Event Planners You Can Take Home With You

You already love their stylish events. Now, with their cool retail stores, Donna O’Brien and Kendall Brown can give your house that perfect look.

There are two just-opened, fabulous home/gifty boutiques in Northern Liberties — which might sound exciting, and lovely, and like something you’ll want to check out next time you’re over there, but not necessarily like anything new. Except, the founding concept that spawned each of them isn’t retail — it’s event planning and décor. And I don’t know about you, but that’s something I haven’t really seen before.

Donna O’Brien, owner of Beautiful Blooms florist (we gave this shop a quick shout-out in our last-minute Mother’s Day gift roundup), and Kendall Brown, owner of Eclatante Event Design, often work together on weddings and events — Donna whips up some of the most stunning arrangements in the region, and then Kendall creates the table schemes, lighting, and everything else within the décor of the event. They have a style, taste and aesthetic that’s distinctive—and people want it for their events. And after they’ve had it for their events, they wish they could have it for themselves. Now, with their new brick-and-mortar shops, the ladies have very smartly arranged it so we actually can take it home with us.

The Eclatante shop actually serves as the business’s headquarters and offices (there’s a room with an entire event tablescape that changes weekly, as well as monitors for client meetings, and shelves and racks of rentable samples for events)—but in the retail portion, the items are focused on home entertaining. There are candles and placemats and decorative bottle-stoppers and napkin rings (Kendall’s thing of the moment). There are books on wine and event-planning binders. In the near future, she’ll even be offering classes, where customers can come in to get ideas for dinner parties and brush up on entertaining etiquette.

Right across the way on Liberties Walk, you can buy fresh flowers by the stem at the Beautiful Blooms boutique, as well as dried lavender and products from Bucks County’s Carousel Farms. There are locally made Skeem candles, and oodles of vases, specialty soaps and container gardens. There’s even a shelf that will always be devoted to the work of a local artist (the kooky ceramics of Jackie Perkasie fill it right now). Starting soon, Donna will be teaching flower-arranging classes to lay people like you and me in her adjacent and wide-open workshop.

Even if you’ve never experienced either of these ladies’ events, you’ll get it when you see the stores — shop there, and you can make breakfast at your newspaper-strewn kitchen table feel, well, just lovely. And isn’t that what being at home is all about?