A Day in the Life of Bus Stop Boutique’s Elena Brennan

Where the impossibly chic shop owner eats, what she wears, and who inspires her.

The owner of Bus Stop boutique, Elena Brennan, hails from London — which might explain her quirky, edgy, colorful style (those red glasses!). But though her roots might be across the pond, her knowledge of the best of Philly’s style scene is impressive. I got her to divulge her favorite people, places and things in the city, from art galleries and book shops to restaurants and jewelry shops. Because what’s better than picking the brain of one of the most stylist shopkeeps in town?


Photos by Courtney Apple.

“I start my day with a steaming-hot cuppa (1) PG Tips tea with milk, an English tradition that I can’t do without.

“I channel my inner ballerina and stay flexible by taking adult ballet classes every Tuesday morning with Jess at P.A.C.K. studio, and I practice yoga with Nikki at Dig Yoga during lunchtime on Wednesdays.

“My favorite beauty product is (2) MAC lipstick. I’m a MAC slut, and I always carry at least four different shades to mix and match throughout the day.

“I have a fabulous hairstylist, fellow Brit Francesca Rivetti, who owns Follicle Studio. I have a lot of gray hair, but you would never know it with the magic she creates.

“I love to adorn my fingers with rings, particularly from Angela Monaco’s (3) Concrete Polish jewelry collection. Sustainable, handcrafted, bold and bewitching.

(4) Brickbat Books on Fabric Row is by far the best place to buy books if you’re looking for something graphic or for rare children’s books. I walk past the window daily and will often catch some of the good titles before anyone else.

“The Greek Cypriot cuisine at (5) Kanella takes me back to my roots. My parents were born in Cyprus, and though I was born in London, I speak Greek and have strong ties to this little Mediterranean island I call my third home. The chef, Constantino, and I always banter back and forth in our native tongue.

“I love contemporary art, and there’s no better art gallery in town than the James Oliver Gallery. It’s worth the climb of four flights of stairs!

“This spring, I designed my first-ever (6) shoe collection in collaboration with shoe designer All Black. The limited-edition capsule collection of 12 oxfords was the number one seller in the boutique. We are planning a comeback tour of the most popular styles next month.”