Ville. You won't regret it. 

For all updates on PJEV, follow them on Instagram at @petitjardinenville

Au Revoir! 

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Spruce Lane Shops: Weekend

Weekend
Neighborhood: Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia
Vibe: Artistic, gallery-like, minimalism, community-based, refined
Good for: Home goods, gifts, accessories, artwork, plants

Spruce Lane is proud to break its first piece of news to the Philadelphia shopping community! We want to extend a very warm welcome to Weekend, a new home, gifts, and lifestyle shop that opened a few weeks ago in Philadelphia's Graduate Hospital neighborhood. You may however already be familiar with the store owner, Ethan Nguyen, because his sister shop, M Concept is conveniently located across the street. 

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Both M Concept and Weekend pride themselves on putting the spotlight on made local goods by independent designers and brands. The main difference though are the scopes. M Concept is Ethan's fashion-centric outlet, selling apparel, jewelry, and handbags made by emerging designers. Conversely, Weekend is a curated space for the home, offering beautiful pieces of artwork, candles, linens, coasters and more, exclusively made by Philadelphia-based artisans. 

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I was curious about how Nguyen goes about scouting new vendors to feature in his stores and he explained it really boils down to relationships and networking. He knows many of his designers on a personal level and often commissions special pieces to be made, adding to the exclusivity factor of his spaces. 

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I must say that the sense of community in Philadelphia is very apparent after having spent some time bouncing around many local businesses in the area, and especially after chatting with Nguyen. It makes me believe that there really is truth behind the age-old saying of Philadelphia being the City of Brotherly Love. I can't help but compare my experiences here to my time previously spent in New York City and can conclude that New York's sense of community and camaraderie gets lost in translation due to its grandiosity. The energy of New York City certainly is unparalleled, but there's something also to be said about slowing down and admiring things that are made or stores that are run on a smaller, more intimate level. 

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It felt incredibly refreshing stepping inside Weekend and observing the hard work that goes into not only curating such a beautiful store, but also on behalf of all of the local artisans who produce such wonderful products and designs. Some call-outs include beautiful embroidered linens by Alyssa Brieanne Design, sumptuous candles by Zuzuglow, amazingly intricate aerials by Stitch Prism, and handcrafted ceramics by Miki Palchik of Clay Studio Designs. I also enjoyed the gallery-feel the shop had, as each assortment was complimented by a small informational card that detailed the artisan and his or her line of work. 

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As we made our way out to continue on with the rest of our day, we chatted with Nguyen a bit more about the shop's immediate neighborhood, local bloggers, et cetera and true to his nature, he was an encyclopedia of Philly insider knowledge. He listed a few suggestions of accounts for me to follow, blogger groups to become involved with, and gave us a great nearby lunch recommendation (@milestable). This "pay it forward" mentality is something that I truly appreciate and believe Spruce Lane and Weekend have in common; a passion for promoting and supporting local talent.

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As we all know, Philly sometimes gets a bad rep with many outsiders calling us cold, mean and aggressive, but step inside Weekend and that all changes. Weekend shows that we're creative, artistic, hard working, and so much more. With that being said, enjoy the rest of your weekend and visit the shop located at 1533 South St. You can also stay up to date with all of M Concept and Weekend's latest developments by following @mconcept_and_weekend on Instagram. 

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Spruce Lane Shops: Art in the Age

Art in the Age
Neighborhood: Old City, Philadelphia
Vibe: Artistic, rustic, community-focused, niche, creative, upscale
Good for: Anything and everything bar-related: books, glassware, decanters, flasks, mixers PLUS gifts, accessories and more

 Art in the Age

Art in the Age

When I first dove into Spruce Lane and started to do my research for places to see, I knew Art in the Age in Old City was a key player, but wasn’t exactly sure what it entailed as it’s so different (in a good way) from most traditional boutiques. “Is it a store, or a bar? What kind of things can you buy there?” were some of the questions I asked myself. With an Instagram following of 20K+ users, this place had to be something special. Once I was able to finally visit Art in the Age myself, everything seemed to click and I understood why it has such a great reputation and high level of respect from the local community. 

 Art in the Age

Art in the Age

Art in the Age (AITA for short) is a home bar supply store and tasting room. That’s right, two concepts in one shop which makes it a very cool place to experience. Through their Instagram account, I saw that they were hosting a release party for a new spirit and decided to buy tickets for the event with my boyfriend. It was the debut of their Fortunato’s Fate whiskey in partnership with local distillery, New Liberty, and also was part of The Rosenbach’s super fun Bibliococktails Series. Again, we weren’t really sure what to expect but we figured it’d be a fun way to see AITA for the first time while also grabbing a drink after work. When we walked in, we were very pleasantly surprised. Not only because the store was strikingly beautiful, but also because it was full of people and we were right on time for the event! Having coordinated these types of events in previous jobs of mine, I knew this turnout was impressive. When we beat the crowd to the bar (that is inside of the store), we ordered two specialty Fortunato's Fate cocktails that were both very tasty and went down smoothly. We also really enjoyed hearing from “The Philly Poe Guy” who humorously spoke at length about the historical context of the whiskey’s name, as it was inspired from Edgar Allen Poe’s short story, The Cask of Amontillado.

 Art in the Age

Art in the Age

This overarching theme of showing an appreciation for local history while adding a modern twist became very prevalent after attending the event and later touring the rest of the AITA shop. The store's name is actually derived from Walter Benjamin’s 1935 essay, Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, paying homage to Benjamin's affinity for American craftsmanship and heritage which is clearly reflected within the store and overall brand.

 Art in the Age

Art in the Age

For us shoppers who are dying to know more about what you can buy here, the list of bar-related items is extensive, so I’ll shout out a few things that stood out to me.

  1. Books - If you want to educate yourself on the makings of a specific cocktail or the anatomy of your favorite spirit, then you are in luck. There is a heap of really cool, creative cocktail recipe books here. The colorful Bloody Mary book cover jumped out at me. I'd love to display this in a bright, sunny kitchen or on a coffee table at home. 

  2. Glassware - There is a specific area dedicated purely to beautiful decanters, tumblers, shakers, stirrers, you name it. This is definitely the place to go if you want to impress your significant other, or anyone really, with a very nice piece to add to their barware collection. AITA also has a unique collection of vintage items too for the more serious collectors. 

  3. Spirits + Mixers - Well, obviously you will find a wide variety here considering that Art in the Age is a cordial brand itself and converted into an 'artists' collective' retail space ten years ago. You can shop from their line of products that have incredibly creative tastes (Sierra Fig and Black Trumpet Blueberry, anyone?), as well as spirits from the aforementioned New Liberty Distillery along with syrups, bitters, mixers, and more. Oh yes, and they also have booze-flavored lollipops if that's up your alley. The margarita flavor was pretty intriguing.

  4. Home, Gifts, Apparel - To top it all off, you can shop from a variety of unique gifts and AITA branded apparel here too. Shop herbal teas from local vendor, Terra Luna, as well as small batch soaps, cute stationery, and pantry items. The AITA logo is very cool, so I'm definitely contemplating buying myself a t-shirt to rock around the streets of Philadelphia. 

 Art in the Age

Art in the Age

After the event, my boyfriend and I came back to AITA on a Saturday morning to do this shoot and learn a little more about the store and brand. Upon taking another tour, we left feeling humbled by the level of expertise each staff member had about the retail space, spirits industry, and brand heritage. What a great and unique post to have in the Philadelphia community, we thought. I plan to come back to experience the tasting room during happy hour and hopefully attend another workshop or event. To keep an eye on all things AITA and see what's next on their ever-evolving schedule, follow them on Instagram at @artintheage.

Till next time!

 Art in the Age

Art in the Age

Spruce Lane Shops: The Geisha House

The Geisha House
Neighborhood: Old City, Philadelphia
Vibe: Chic, feminine, bohemian, contemporary, free-spirited
Good for: Women’s apparel, resort wear, denim, accessories, dresses, dresses, and more dresses

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This past Thursday evening I paid a highly anticipated visit to The Geisha House in Old City and loved every second of it. I initially stumbled upon this store a few months back on a beautiful October day during the Philly Free Streets event, where the Mayor shut down the streets in Old City making them 100% pedestrian and cyclist friendly.

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Before I get into the details of The Geisha House, I want to firstly gush over the block it’s located on (aka one of my dream neighborhoods to live in). To me, this block feels like the equivalent of being in SoHo in New York City, which is one of the top shopping neighborhoods in all of Manhattan. I used to work in SoHo for a period of time, so anything reminiscent of it touches a special place in my heart! I love how quaint this area is, but also how it is so full of creative energy, entrepreneurial spirit, and style.

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I stopped in The Geisha House around 6pm and the store was buzzing with shoppers, which again is the sign of a healthy and thriving small business. I met the owner, Cortney, and her mother who both were a great pleasure to chat with. I asked Cortney how long she had been in business for and she said proudly, “six years!”. I could tell she was a veteran based not only on the beautiful assortment of apparel and accessories she housed, but also by the fun and friendly way she interacted with each of her customers. They all seemed to know her on some personal level which made the store feel even more intimate and part of this special Philadelphia-based fashion community.

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The clothes were fun and extremely stylish. Resort wear was out in the front of the store, so I spent some time perusing the many beautiful sundresses, tops, and denim pieces that would all be perfect for a long weekend getaway down south, or of course for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. Notable styles included a pale yellow gingham dress by Faithfull The Brand, a Pistola brando cropped denim jacket adorned with stars, and a Spell and the Gypsy strappy dress that seems so fun to twirl around in. I couldn’t help but try on a white, short-sleeved button down linen dress from Moon River that caught my eye. Its a-line silhouette and tortoise shell buttons looked so timeless that I knew it would be a worthy piece to add to my spring wardrobe. After putting it on and envisioning a warm summer breeze blowing through my hair, I was sold and made my way to the register where Cortney’s adorable golden retriever was peacefully resting nearby.

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As I checked out, I inquired about Cortney’s career path leading up to the opening of The Geisha House. The more I develop Spruce Lane, the more I fantasize about opening up my own shop one day, so I love to hear stories about how these special small businesses came to fruition. To my surprise, Cortney had a nursing background with little to no professional experience in retail buying, which I thought had to be a prerequisite to opening your own boutique! She said her family (while nodding towards her mother who was organizing the racks) had already been in small business and that she had a natural interest in fashion. Combine the two notions, and you have a boutique! She emphasized that she spent a considerable amount of time business planning during the early years of her career, which had to have been challenging. I found this to be very interesting and inspiring. Running an extremely successful shop for 6+ years in the nation’s 6th largest city is no easy feat. You can very much tell that a lot of love goes into The Geisha House when you step inside the store (I mean, just look at the photos), which is probably one of the many reasons why it remains a top local shopping destination in Philadelphia today.

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For constant updates on new releases, promotions, and more, follow The Geisha House on Instagram @thegeishahouse if you don’t already! It’s one of my favorite accounts.

On a closing note, cheers to Cortney and The Geisha House for being so awesome! I can say with confidence that I’ll be back to shop again soon and hopefully after reading this post, you will take a peek inside too!

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Spruce Lane Shops: Ritual Ritual

Ritual Ritual
Neighborhood: Northern Liberties, Philadelphia
Vibe: Artistic, edgy, bohemian, spiritual, eclectic, whimsical
Good for: Jewelry, Watches, Vintage, Gifts, Apothecary, Stationery, Little Bit of Everything

Ritual Ritual in Northern Liberties. Where do I start? This place is sooo cool (sorry about the fangirling but I can’t help it). I really love stores that effortlessly put you in their setting. What I mean is that when you step inside, you’re entering into their special, beautifully crafted world that has this unique ambiance where everything makes sense. Woah, that was kind of deep, but that is how I felt when I discovered Ritual Ritual.

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Ritual Ritual has been around for about three years now and has definitely made a strong name for itself within Philly’s boutique scene. I’ve read about the store in several prominent titles including Racked and Philly Mag, and also have followed the Founder and Owner, Angela Monaco’s, evolution a bit as well. Angela is an entrepreneur, jewelry designer, and metalsmith (pretty cool, I know). She first started out by launching her own jewelry line called Concrete Polish in 2009, that eventually developed into a jewelry studio and showroom to showcase her beautiful work. After achieving some success, her Concrete Polish studio expanded into a shop called Ritual Ritual, which serves as a creative collective to host numerous independent designers and brands alike, in addition to her own. This is actually a common theme I am finding as I explore these PA-based boutiques. I appreciate how these store owners are giving back to their communities, by lending their boutiques as a platform for other local artists, designers, vendors, etc. to become discovered. This is obviously a topic I am really passionate about, hence the entire concept behind Spruce Lane.

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Sorry, got off on a bit of a tangent there. To make a long story short, Angela most recently reincarnated again by rebranding Concrete Polished into a namesake, fine jewelry brand called Angela Monaco Jewelry. Concrete still exists, but is now categorized as fashion and at a more entry price point. You can find her beautiful designs, along with jewelry from other local designers all at Ritual Ritual.

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Aside from the jewels, which again is kind of the bread and butter of this place, you can also find an extensive line of amazing apothecary goods, candles, plants, stationary, and vintage clothing at this store. There’s a little bit of everything here, but what remains consistent is the quirky, eclectic vibe that each piece embodies. There are tarot cards, a mix of funny pins and patches, different symbolic crystals, and a full blown healing room! The store was hosting tarot readings the afternoon I came in, but you also can get a massage there. What other store blends healing, spirituality, design, and retail so seamlessly?

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Although the store itself was absolutely delightful, my favorite part was exploring Angela’s creative station. She kindly gave me free rein of the back portion of her store and I felt really inspired seeing her countless design tools sprawled out amid an adjacent mood board mounted on the wall. I could really see her talent and passion through observing her workshop. It’s unique, and a testament to the success she’s achieved as a designer and entrepreneur in Philadelphia.

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So, with that being said if you find yourself in the Northern Liberties neighborhood any time soon, you should most definitely pay Ritual Ritual a visit. It’s a veteran shop and I can assure you, you will find yourself lost in time taking in all of the beautiful baubles this special place has to offer.

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Spruce Lane Shops: DFTI Boutique

Dress For The Image Boutique
Neighborhood: Center City, Philadelphia
Vibe: Trendy, glam, upbeat, contemporary, playful, feminine
Good for: Going-out clothes, fun festival and resort-wear, statement accessories

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DFTI Boutique, also known as Dress For The Image, is a unique and fun place to visit. I initially discovered it through Philly Style Magazine’s Instagram a while back, and made a mental note to try and visit one day. Luckily that note stuck with me and months later I found myself checking the store out this past weekend. Hooray for when things like that actually work out!

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The boutique itself is somewhat small, but inside it’s packed with abundant flare and personality. For a Saturday afternoon, the place was buzzing with shoppers, families, dogs, babies, you name it! I was quite impressed with the traffic. There are two main sections to look out for: upstairs with the latest releases, and downstairs with current season styles and fitting rooms. I would describe the overall style here as trendy and contemporary, with a hint of West Coast vibes. Think a la Revolve or For Love and Lemons. And maybe I was picking up some Cali vibes because the store had spring/resort-wear out, and I have worn nothing but wool sweaters for the past three months. Sighh..

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Anyway, back to the fashion! The thing that makes DFTI really special is that the items they feature are super cute but don’t come with the discouraging price tag that you typically see at these types of shops. Everything in the store is $100 or less. I repeat, EVERYTHING in the store is $100 or less. I had to say it twice because it was almost too good to be true. The spring apparel was so fun to peruse, with lemon prints, polka dot sets, and the cutest striped cactus romper I’ve ever seen. DTFI has some really great accessories too. There were statement earrings galore, metallic cross-body bags, rose-gold chain necklaces and bracelets that are all perfect for completing your new flirty look. Most importantly, you will immediately encounter an adorable miniature Yorkie which is pretty sweet and definitely the way I like to start my shopping.

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All in all, DFTI is the place to go for picking out an eye-catching, yet affordable piece to wear during your next night out, trip, or special occasion. I just booked a weekend getaway to Siesta Key (I’ve been there before the MTV show came out, just saying..) and could envision myself wearing everything I saw on the racks during my trip. Hence, why I plan to come back to DFTI before I travel to boost my vacay wardrobe (and you should too). After all, Coachella recently released their 2018 lineup and with a visit to DFTI, you could be one of the best dressed there. Just an idea, hint hint!

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Spruce Lane Shops: WorKS Kennett Square

WorKS Kennett Square
Neighborhood: Kennett Square, PA
Vibe: Industrial chic, eclectic, artisanal
Good for: Vintage goods, homeware, handmade jewelry, leather goods, children's items, gifts

WorKS first caught my eye on Instagram when Philly Mag shared a snapshot of their interior. The photo was simple, depicting a few bookshelf displays with various candles, soaps, lotions and flowers dispersed throughout. The color palette was light and refreshing, yet the furniture and pieces felt aged and loved. It was an intriguing combination of old and new.

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WorKS also has significance because my boyfriend is from West Chester, PA, which is only a few miles away from Kennett. Compared to my hometown of Devon, West Chester has more of a country feel and charm to it. With sprawling fields and beautiful farmhouses dotting the scenic roads, I was very excited to explore the local shopping scene in this new part of town. My hope was that it might reflect the pretty countryside landscapes.  

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I was able to stop by the store late on a Saturday afternoon, during the arctic chill that has been gripping the area for the past few weeks. Upon walking in, I was surprised to see so many different hubs of product. There was ceramic goods in one corner, tasteful wooden home accessories at the front, a beautiful display of antique chairs to my right, and plenty more as you made your way through the store. To my delight, there was so much more to WorKS than I saw in that initial Instagram photo! There truly is something for everyone in this remarkable space. 

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I briefly chatted with the lovely owner and learned that WorKS prides itself as a space to feature a rotation of some of the area's top local vendors; a concept that I hold near and dear to my heart and that aligns perfectly with the mission of Spruce Lane! Each vendor had its own space, but everything also blended effortlessly because it all was at a high caliber and quality. Some vendor call-outs include Arden + James, Whim Jewelry, Eastcote Lane, Chairloom, Vestige Home, Northern Roots Jewelry, Fresh Vintage Goods, and Zoet Bathlatier. I spent nearly an hour in the store because I couldn't get enough of all of the unique items. The jewelry displays were intricate while the vintage items were charming but also quirky and fun.

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My boyfriend and I both agreed that we would be back to WorKS soon, and daydreamed about how nice it would be when the weather is warm and the store's retracting garage-style windows would be open, letting in a subtle breeze. 

I encourage all of you to visit this unique space, because as I mentioned before, the pictures don't do it justice and there is much more to it than what meets the eye. 'Till next time, WorKS!

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Spruce Lane Loves: Top 4 Christmas Picks

This year, my family and I made it a priority to do the bulk of our Christmas shopping at local boutiques as opposed to larger chain stores. There is something to be said about receiving a special item from a unique place that cannot be found or duplicated anywhere else, which was a big part of why I wanted to start Spruce Lane.

Just because Christmas is over, doesn't mean the shopping has to end! If you were like me, you might've received one or two items that weren't quite right and need to be returned, creating the wonderful opportunity to find something new, just for you! With that being said, if you're still in search of something special, have a look below to see my top picks from this year's Christmas shopping.

1. Cash and Clive Script Alphabet Bracelet (Cape May, NJ)

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As I mentioned in my previous Cash and Clive post, my family rented a beach house in Cape May for the month of December, so we had a lot of time to peruse the shopping scene down the shore during the off (although still busy) season. My sister gifted me this beautiful gold initial bracelet from Cash and Clive for my birthday that I haven't taken off since. I am very particular when it comes to jewerly and rarely change up my routines. I prefer simple, classic silhouettes; no costume jewels here. I may rock the occasional statement earring during a special event, but that's it! So I was delighted to receive this delicate and personalized piece from Cash and Clive! It's so lightweight that you forget you're even wearing it, but it adds an elegant touch to any outfit. Shop the item here now! 

2. TROVE General Store Red Wing Clara Booties (Paoli, PA)

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These boots are made for walkin', and that's just what they'll do! Before I get into detail, I have to admit that these were partially a self-purchase from Trove and not entirely gifted to me. I was on the search for a good neutral heeled bootie for months (no exaggeration) and had no luck. I had ordered multiple pairs online, just to return them immediately due to some malfunction or deformity. When I came across these beauties in person at Trove, I couldn't pass them up. They are 100% leather and meant to last for many, many years. They pair perfectly with denim and come in a beautiful olive hue that can be worn year round. They cost a pretty penny, but definitely are a worthy investment piece in my eyes!

3. Beach Plum Farm Hand-painted Measuring Spoons (Cape May, NJ)

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These measuring spoons were gifted to me by my mother, and came from the beautiful Beach Plum Farm in Cape May, NJ. I was very surprised to receive them, as I hadn't really been looking for any cooking-related items this season, although I do love to bake and cook very much. As soon as I opened them, she told me they were special because they were hand-painted and only could be hand washed. I love them, not only because they're incredibly beautiful, but because there is sentiment behind them. I will hold on to these for as long as I can, and every time I cook or bake, I will think of my mother because she gave me this special gift. Those kinds of unique, unexpected gifts, are the best kinds of gifts. Beach Plum does not have an e-commerce shop, but visit their website here to learn more about the Farm and how you can plan your next visit. 

4. Waltzing Matilda Small Leather Portfolio (Wayne, PA)

 Image courtesy of Waltzing Matilda USA

Image courtesy of Waltzing Matilda USA

I didn't actually receive this item, but it's on my list of things I would like to explore given that I have some "return funds" allotted for one more special item! Waltzing Matilda is a super cute local boutique situated in Wayne, PA that specializes in local, handmade leather goods. There is something about this piece that is simple, sophisticated, and warm. I would love to have a piece like this with me at work to brighten up my day. I would appreciate having something that reflects quality craftsmanship in my day-to-day routines (and it would sure beat my old Kate Spade notebook that is looking a bit worse for wear lately!) Also, that is why a leather notepad would be great, because over time it would break in as opposed to break down! Shop this item and plenty of more awesome leather goods on WM's site here.

Lastly, not a gift but always a great touch - roses! Beat the winter doldrums by keeping live flowers in your living space this season. My family gave these to me on my birthday, and they made me so happy! A pop of color can go a long way.

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Happy Shopping.

Spruce Lane Shops: Moon + Arrow

Moon + Arrow
Neighborhood: Queen Village, Philadelphia
Vibe: Bohemian chic, vintage, natural, whimsical
Good for: Handmade jewelry, apothecary goods, homeware, gifting, women's apparel

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Welcome to Moon + Arrow, arguably one of the best vintage shops in Philadelphia! I first encountered Moon + Arrow through my full time job, as they generously donated a gift card to the nonprofit I am working for. It was a Saturday morning and I had just finished a cappuccino at the nearby Hungry Pigeon, when I strolled into the bustling boutique to pick up the donation. The store was filled with shoppers and I felt a wave of excitement come over me, as I knew I had just discovered something special that I was eager to learn more about. 

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Moon + Arrow is located in Queen Village and is known for their unique assortment of vintage and handmade goods. The store has a very bohemian feel to it, due to the many baubles, trinkets, and greenery interspersed throughout the space. To delve a little deeper, you can shop for unique finds in the apparel section, browse an impressive jewelry assortment, pick out a gorgeous candle for your home, hit the apothecary stand for all of your cosmetic needs, and SO much more. There is a wide range of product with varying price levels here, which is great because you can leave with something small or purchase an investment piece that you know you won't find anywhere else. I especially appreciate this wide appeal, being a young working professional that is usually on a budget but sometimes can't help a worthy splurge! :) 

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I particularly gravitated towards the apothecary selection as well as the home items as they both felt very natural, understated, and chic in their presentations. My sister had a "spa-themed" Christmas list this year, so I picked up some Himalayan bath salts, a pink clay mask, and natural vapor rub for the cold season ahead. It was the perfect trio of small gifts and I loved giving her specialty items that couldn't be found at larger chain stores. 

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A few weeks later, I returned to Moon + Arrow to attend one their special events and shoot some photos of the gorgeous interiors. They were hosting their Winter Solstice Celebration that featured pop-up vendors Ferox Studio and Idol Light jewelry, as well as Tarot Card readings and hot toddies courtesy of Terra Luna herbals. It was a very pleasant evening of shopping and was a great kick off to the upcoming Christmas weekend! 

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I was so appreciative to have had the opportunity attend the event and to get some shots to feature on the blog. A big thank you to Moon + Arrow for firstly being such an awesome store, and secondly for warmly welcoming me (a beginner blogger) to their space! It's safe to say that I'll be back again, and you most certainly should come visit too! The store is located at 754 S. 4th Street in Philadelphia, PA 19147. 

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Follow Moon + Arrow on Instagram at @shopmoonandarrow for all store updates, including their next upcoming workshop on natural skincare with Terra Luna and Moko Organic Beauty! The event takes place on January 11, from 7:15-8:30pm at the shop, for more details click here

Shop on, 

Spruce Lane

Spruce Lane Shops: TROVE General Store

TROVE General Store
Neighborhood: Paoli, PA
Vibe: Farmhouse Chic, American Heritage, Classic, Sophisticated
Good for: Men’s + Women’s apparel, accessories, gifts, home goods

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TROVE General Store is quite literally home to a trove of many different treasures, unassumingly located in a small shopping center in Paoli, PA. Keeping in line with the “treasure” theme, this store is certainly a hidden gem of the Main Line, only if you haven’t heard of it yet, of course!

I’ve been a huge supporter of this family-owned business since its inception a few years back simply because the quality of product, atmosphere, and curation is pretty much unparalleled in this part of town. The store primarily spotlights American-made, high quality products, with an extra love and appreciation specifically for local PA-based vendors. You can shop an outstanding portfolio of brands including Woolrich, Levi’s, Filson, Barbour, Dubarry of Ireland, and more, along with rustic-chic housewares, toiletry items for both him and her, and an extensive coffee table book selection that all pertain to the very prevalent American Heritage Lifestyle theme of the store. Lately, some contemporary brands such as BlankNYC have been finding their way into the mix, which is a pleasant and warmly welcomed surprise.

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My family and I visit Trove for almost every birthday, special occasion, you name it, and never leave empty-handed. The beauty of this store is that there really is something for everyone, from my Dad, to my sister, to my boyfriend’s parents, I can always find a gift at this shop that does not disappoint! And I’m really not just saying that, I mean it!

Talk about a one-stop (AMAZING) shop!

Trove does not have an online platform (yet!), so check them out in person at:
19 Paoli Shopping Center
Paoli, PA 19301
484-320-8626


And follow them on instagram @trovegeneralstore. Happy shopping!

 Image courtesy of @trovegeneralstore

Image courtesy of @trovegeneralstore

Spruce Lane Loves: Carrie and Seash

Carrie and Seash
Neighborhood: Baton-Rouge, Louisiana
Vibe: Southern Charm, Preppy, Polished
Good for: Weddings, Gifting, Baby Showers, Stationery, Monogramming

 Image courtesy of @carrieandseash

Image courtesy of @carrieandseash

I have to give Carrie and Seash a shout out! Although not necessarily native to the Philadelphia area, this mother-daughter duo creates some seriously cute watercolor stationery that immediately caught my eye on Instagram (@carrieandseash). Upon scrolling through countless images of monogrammed stationery and custom dinner menus, I immediately thought this would be the perfect vendor to collaborate with for my non-existent, imaginary wedding that I am secretly planning on Pinterest (just kidding, sort of).

 Image courtesy of @carrieandseash

Image courtesy of @carrieandseash

So if you do have a wedding, special event, or just are on the hunt for a sweet custom gift (for yourself or a loved one), check these ladies out! I recently purchased their Savannah Animal Prints for my sister, as she is expecting a baby girl this spring and I thought they would be the perfect addition for her nursery. My package came beautifully wrapped complete with a hand-written note from Carrie and Seash themselves, a very nice and personalized touch! I love giving gifts that cannot be duplicated or found elsewhere, and that is what Carrie and Seash represents to me: unique talent that deserves to be recognized! Some other favorites from their site below, shop their collection!

 Image courtesy of @carrieandseash

Image courtesy of @carrieandseash

 Pacific Palisades Map, $30

Pacific Palisades Map, $30

 Carrie and Seash Designed Wedding Suite, $2,200

Carrie and Seash Designed Wedding Suite, $2,200

 Orange Blossom Watercolor Monogram Stationery, starting at $75

Orange Blossom Watercolor Monogram Stationery, starting at $75

 Watercolor Recipe Cards, $8

Watercolor Recipe Cards, $8

Spruce Lane Shops: Cash and Clive

Cash and Clive
Neighborhood: Cape May, NJ
Vibe: West Coast contemporary style; cool, calm, sophisticated
Good for: Women’s wear, upscale denim

 Image courtesy of @cashandclive

Image courtesy of @cashandclive

Last weekend I traveled to my family’s beloved beach vacation spot, Cape May, NJ, for a weekend of retail therapy and relaxation with my boyfriend, mother, great aunt, and her close friend. Many people turned their heads sideways in confusion when I explained I was going to the beach in the middle of December, but that didn’t discourage me from hopping in the car and making the trip south for a quick getaway. To our surprise, that weekend also happened to bring the first snow of the winter season! A beautiful and festive sight to be seen, but it made getting around and perusing the Cape May shopping mall a bit harder, and colder, than usual.

Also (somewhat) to our surprise, Cape May is a major destination during the holiday season! You absolutely needed a dinner reservation for Saturday night, and parking was limited the entire weekend. Quite impressive for a beach town during the winter! Before we stopped for dinner at The Mad Batter, we spent our evening popping in and out each of the specialty shops down the strip mall, taking in the usual atmospheres of beach knick-knacks and small holiday gifts all blended together. While this was mildly entertaining, I was not enticed to grab my wallet and make any purchases, although I definitely was hoping to.

 Image courtesy of @cashandclive

Image courtesy of @cashandclive

Fast forward to Sunday morning after grabbing a delicious brunch at the incredibly festive Blue Pig Tavern, when we stumbled upon the newly opened boutique called Cash and Clive and my despondent shopping mood was lifted thanks to this breath of fresh air! Located right across the street from Congress Hall, Cash and Clive is home to a treasure trove of upscale denim, stylish tops and sweaters, and chic accessories to compliment your brand new outfit that you will feel compelled to purchase before exiting this dream store. The store feels upscale, yet contemporary as it features hip brands such as Re/Done, J Brand, Splendid, and more. The silhouettes were varied, showcasing clean and classic styles as well as some edgier pieces, namely in the shoe category. I literally felt dizzy with excitement to have discovered such a gem in a beach town that I have loved for so many years, but not necessarily for its shopping scene. So a warm welcome and huge thank you to Cash and Clive for bringing stylish fashion to Cape May!

To make matters even better, C&C has an e-commerce platform and holiday gift guide that you need to check out! Shop their site now! Some of my favorite picks below:

 Splendid Drape Trench Coat, $178&nbsp;

Splendid Drape Trench Coat, $178 

 Cupcakes &amp; Cashmere Ashling Vest, $160

Cupcakes & Cashmere Ashling Vest, $160

 Mother Denim HW Looker Ankle Fray, $238

Mother Denim HW Looker Ankle Fray, $238

 Mother Denim Hustler 2-Step Ankle Fray, $228

Mother Denim Hustler 2-Step Ankle Fray, $228

 Clare V. Flat Clutch, $215

Clare V. Flat Clutch, $215

 Kaanas Puebla Bootie, $189

Kaanas Puebla Bootie, $189