A: A hope chest was something that a mother or grandmother gave the bride-to-be, a trousseau with all her needs and wants for the wedding day and honeymoon.
Q: What's the biggest challenge you faced opening your shop?
A: It's a totally different clientele from the suburbs. Suburban women are into the basics; they want warm pajamas and slippers. But here they want colors, a little bit more sexy and edgy because it's Philly.
Q: What's a typical customer?
A: Young, fashionable, hip and confident. I get all ages, but I'd say mostly between 22 and 35.
Q: What's the best-selling item?
A: A sexy bra, something that can be worn every day, but a little bit more fun. We have two types. One I call the T-shirt bra. It's a smooth top and goes under a fitted shirt. That's my bread and butter. And then there's the fun bra, a little spicier, more colorful.
Q: What's a typical bra cost?
A: An average bra costs $80 and a bra-and-panties set would be $150. You can certainly get a bra for $60 or one for $200, but our best-seller is around $80.
Q: What distinguishes Hope Chest from other shops?
A: A wide variety of choices at all price points. We're a specialty store with luxury items, but you don't have to spend $300 or $400 before walking out. I'm asked: How are you different from Victoria's Secret? It's quality. My products are handmade. The lace is fine fabric and not made in China.
Q: Valentine's Day a good day for the lingerie biz?
A: There's so much hype to buy your special someone lingerie, get her out of that shabby T-shirt or boyfriend's boxers.
Q: I see you had a "gentleman's night" Feb. 7 to gin up sales.
A: I was actually shocked but impressed by the turnout. They wanted to buy something she liked, that she was going to wear. They were not cheaping out.
Q: A night for big spenders?
A: Let's just say, on average, 50 guys bought, and they were spending about $150 each.
Q: Tell me about this brand you carry called Hanky Panky.
A: It's an iconic, very-underwear brand. They're known for their thongs.
On Twitter: @MHinkelman