7 Shop Owners on the Best Gifts to Give for Valentine’s Day

Hey, they've seen it all.


Does anything say it better than wine and chocolates? | Images via Trove and Verde.

Valentine’s Day shopping is a fraught experience. You want to seem thoughtful, loving and not-cheesy (so, please, avoid this). So while we could round up a list of what we want to give and get (and we will later, so just wait!), we figured we’d first hit up the people who know this whole V-Day shopping thing best: the store owners who watch it go down year after year.

To help you whittle down your shopping options, we got local boutique owners to spill on the best things for the loved ones in your life, from chocolate eclairs to pocket squares. Happy shopping!

love letters

Image via Art in the Age.

Art in the Age // 116 North 3rd Street, Old City.

This beloved Old City shop stocks all-American essentials — grooming tools, classic oxford shirts, and seasonally flavored booze galore. Head here for great gifts for guys.

What to buy: According to buyer Bob Myaing, look out for winter accessories on sale (Irish wool hats, scarves, and ties from The Hill-Side) that are perfect for riding out the colder months with your SO. You can also get creative with Three Potato Four vintage message boards, above, and leave a sweet message for your sweetie.

sweet nothings

Image via Select Shop 215.

Select Shop 215 // 41 South 3rd Street, Old City.

 Having just cemented its place in Old City’s stellar boutique shopping scene, Select Shop 215 carries many of the same thoughtful and well-designed housewares and lifestyle goods as its sister store Omoi Zakka Shop. Owner Liz Sieber is gradually bringing in new lines of men’s and women’s accessories, Japanese stationery, and apothecary essentials.

What to buy: Peep the shop’s new shipment of jewelry by Brooklyn-based company Dear Swallow, all one-of-a-kind pieces created from cast objects found in nature. The shop is carrying (in limited quantity) delicate bird’s feet ring-holders, oxidized shark’s tooth necklaces, and stately pewter honeybee pins.

thinking of you copy

Image via Trove General Store.

Trove General Store // 19 Paoli Shopping Center, Paoli.
This rugged Main Line boutique is home to American heritage brands like Woolrich and Pendleton, as well as a great selection of simple housewares (think hand-carved wooden kitchen utensils), books, and all things low-key cool.
What to buy: Co-owner Charlotte let us know that she has all the essentials for a romantic evening of cheese and wine tasting. Keep it classy with locally made Peebs and Peeps serving boards and a reclaimed horseshoe wine holder for your bottles of red. Set the mood with a mason-jar candle by Malvern-local Zoey Bathlatier — each one features song lyrics about love, like The Door’s “Light My Fire” and Bob Dylan’s “You Can Be In My Dreams If I Can Be In Yours.”
life's sweeter w you

Image via Verde.

[Verde // 108 South 13th Street, Midtown Village.

This Midtown Village gift shop has a bit of everything — affordable home decor, sweet fragrances and women’s accessories you won’t find anywhere else.

What to buy: Don’t default to Godiva when you can supply one-of-a-kind Marcie Blaine chocolates for your sweetie. Create a collection of artisan truffles that are made with organic cream and butter, then wine-infused, filled with fruity ganaches, or rolled in candied nuts — the choices are both endless and appropriately sinful.2]

he's all mine

Image via Tobox Shoes.

ToBox Shoes // 25 South 19th Street, Rittenhouse.

ToBox is a haven of high-end designer menswear accessories. You’ll find some of the Philly area’s top brands of men’s shoes, belts and luggage, as well as shoe shining tools to keep your wares in good shape.

What to buy: Check out owner Tung To’s in-house, hand-crafted pocket squares for the well-dressed men in your life. Or go all out with a vintage style triple flask travel set and matching double monk-strap leather loafers by Italian shoe brand Di Bianco.


Image via TownHome.

TownHome // 1617 Walnut Street, Rittenhouse.

Visit this Walnut Street jewelry store for a wide range of accessories you can customize with a heartfelt personal message.

What to buy: Dana “The Gift-Whisperer” Bank stocks gorgeous Heather B. Moore rose-gold necklace charms and bracelets; each one is engraved with special phrases like “Love You” and “With Me.” (Hint: Engraving scores you major points.)

pretty little thing

Image via Stars and Stripes.

Stars and Stripes // 2129 Chestnut Street, Rittenhouse.

What to buy: Need an outfit for your Gal-entines day celebration or date night out? A sweet cap-sleeved dress by Leota in a raspberry gingham print transitions perfectly from office to evening. For men, look for beautiful mother-of-pearl cufflinks, tasteful tie-bars and lapel pins.

Psst: For a gift on the sexy side, check out this Philly-based online luxury lingerie shop.