Refresh: Voloshin Showroom

Refresh: Voloshin Showroom
Neighborhood: Kensington, Philadelphia
Vibe: Natural, bohemian, feminine, simplistic
Good for: women’s apparel, jewelry, home accessories

DSC_0338.jpg

Hi there!

I’m going to keep this one short and sweet and make it more about the visuals than the written content. I had the pleasure of visiting Amy Voloshin again this past weekend to see her brand new showroom in Kensington, Philadelphia (within Jasper Studios where the brand is based). I am calling this a “Refresh” because I originally wrote about Voloshin in June of 2018. To read more about Voloshin itself, visit my first post here. Voloshin’s new showroom serves as a physical touchpoint for consumers to view the brand’s latest collection in person and also shop sale from past seasons. The product assortment features women’s apparel, jewelry and home accessories. It is open to the public on Fridays from 12-5pm, however you can also book a private shopping appointment on Wednesdays-Saturdays and Amy / her staff will assist you personally.

DSC_0341.jpg

The aesthetic is very on brand, with a warm, neutral palette and touches of greenery throughout. I personally loved the space; it felt very upscale and intimate. I ended up purchasing the Maja Wrap Dress that I plan to wear to one of my upcoming work events. I am so pumped to be supporting this local brand and can’t wait to see what else will happen in this gorgeous space as far as events, sales and activations go! See below for all photos from the shoot!

More information about Voloshin’s showroom can be found here: https://voloshin.us/pages/showroom

DSC_0345.jpg
DSC_0351.jpg
DSC_0349.jpg
DSC_0353.jpg
DSC_0356.jpg
DSC_0362.jpg
DSC_0365.jpg

Spruce Lane Shops: The Indie Shelf

Neighborhood: Graduate Hospital, Philadelphia
Vibe: Feminine, Clean, Fresh, Curated, Niche
Good For: Beauty buffs, wellness and apothecary goods for him & her

Calling all beauty enthusiasts - a brand new cosmetics shop has landed in Philadelphia’s Graduate Hospital neighborhood and it’s called The Indie Shelf. Founded by Sabeen Zia about a month ago, The Indie Shelf offers unique, innovative, and effective beauty brands from around the world. Its name “Indie” pays homage to the numerous small-batch brands featured in the shop - peep the impressive roster here.

DSC_0251.jpg

Aside from it’s incredibly beautiful and feminine aesthetic, The Indie Shelf is special because it truly owns the beauty and wellness retail “space” in Philadelphia. In other words, I haven’t really seen a shop like this throughout my time blogging about local boutiques in the area. Sure, there are many lovely apothecary sections in other shops but never a store that is purely dedicated to the cause. I love the concept and highly respect Sabeen for translating her past experience and vast knowledge of the industry into her own business; a tall task that she has successfully executed.

DSC_0219.jpg

I am no beauty whiz by any means. In fact if we are going to get really transparent I haven’t really shopped for cosmetics beyond the cold aisles of my local drug store, but the Indie Shelf makes me want to learn more about this fascinating (and fast-growing) industry. Therefore, I reached out to Sabeen to pick her brain about becoming an independent business owner and to also get some true insider knowledge on beauty in general. Read on to learn more about Sabeen’s inspiring story and what you can expect to find at The Indie Shelf!

Q: What inspired you to open your own store? 
A:
I launched my own cosmetic brand online last year. I know the journey of building a small brand the obstacles of getting into retail stores. I wanted to create a space for unique brands creating effective products and support them. I also wanted to bring these great brands to the Philadelphia community - who are so loyal to neighborhood businesses and support small businesses. I would travel to different states (and countries!) and find these unique shops with products you could never touch, smell, or play with because they're not easily available or online only. I wanted our neighbors to come in and see these brands themselves! 

Q: How did you execute your creative vision? The decor is amazing.
A:
Pinterest and Instagram is a deep hole that inspires you and makes you believe you can do anything, haha! I love my color palette - I always loved it on clothes, furniture, and even dinnerware! I knew I wanted to learn towards that palette when I started to work on it. Many similar stores in other states are beautiful! Most of them have a clean white look, which you can't go wrong on. But I wanted to add some color and make indie beauty look fun too! The color block was a great touch. Melissa Alam, who did my branding for The Indie Shelf (she's aaaamazing!), helped with creating the color block in addition to the setup. It was fun - we were just randomly taping different angles and hoped that it'd work out! The wallpaper was something I found online, crossed my fingers that it'd look great and just went with it! I'm so glad people love it. 

Q: Tell us a bit about your career path. What attracted you to the cosmetics industry?
A: I've been so lucky to have the opportunities that I've had in the past. I had recently graduated with a B.S in Toxicology and moved to Houston with my family. I found a job at a peptide lab. The schedule was 6 am to 3 pm and since I didn't know many people, I took a part time job at Sephora. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school but just didn't know what I wanted to do my masters in. I LOVED working at Sephora. I was laid off at the peptide lab (blessing in disguise!) and moved to full time at Sephora. I didn't want to waste my bachelor's degree so I started to search for majors that would link beauty to science. And there it was - Cosmetic Science at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ. I applied and was accepted, so I left Sephora and worked for L'Oreal as a haircare chemist full time while going to graduate school full time. L’Oreal was a great place to start because you learn about the formulation process of products. Then, I moved back to Houston and found a job in the manufacturing department with a mineral makeup company called Colorescience. After that, I went to another small brand haircare lab and worked in manufacturing and the lab for a bit. They acquired a NY brand called Blowpro and that's when they gave me the opportunity to be in product development and marketing. I was lucky to have all these opportunities because it gave me the chance to learn about the process - from product development to formulations to market. Some employers would put that against me saying I'm not experienced in one area, rather just all over the place. I take it as a blessing because it allowed me to not only launch a brand but now also a shop. I'm still learning though, and have a lot to learn! 

DSC_0242 2.jpg

Q: What is one of the biggest beauty myths you can bust?
A: Not all synthetic ingredients are harmful. And not all natural ingredient are good for you. 

Q: What is a beauty trend that is really worth following?
A: Clean your brushes! OR Masking 

Q: Tell us more about what we can get at The Indie Shelf - what's one of your favorite products at the moment?
A: Everything! and if I missed something, let me know and I'll find it. The Indie Shelf carries skincare, haircare, fragrance, cosmetics, tools and accessories, candles, dental care, baby care, men's care, pet care! My favorite? Oh, this is a hard question. I brought in everything I loved to the shop so.. all of it?  

Q: Anything exciting in the pipeline at the shop? I.e. events, makeup tutorials, etc that we can look out for?
A:
Yes!! I've got events planned but just need to catch up on a few things and then I'll confirm them soon. There will be small RSVP ticketed events/classes that will teach about caring for your skin, how to do a cat eye, what brush to use, etc. Got some cool stuff on the agenda - just bear with me! 

On behalf of all Philadelphians I want to thank Sabeen immensely for taking the leap and opening up this amazing shop that we desperately needed. Like I said, it’s really pretty to look at, has an amazing assortment of products and also has something special that you won’t find in many other small boutiques: a bonafide beauty expert that truly wants to help you with whatever you need. New York City might have Glossier HQ but we have The Indie Shelf now, so watch out world! :)

Till next time,
Laura

Spruce Lane Shops: Miller Lane Mercantile

Neighborhood: Berkeley, Denver
Vibe: Cozy, Well Curated, Refined
Good for: Kitchenware, Home Decor, Women’s Accessories

Calling all Denverites or friends who are soon going to be visiting the Mile High City! Meet Miller Lane Mercantile, an incredibly chic home goods and women’s accessories boutique that just opened a few weeks ago in the Berkeley neighborhood. Miller Lane was brought to my attention through a close friend that I went to summer camp with in Pennsylvania all the way back in the 5th grade (hint: I’m getting old because that was a quite a while ago). She told me that our mutual camp friend’s sister just opened her own shop in Denver and that I should check it out. Well, of course this piqued my interest so I decided to do some research on the shop’s beautiful Instagram page and instantly fell in love! Similar to many of the indie boutiques here in Philly, Miller Lane features thoughtfully curated goods from local artists and brands throughout the US. You can shop from an amazing assortment of handmade ceramics, candles, jewelry, coffees, kitchenware and more. The owner, Calli Nicoletti, has a very understated and elegant aesthetic. She truly embodies the motto “less is more”, which I love.

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

It has been fun to see Calli’s evolution of opening the store through her Instagram page. If you scroll back to the beginning, you will see her blank space slowly start to fill with unique hand selected items from her favorite vendors. She shares glimpses into her personal life which began in East Hampton, NY and reflects on how her east coast roots inspire much of what she puts into her Denver-based boutique. You can also get a sense for Calli’s innate optimism and excitement towards starting this new venture. Let’s face it, launching a new business is definitely a daunting concept, but Calli seems to approach it with honesty, humbleness and integrity, which I think will only work to her advantage as she continues to expand.

So, after doing this research and getting utterly excited about the opening of Miller Lane Mercantile, I decided to reach out to Calli directly to do a Q&A with her. I wanted to know from the source herself what it really was like to open up a business from the ground up and what inspired her to transform her blank canvas into such a beautiful work of art. Plus, Denver has become one of my favorite cities to visit, so I also wanted to pick her brain on what the shopping scene is like there in general. Read below to see more of Calli and Miller Lane Mercantile’s story - you will find yourself feeling enlightened and inspired!

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

Q: What inspired you to open Miller Lane Mercantile? What was your career path leading up to becoming an independent business owner?

A: My passion for brick and mortar business goes back to my very first work experience – when I turned 14 and was finally old enough to hold a job, I started working at a independent surf shop in my hometown of East Hampton, NY. I came to really love the community that’s built around a shop, from the customers, to the employees, and the other shop workers in the neighborhood. The store was also located in a beautiful old wooden house with a sunny backyard and we played UB40 all day – what’s better than that? Fast forward through high school and college, and I had continued to work in boutiques part-time throughout all of my schooling.

In 2012 I graduated from The College of Charleston with a BA in media studies and started working in marketing, which is the industry I’ve been in until I opened Miller Lane Mercantile. I always worked for startups, first in New York City and then in Denver, and became what you could call a real small business enthusiast. I loved being able to work directly with founders and learn about business from the ground up. Throughout those 6+ years, I wore a ton of hats and held roles that covered aspects of marketing including events and tradeshows, social media writing, photo curation, copywriting, product marketing, content writing, and even a little bit of sales. I used to get frustrated that my skill set was so wide-ranging rather than refined in a particular expertise, but it all makes sense now. Being a business owner requires the most wide-ranging skill set of all!

Q: What is the most important lesson you've learned during the process of opening your store? How did you ultimately decide to take that leap and make the commitment?

A: You’ll always find a reason not to do it, so just start somewhere, keep moving, and try not to doubt yourself too much. If you have an idea for a business, those thoughts didn’t pop into your head by accident. I think the world has its way of opening up to people, and it’s ultimately up to each of us to listen to that call and trust in the process. I had decided I was going to open a shop about 2 ½ years before I actually opened the doors. I started a savings account specifically for my future store, and little by little I started planning. I’ve built this massive spreadsheet and each time I come across an interesting brand or product, I add it to the list. By the time I signed my lease on the space I’m now in, I had hundreds of brands and makers and just started reaching out to people about their wholesale programs. If you’re someone who’s thinking of opening a shop, I think those two steps are great starting points. Creating a savings account specifically for your business makes saving so much more meaningful, and you’ll know that your cuts on spending are going directly towards your dream. Had I not had that spreadsheet of products at my fingertips when I finally found my space, I think it would have been overwhelming to start the buying process from scratch.

Another important lesson I’ve learned is that it’s okay to admit what you don’t know. Throughout my career I always wanted to be taken seriously, but there will always be unknowns and it’s so much more efficient to ask the right questions rather than to pretend to know what you don’t. Whether it’s a business concept or something as mundane as understanding how the electrical works in my shop, I’ve started asking more questions and as it comes from a place of genuinely wanting to learn and grow, there’s absolutely no shame in that.

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

Q: Tell us a little bit more about Miller Lane, what are some must-haves in the shop right now?

A: Miller Lane Mercantile was born out of the idea of celebrating simple goods for slow living. To me, “slow living” is about creating space for pause, finding an appreciation for what you have, and paying more attention to the little things in life. Ever since I was young I’ve been enamored with things like greeting cards and product packaging at the grocery store. These little oddities have brought me so much happiness and I think making conscious choices about the things we surround ourselves with makes the days endlessly more enjoyable.  

At Miller Lane, we carry a wide range of homewares including kitchenware, gourmet pantry items, ceramics, pillows and throws, stationery, bath and body products, and women’s accessories. We’ve brought in a really incredible candle line called The Floral Society whose taper candles come in the most beautiful shades and really add something special to a dinner party or night in. Our jewelry case is stocked with wares from Uni out of Portland – the designer Kiersten has an amazing vision for her brand and each piece has a really organic, understated quality about it. Lastly, Samantha of Settle Ceramics in Austin is creating beautiful yet practical pieces for the kitchen that customers have really been gravitating towards.

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

Q: Describe your personal style in three words. How is this reflected in your shop?

A: I’d describe my style as being casual, refined, and timeless. If you looked in my closet you’d find a sea of white, grey, cream, burnt orange, and navy. I pretty much live inside this cozy little color palette, hah! When it comes to clothing, accessories, and even home decor, I purchase pieces that are well-made and classic, rather than follow a current trend. I think my style has naturally oozed out into the shop through the decorative choices I’ve made as well as the simple fact that Miller Lane is filled with products I either own myself or wish I had in my own home. I constantly have customers asking me where I’m originally from because I think the store aesthetic reads more New England than Colorado, which is something that happened organically as an expression of my personal taste. I love western and desert vibes, but that’s not the feel you’ll get coming into Miller Lane and I’m glad I’ve been able to bring some of the northeast to this city.

Q: What's the retail/boutique scene in Denver like? Any cool local brands or artists to shout out?

A: There are so many incredible makers here in Denver, from jewelry designers, to ceramicists, to folks making the most delicious gourmet pantry items. If you ever have a chance to visit the city during one of our Denver Fleas, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a great way to learn about the creative scene here and discover some really special products. In terms of brick and mortar businesses, the retail scene has expanded a ton even in the few years I’ve lived in Denver. Miller Lane is part of the Tennyson Street business district and within our little community there are a bunch of women-owned businesses which I think is so rad. My neighbors, Blush and Dona Forta are women’s boutiques that are each bringing something really unique to women’s clothing in Denver – I feel super lucky to have them next door! Lady Jones is just a few blocks away and offers a really fun shopping experience with brands you won’t find elsewhere in Denver. Aside from Tennyson Street shops, Fig + Yarrow Apothecary is a must-see in my book – anytime I have friends in town, a visit there is on the list. They’ve created such an inviting, peaceful space and you can see how much care goes into each of their products. Lastly, Sacred Thistle and Meek Vintage – they’re just around the corner from each other so you can hit them both up in one trip. Sacred Thistle is an insanely cool florist-meets-home shop, and Meek has been a pioneer in the Denver community when it comes to well curated vintage clothing and homewares.

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

Image credit: Mimi McCormick / @meemscakes

Pretty awesome, right? If you do happen to live in Denver or get a chance to see the shop while visiting, please DM me or email me letting me know about your experience! This of course is on my list of places to see the next time I’m out there (maybe in fall or winter of 2019?) so I will keep you all posted on my visit too :) In the meantime, Calli is also working on developing the shop’s website and wants to have an e-commerce component to the business too. For now, if you are remote like me and see anything on her Instagram account that you’d like to purchase, just DM her and she will be able to ship to you directly for the time being. Easy as that!

Keep on chasing your dreams, everyone! Magical things can happen, like Miller Lane Mercantile.

-Laura

Spruce Lane Shops: Millay

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

DSC_0930.jpg

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 & 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. 

DSC_0913.jpg

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.

DSC_0934.jpg
DSC_0952.jpg

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.

DSC_0935.jpg

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.

DSC_0916.jpg

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

DSC_0918.jpg
DSC_0953.jpg

Spruce Lane Shops: Elan

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

DSC_0707.JPG

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.

DSC_0703.jpg

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).

DSC_0720.jpg

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.

DSC_0700.JPG

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.

DSC_0694.JPG

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?

DSC_0693.jpg

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!

DSC_0722.jpg

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

DSC_0623.jpg

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. 

DSC_0648.jpg

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. 

DSC_0643.jpg

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. 

DSC_0675.jpg

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.

DSC_0642.jpg

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! 

DSC_0661.jpg

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

FullSizeRender 26.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender 36.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender 33.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender 24.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender 37.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender 41.jpg

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!

FullSizeRender 38.jpg

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.

DSC_0307.jpg

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.

DSC_0340.jpg

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.

DSC_0321.jpg

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?

DSC_0293.jpg
DSC_0295.jpg

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.

IMG_2806.jpg
IMG_2546.jpg

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.

IMG_4437.jpg

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

IMG_1049 2.JPG

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!

IMG_1048 2.JPG

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..

IMG_1039 2.jpg

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.

IMG_1061.JPG

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!

IMG_1058.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender 35.jpg

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.  

DSC_0242.jpg

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. 

FullSizeRender 25.jpg

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.

FullSizeRender 23.jpg
DSC_0218.jpg
FullSizeRender 19.jpg

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!

FullSizeRender 30.jpg

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

IMG_0599 3 2.jpg

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. 

DSC_0126.jpg

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! :) 

DSC_0123 2.jpg

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. 

IMG_0605 3.jpg

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! 

DSC_0104.jpg

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. 

FullSizeRender (8).jpg

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

IMG_0504.JPG

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.

FullSizeRender (4).jpg

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 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 

Splendid Drape Trench Coat, $178 

Cupcakes & 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