This nook from Allison Hendler and mom Patricia Van Hook will wrap you in a warm hug — it’s thoughtfully stocked with local or sustainable goods that support the community. (Hendler’s a champion of circular retail.) A Hendler favorite: baby products from B Corp-certified Bello Tunno. For Van Hook? Vintage glassware. There are tea towels hand-sewn in Bucks County, fresh bouquets, and new philanthropic partnerships — a bit of everything to help you flourish. 2227 Grays Ferry Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Take the fantastical vibe of Willy Wonka, mix in some wild Alice in Wonderland-type proportions, add a dose of Y2K nostalgia, and you’ll get something like Shelly Horst’s small-batch accessories brand. Her appointment-only Bok-based company whips up statement-making satin bags and whimsical hair accessories like huge satin scrunchies, clips with supersize bows or sweet rosettes, and giant “cloud” scrunchies made from puffs of billowing organza, each one a delightful piece of fashion magic. 1901 South 9th Street, room 315B, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Permanent jewelry? Been there, done that. Now is the time for crystals for your incisors. Oh, it’s not entirely new: Tooth jewelry as a flashy accessory goes back as far as the Mayan empire, and it’s had a local resurgence thanks to Elle Stankiewicz of Delco. The former dental assistant and current high-fashion tooth fairy will painlessly adhere semi-permanent Swarovski crystal gem designs to your pearly whites. (Bling can last four months to a year-plus.) If grills in gold and silver are more your style, she’s got them, too.
Now in its 14th year, Clover has exploded from its beginnings as a 25-vendor pop-up market in Ardmore to a roving shopping extravaganza with four locations, eight different events, and a curated roster of nearly 100 different small-biz vendors, artists and artisans, plus live music and food trucks. In short, it’s the happiest treasure hunt around.
Kimberly McGlonn’s fashion-as-activism vision is fully realized at the new Blk Ivy Thrift. Her thrift-and-vintage shop, housed in her former Grant BLVD space (which found new digs on Penn’s campus), stocks styles from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s that were often worn by Black creatives and civil rights champions. Retro-hued knit dresses, button-front cardigans and classic true-blue denim are just a few of the finds that define McGlonn’s entirely original retail concept. 3605 Lancaster Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104
First we loved the South Jersey ceramist and woodworker’s hand-shaped wine stoppers. Then it was her deviled-eggs platter. Now it’s her line of four ceramic vessels covered in alpaca fibers (those bowls!) sourced from the fleece of animals on local interior designer Barette Widell’s farm. Trowbridge has a way of adding whimsy to all the things we need at home — and those we don’t.
The 22-year-old destination women’s-wear boutique debuted a new look in early 2023 that echoes owner Maureen Doron’s home — a floor-to-ceiling revamp rooted in soft hues and sleek materials sourced from a bevy of local makers. Doron also called on Stephen Wilson Studio, based in North Carolina, to create custom wall art using Skirt bags from the past two decades. Shoppers will love the oversize dressing rooms for trying on new labels Loretta Caponi and Emporio Sirenuse. 931 West Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
This handbag line is the brainchild of the lifestyle brand Addison Bay’s founder, Marguerite Adzick, who called on sisters and fellow suburbanites Neely and Chloe Burch to create a collection that takes her girl-on-the-go customers from day to night. The limited-edition styles pair classic Neely & Chloe silhouettes with a punchy floral print designed by AB’s in-house team. Both elements are perfectly represented in the top-handle confection dubbed the Mini Lady Bag. 40 Coulter Avenue, suite 134, Ardmore, PA 19003
The sister concept of Govberg Jewelers is a global destination and community for collectible, secondhand luxury timepieces. Novices head here to build their watch wardrobes, but it’s discerning collectors who’ll appreciate the veritable treasure trove of authenticated, highly sought-after pieces from names such as Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and F.P. Journe, as well as hard-to-find independent makers. 166 East Levering Mill Road, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Since 2011, East Falls-based Lostine has risen up the ranks thanks to pieces like their newly released Elsa lighting system, which lets you choose from metal frameworks (an organic cluster, or something linear?) and pendants (we’re drawn to the leather-wrapped ones) for a room-crowning configuration.
At appointment-only Wren + Cooper in Doylestown, solid wood credenzas are adorned with horsehair-tasseled pulls, and maple mirrors are wrapped with hand-dyed leather. Now our pick for Best Custom Furniture Maker is dipping its toes into lighting, with pieces like the Halo wall sconce, a handmade ceramic beauty with a blackened walnut center that seems to radiate from within. 4075 Route 202, Doylestown, PA 18902
Appointment-only Retrodelphia has all the pieces you could ever want on display in its colossal showroom. 190 Timberlane Road, building 1, Clarksboro, NJ 08020
Visiting Proper Goods feels like stepping into a lush jungle — if jungles happened to sprout up in cool boutiques in the middle of Fishtown. The moody outpost is packed with hundreds of houseplants (no flowers here), from philodendron and spider plants to succulents, air plants, and trailing pothos and ivies, along with all the pots, stands, soil and know-how you need to keep ’em alive. 2032 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19125
There’s nothing like a hand-tied bouquet to say “I’m thinking about you,” and the iterations by West Philly florist Rashawn Scarbo express that sentiment and more. Her non-traditional arrangements appeal to the more daring eye — they’re resplendent with flowers in spirit-lifting hues (she loves garden roses and dahlias) and interesting foliage. Stop by her regularly scheduled drops around the city to pick up a pre-arranged creation for anyone in your life who needs a burst of color in the day.
If Barbie were a local girl, her Malibu beach house would be a Margate mansion, she’d drive a Range Rover instead of a convertible, and she’d scoop up Barbiecore staples like Paris Texas peep-toe mules, frilly Bronx and Banco frocks, and baby-pink Liselle Kiss metallic leather handbags from Linda LaRosa’s outpost down the Shore. 8411 Ventnor Avenue, Margate, NJ 08402
Finding a new bathing suit can be its own circle of doomscrolling hell now that most swimwear is sold online. Adrienne Volpetti, owner of sunless tanning studio Baked, has been steadily growing her in-store selection of stylish swim labels since 2020. This season, Devon Windsor swim joins L*Space, Wave Babe and SOAH, along with Eleventh Hour sunnies and Bogg Bag beach totes. 740 South 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19147
In 2019, Liz Young took an old house that had been converted to a retail space, filled it top to bottom with books, sprinkled in oodles of homespun charm, and created a little spot of small-town magic. Downstairs, a warren of rooms holds fiction and nonfiction, while the second story has two rooms dedicated to kids, with cozy floor pillows that invite lounging. (One tiny closet has been transformed into a Harry Potter reading nook!) Young and her staff host book clubs (often on the shop’s front porch), author events and writing groups, too. 49 South Main Street, Yardley, PA 19067
Leave it to founder Jen Risk — the Wayne designer who turned upcycled Goyard totes into wearable works of art when she launched her accessories label in 2017 — to dream up this summer’s most coveted frock. Her new line of made-to-order pool dresses transforms vintage towels from fabled maisons like Hermès into chic shifts cut from original patterns from the ’60s, designed with throwback details like vintage faux mother-of-pearl buttons and flirty front pockets. So much for inconspicuous sunbathing. 303 West Lancaster Avenue , Wayne, PA 19087
Lansdowne-based Philly Bra Lady Karima Renée Barge has helped more than 1,000 clients find their perfect size, become better educated about bras, and feel confident in their own skin. “It can be life-changing,” she says. Click here for her tips on finding the right fit. 158 East Marshall Road, Lansdowne, PA 19050
Mosh-pit fiends, rejoice! You can proclaim your love for heavy metal and all the strange, delightful parts of our city at the same time with this brand’s line of ghoulish yet comic tees, posters and bumper stickers. For more than a decade, graphic designer and printmaker Jim Anderson — a.k.a. GrimGrimGrim — has been creating and screen-printing odes to local sports events, celebs and history, from Gritty to the great water calamity of 2023 to the Sixers’ recent near-win.
Inspired by his epic 2018 Super Bowl championship parade speech, the Eagles center last fall launched a collection of t-shirts, hats and bags for all genders that nods to the Philly spirit. (The “It’s the Whole Team” line sold out during the Birds’ 2023 Super Bowl run; the “Hungry Dogs Run Faster” collection remains ever-popular.) Keep an eye out for new designs, all by Philly artists. Proceeds go to Kelce’s (Be)Philly foundation, which benefits organizations that help K-12 students in Philly schools.
A few years ago, Rachael Compton worked in PR and taught herself metalsmithing on the side. Lucky for us, she quit that gig in 2017 and took up jewelry-making full-time, so that we might all enjoy her minimal, funky (and surprisingly affordable) creations: dangly helix-shaped earrings, squiggle rings dotted with gemstones, chunky hoops rimmed with tiny metal beads. Up next for Compton is a Fairmount studio and retail space, slated to open this fall.
Once you’ve decided how you feel about the vintage Playboy mags on display, turn to the clothing. It ranges from the 1970s to the 2000s, with an emphasis on the styles you sported as a preteen or teen (if you’re a millennial, that is). Think low-rise jean miniskirts and Juicy Couture velour sets, plus men’s tees and jeans from the early aughts. Downstairs? Heavily discounted styles. And you won't be able to resist the retro drinkware in Technicolor hues on your way out. 53 North 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
The beauty of this appointment-only salon at the Bok Building is the care with which founder Mayana Carter curates her collection of independent labels and non-traditional looks. Each designer adds a layer to the fabric of her shop — whether it’s because the brand is run by a woman of color or made of recycled materials, whether it’s gender-and-size-inclusive (up to size 24 in-store and 32-plus via special order) or pays its workers a living wage. 821 Dudley Street, studio 513, Philadelphia, PA 19148
Whether she’s transforming an Ambler coffee shop’s outdoor garden into a rustic wedding venue or staging a flamenco-filled ceremony and reception at a villa in Spain, Andi Schilawski isn’t afraid of a challenge. In fact, she prefers unconventional settings for the exchange of vows, often pulling velvet loveseats and mobile champagne carts from Collection by Musa, the event furniture rental company she opened in 2022. The East Falls planner also stands out for her graphic-design skills.
With 50-plus years in business and a move to a new 1,500-square-foot shop and studio — the former home of Joseph Fox Bookshop — the Wayne Edwards team has more room to tailor your tux, plus a ready-to-wear section with luxury duds for your honeymoon. (Pair those Rubirosa sneakers with Candiani Italian denim.) And in the workshop? On average, 37 measurements to perfectly match your silhouette. 1724 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Gemologist Ken Black and wife Nicole have been in the business for just over two decades, taking abstract nuptial jewelry ideas and turning them into works of wearable art. The couple uses both lab-grown gems (a lower-carbon-footprint option) and natural stones for their genderless engagement and wedding rings, which are all certified by the Gemological Institute of America. For added sparkle: They have a design patent pending on a star ring band with five points of contact on the finger, which helps with comfort and fit and ensures that your huge rock stays upright. 421 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Vietnamese-born Minh Cao didn’t learn professional photography until after she’d started her business as a side hustle in 2015. “My parents never deemed photography fit for a profession, so studying it never crossed my mind,” says the Ridley Park resident. She self-trained online, took some in-person classes, and today is known for snapping weddings through a dreamy, tender — almost wistful — lens that makes you never want to leave that moment.
There was an era in which men would golf to kill time before the wedding. These days, who has time to play 18 holes when you’ve got a shape-up booked? Yes, Doylestown-based Gina Kay Osborne’s popular beauty collective has relaunched its on-site grooming service. She’s partnered with Mark Shilling — the barber behind Make Your Mark in Ardmore and Willow Grove — to provide cuts, straight-razor shaves and beard trims. Talk about a first look.
Imagine cutting into a four-tiered, ultra-frilly Lambeth-style cake on your Big Day — you’ll slice through prettily piped garlands and scrolls and frosting on frosting to reveal a vanilla confection with layers of tangy lemon cream and raspberry cardamom jam. The micro bakery and cake studio’s self-taught baker, Noelle Wheatley Blizzard, is embracing retro maximalism with her ’60s-inspired designs, and they’ve become wildly popular among the soon-to-be-wed crowd.
If you’re saying “I do” here, there’s no reason to have your surrounding festivities anywhere else. After all, the sky-high hotel is a trip in its own right. Director of catering Robin Ewing will help you custom-create an itinerary, from a welcome reception on the main ballroom’s outdoor terrace to a post-wedding brunch at Vernick Fish. If you’re really looking to party, you could hold a wedding-inspired rock concert, like one local couple recently did. As for your honeymoon? Think about that 57th-floor infinity-edge pool. 1 North 19th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
The newly renovated space from the Chick Invitations team is a bride-to-be’s dream come true: There’s a bright retail shop in the front and an assembly bar in the back, and you can rent out the entire thing for your shower. You’ll spend the morning with your BFFs, picking out chic pearl clutches and getting-ready attire (like satin robes and pom-pom slippers). Afterward, fill gift boxes with a personalized selection of monogrammed luggage tags, eye pillows, and other special somethings. 241 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
One of owner and founder Rebecca DePasquale’s favorite creations is a “floud” — a floral cloud that seems to hover on the ground, on tabletops, and on other surfaces. (She uses elements like pin frogs, shallow vases, and blooms in a cavalcade of colors, primarily sourced from local growers.) You can see the flower-filled feat come to life at your wedding — if you book her services. 660 West Washington Street, Norristown, PA 19401
Take one look at the portfolio of this Philly-based artist, and you’ll see why she’s the go-to pro for some of the area’s top interior designers. Dubree specializes in decorative finishes, meaning she’ll take your empty interior walls and transform them with her arsenal of artistry: real (or faux) Venetian plaster and Roman clay applications, pearlized strié, all-over stencils, faux finishes like copper or antique brass, and sweeping hand-painted murals. Who says wall art needs to fit in a frame?
For so long, we’ve needed a healthy middle ground between combing CVS displays for Essie polishes that’ll chip in a day and dropping 70 bucks at the salon for a fresh set. With its exceptionally smooth formula and wide selection of glittery iridescent and matte colors — all hand-poured, vegan and non-toxic, by the way — this queer- and disabled-owned brand based in South Philly has, ahem, nailed it.
If you: a) have a baby, b) know someone who’s having one, or c) just like looking at ridiculously adorable — and yes, tiny — things, head to this nearly year-old sister shop of Tildie’s Toy Box. It’s stocked with clothing and accessories for newborns up to size 3T (from brands like Posh Peanut and Quincy Mae, and expanding to size 6T in the fall), plus toys (we’re obsessed with Blabla’s hand-knitted dolls) and gear (like Mushie’s pastel silicone sippy cups and utensils). Need a baby-shower gift ASAP? They offer gratis gift-wrapping. 1833 East Passyunk Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19148