Bespoke Home + Life
Once you’ve lived vicariously through the shop’s rotating seasonal themes (the Joshua tree iteration featured a stock-tank swimming pool), browse the terrariums, ferns and more peeping out from nearly every corner, indoors and out. Green thumbs, take note: Philodendrons with variegated leaves are so hot right now. 817 Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108
Weavers Way Mercantile
The Weavers Way Co-Op has long been a part of the Mount Airy community (48 years and counting!), but the mercantile shop across the street opened in 2016. The space itself — a former garage — makes for a highly pleasant browsing experience, and the home goods and vintage clothes on offer will add retro personality to any home or closet. It’s not just limited to secondhand goods, though: Ceramics, candles, jewelry and more from local makers serve as reminders of the area’s rich artistic history. 559 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119
Midnight Lunch Studio
This boutique is both woman-owned and woman-curated, selling artwork, housewares and clothing designed and made by women or people of color. Pick up floral prints, paintings and photographs, or snag peace-sign candles and stress-relief shower steamers to make your home feel like a sanctuary. 20 South 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Showrooms at 2220
In a giant 19th-century mill space in Port Richmond, Robert Aibel’s Moderne Gallery has become a destination for highly curated antiques and turned wood with personality, including a historically rich collection of Nakashima furniture. Aibel previously occupied a building in Old City, but this shift to a beautiful industrial space in the River Wards is a chance for his collection to grow. 2220 East Allegheny Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19134
A parent’s dream: You get to browse co-owner Lee Sawa-Frank’s functional but delightful goods (like a water bottle bearing art by local illustrator Ryan Evans) while lead stylist and co-owner Nozomi Sawa snips your kiddo’s mane. (Their mantra: Young folks have opinions about their strands and should express them.) No children? They do adult cuts, too. 1613 Pine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
of Those Goofy Workout Mirrors
Leeward Furniture’s Popsicle Mirror
Last year was the year of the at-home workout gadget, from sleek Pelotons to personal workout mirrors that reflect your sweating image back at you. Now that we can all go outside again, turn your space back into an actual home with beautiful objects that don’t bully you into exercise. No better place to start than with Leeward’s beautiful popsicle mirror, made in Kensington by husband-and-wife duo John Geating and Gina Kim. It’s just the right amount of playful while serving a necessary purpose: You can check yourself out while also using its top shelf to store small tchotchkes and books. 3237 Amber Street 4-3-C, Philadelphia, PA 19134
Encapsulates the Mood of 2020
Cruel World Vintage
There’s nothing like a good vintage t-shirt, and there’s no such thing as too much merch. At Cruel World Vintage, a highly curated collection of vintage clothing is available to suit every nostalgic mood. From Whitney Houston tour memorabilia to dark-wash Levis 501s, you’ll be thrown back to your chosen decade in a flash. Shop online, or email to make an appointment at their private West Philly location.
Life’s too short for boring clothes, and Philly’s own D’Iyanu is here to help you live it up again. African-inspired prints of all kinds complement crop tops and high-waisted shorts, with ruffles and puff sleeves galore.
Those in the know can snag one-of-a-kind (yet modestly priced) art objects made by the community of artists and makers in the broad Kamihira universe. The gallery, which exists online after closing its Kensington location during the pandemic, has a constantly changing array of artists making everything from colorful quilted pillows to embroidered tote bags to sweatshirts with hand-drawn artwork. 1206 North 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Cow-print earrings, custom aprons, and beautiful, supple sling bags make up some of Ambler’s own Soft Co.’s small-batch leather goods. The offerings are extremely limited and purchasable by Instagram DM and on the website; commissions for items like accessories and housewares are also welcome.
This 28-acre day-trip destination is a wonderland for frolicking amid garden lounges; encountering animals (pygmy goats! Chickens!); shopping for perennials, tropicals and vessels; and sipping an adult libation at the same time. Opened last October, it’s a relaxing source of inspiration for indoor-outdoor living. Don’t miss the apothecary-inspired bar, where a vintage seed-drawer unit displays wine bottles. 343 County Road 519, Stockton, NJ 08559
Cloud 9 Clay
Peyton Flynn is something of a ceramics legend in Philly, making vibrant home and kitchen wares for brands like Madewell. Add her extra-shiny vases with squiggly handles to your collection to give your house an instant mood boost.
It’s cool to be square, at least when you’re carrying one of Katie Henry’s multicolored geometric fanny packs or backpacks. Find them at makers’ pop-ups around the city.
Ssssnake Blanket by Jarmel Reitz
Say goodbye to cold, stark spaces and start layering your room with warmth and fun. Deck out your couch or bed with an extra-colorful throw blanket by local artist Jarmel Reitz. Your space will look ssspectacular.
Shaw Lewis launched Expect Lace to provide an inclusive, safe space in which to shop for intimates. The store carries sizes from 30A to 42J, whether they’re fancy underthings or workhorse basics. Also on offer: sequined one-piece swimsuits and travel-size vibrators. 4403 Main Street, Philadelphia, PA 19127
Moore Vintage Archive
At this shop in the Bok Building, you can level-up your wardrobe with vintage women’s wear from Issey Miyake and John Paul Gaultier and expand your mind with rare books from writers of color like Sonia Sanchez and Toni Morrison. 1901 South 9th Street #1H, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Katy Kane Vintage & Couture
In the wake of the debut of the Halston miniseries on Netflix, Katy Kane — the shop’s owner and an Antiques Roadshow appraiser — sold out of the ’70s designer’s looks in 24 hours, drawing interest from here to Hong Kong. She finds her pieces through private house calls; browse her proverbial closet online, then visit her appointment-only studio in New Hope. Recently acquired: designs from Jackie Kennedy favorite Sybil Connolly.
Reality TV mogul and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian has been all over Instagram in JBD Apparel’s body-skimming custom knitwear. (Kardashian found the brand on, you guessed it, social media.) The dresses, tops and skirts are intricately made and flattering on absolutely every body type, and because they’re made to order, every piece feels extra-special.
There’s nothing more Philly than a couple of punk kids rolling around town with a cart full of cacti, just like rag-and-bone men of yore. The Cactus Cart pops up on weekends at varying corners of South Philly, and the offerings are just what you need to spruce up your space: vibrant, spiky succulents planted in retro sugar cannisters and old beer cans. Plus, the cacti come in all shapes and sizes to fit on any windowsill or bookshelf.
Last November, Stefani Threet opened this storefront in the West Philly neighborhood where she grew up. You’ll find pieces by nearly 120 artists, many of whom are makers of color, women and/or Philly locals. A mug wall provides a tangible way to compare cups; we’re eyeing the collar necklaces from Melted Porcelain. 5015 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19143
Little Shop of Chains
Oversize acrylic glasses chains made by Brewerytown designer Liz Barrella add flair to any kind of eyewear, whether prescription, sunglasses — maybe a monocle? Even better, Barrella has started making chains to hold your masks, a must-have accessory in this age of shifting mandates.
The Modern Republic
Sometimes it can feel like there’s too much art, both vintage and new, with which to decorate your house. How to decide? The Modern Republic, a mid-century modern retailer in Fairmount, is a great place to start: With vintage Alexander Calder and Herman Miller prints at reasonable prices, there’s something for every kind of house (plus great vintage furniture, to boot). If your walls could talk, they’d be thanking you. 1600 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130
Queen Mama Jewelry
These jewelry statement pieces made of colorful clay are crafted by hand in chunky shapes, and every pair of earrings is special enough to display at the PMA (or at least on your bedside table). Go for pink clay bheka earrings or a multi-textured pendant necklace to add a little more life to any outfit, any day.
The Ivory Concept
For those having their own modern Regency Era romances, this appointment-only boutique from Ali Campbell is filled with all the puffed sleeves and squared necks you could desire. Most of the designers are local exclusives (this is one of only two Marquise Bridal stockists in the whole country), and you’ll have the space to yourself when you visit. 2 East King Street, Malvern, PA 19355
Totem Brand Co.
Ah, gorp: Good Ol’ Raisins and Peanuts, a.k.a. trail mix. Gorpcore, though? Think normcore plus camping. And for the rare gorpcorer who likes the practice of camping as much as the aesthetic, Totem has the paisley folding chairs, hops-printed hammocks and portable stainless steel grills that will ensure your gear is as tasteful as the gorp in your Fjallraven fanny pack. 535 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
On family trips to the Middle East, Sarah Naji’s father spent hours scouring the souks for the perfect rug. The Point Breeze-based entrepreneur is following in his footsteps with her pandemic-born business. Naji sources hand-knotted works from Turkey and at local antique shops, prizing age (some are 100 years old) and clever colors. She even walks the walk: Her shoes are made from salvaged kilim rugs.
Cathy’s Half-Price Books
Most of the 60,000 or so gently used items at this 17-year-old stalwart are, indeed, half their original price or less. Then there are new reads and rare works — some with a Philly provenance — all stocked by bibliophilic owners Shannon and Cathy Rutherford. 7 Manoa Shopping Center, 1305 West Chester Pike, Havertown, PA 19083
All Caps Studio
Irony is out; earnestness is in. Want proof? All Caps Studio’s graphic tees, totes and socks, with their colorful phrases like “STOP TALKING ABOUT LOVE … MAKE LOVE,” are a hit among the über-fashionable streetwear crowd. Act fast: Each month’s “drop” is only available online for a few days before the brand moves on to its next design.
Sure, you could go to Warby Parker and get the same glasses as everyone else. Or you could not. At Modern Eye, you can dip your toes into the semi-edgy (titanium frames from Rapp) or cannonball straight into the avant-garde (Vinylize’s frames made from repurposed vinyl records). 3419 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
The Nesting House
Jen Kinka is what she calls an “anti-consumer,” with a longtime aversion to the throwaway retail economy. So the sustainable children’s shop the mother of three runs with husband Chris is an ideal marriage of work and personal ethics. The couple trade and sell gently used, kid-tested clothes for newborns up to eight-year-olds, along with new toys, books and other kids’ stuff from like-minded businesses. 542 Carpenter Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19119
The past year should have spelled doom for Boyds. The Chestnut Street mainstay closed its doors for months. Worse, people swapped suits for — the horror! — sweatsuits. But the Philadelphia icon responded with impressive enthusiasm, opening a pop-up in the ’burbs that sold casual clothes and hosting an upscale outdoor market in the parking lot of its Center City headquarters. 117 Coulter Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Style by Blain
Aside from being one of the best-dressed and best-named business owners in the city, Voltaire Blain has an unusually welcoming store — a historic Chestnut Hill home where the shoes are displayed not on racks, but on a pool table — and an equally impressive collection: Styleshoes by Alden, Paraboot, and Gaziano and Girling, some of which he designed himself. 8433 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Come for the cool wares — like cement-and-geode planters or Lord Jones CBD — but stay for the pillar of Marny Baxt’s business: the art. The former talent management exec dreamed up Trace after the passing of both of her parents, when she was faced with sorting through their personal art collection. Baxt wants to connect the community with creatives and make it easy to obtain and custom-frame one-of-a-kind works. 80 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, PA 19003
Govberg’s new location—marble bar, glass chandelier, entire rooms for Patek Philippe and Rolex—wouldn’t seem out of place on Madison Avenue. But with plans to host events aimed at teaching the watch-curious what they’re missing out on—owner Danny Govberg calls it “edu-tainment”; we call it not-so-sneaky customer-base building—the shop won’t judge if you’re just there to browse its collection of five- and six-figure timepieces. 1529 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102