March 17, 2015 |
JOHNZEE TOOK A break from the breakneck pace of the JFCS Thrift Boutique's back room and said that he and Robin Michaelson are pioneers, which is true. "Me and Robin are like the founders of this program," said JohnZee, 64, who prefers to use his email name. "JFCS does so much for people with special needs. " Michaelson, 46, nodded. In 2013, when Jewish Family & Children's Services opened the JFCS Thrift Boutique on Frankford Avenue near Tolbut Street in Pennypack Woods, its goal was to offer low-income residents donated clothing, housewares and toys for pennies on the dollar.
January 29, 2015 |
Maureen Doron, owner of the Bryn Mawr boutique Skirt, is ushering in the spring shopping season with seven new-to-her-store women's-wear lines. This may not seem to be major fashion news, but it marks the first time in four years that Doron is selling untested designers on her store's racks. Like many other recession-weary boutique owners, Doron didn't want to take chances with a clientele that had grown price-conscious, seemingly interested only in affordable basics. That is starting to change.
November 25, 2014 |
Stroll Moorestown Mall between the food court and Boscov's department store, and that new clothing store, Erdon, might not catch your eye. Its walls are off-white. Some dresses hang from pipe racks. A few black boots and shoes line the shelves. Just another mall store for teenagers, right? Hardly. Go ahead. Step through Erdon's black-framed glass doors and pluck at a sleeve. This black leather jacket by Ivan Grundahl is $1,228. That black cocktail dress is $690. The tailored denim jeans, by Closed, start at $190.
October 17, 2014
K Y CAO, 32, and his brother Rick, 34, both of Packer Park, are two of the co-founders of Ps & Qs, a trendy menswear boutique on South Street near 8th. The boutique, which opened in October 2012, also sells grooming products, boots and sneakers, pillows and books on fashion. I spoke with Ky. Q: How did you come up with the idea for Ps & Qs? A: The idea was to create a timeless and quality men's store. We wanted to bring independent brands that are more interesting than [some of the mass-marketed ones]
July 31, 2014 |
The clothing you'll find in Joan Shepp's new Chestnut Street boutique stays true to her aesthetic: a heavily curated collection of designer women's wear that is dark in hue, architectural in silhouette, and of course, edgy. Yet the "concept" boutique, with its clean white walls and golden fixtures, evokes a freshness that is decidedly much more Shepp-y than 1616 Walnut ever was. There's a section for chic and crazy hats. (Shepp loves a bright beanie). And shoppers can check out a studio where products are photographed for her cyber-store operation.
June 19, 2014 |
Claire Dickson will start her summer vacation as usual at the end of this month, but when it's over she will not reopen her eponymous women's boutique the second week in August as she's done for 35 years. Dickson, one of the area's czarinas of special-occasion fashion, has decided to retire. And her daughter and business partner, Debbie, wants to spend more time with her teenage daughter. Rather than look for a replacement, Dickson is calling it quits. There is canasta to be played.
May 2, 2014
ROBERT WINDFELDER, 51, of Fishtown, and Stefanie Jolles, 42, of South Philadelphia, are co-owners of Crash Bang Boom on 4th Street near South. The punk boutique, which also offers items on its website, sells clothes, shoes and accessories for men and women. I spoke to Windfelder, who also fronts the rock band Live Not On Evil. Q: The store used to be on South Street and was called Zipperhead back in the day. A: We both worked at Zipperhead on South Street and, for the last five years it was there, we owned it. When rent got too high at the end of our lease in 2005, we needed a new location.
January 9, 2014 |
Joan Shepp will finally have her display windows. The longtime Center City boutique owner signed a 10-year-lease Friday that will give her same-named designer women's boutique a permanent home at 1811 Chestnut St., the commercial space of the historic Belgravia condominiums. Shepp will probably move into the 9,200-square-foot, two-story space by mid-spring. Until then, she will stay in her temporary second-floor store at the Shops at Liberty Place, where she relocated from her longtime space on Walnut Street late last year.
December 6, 2013
E LISSA KARA, 38, of South Philly, owns Nice Things Handmade, a boutique gallery she opened in February 2010 on Passyunk Avenue near Pierce Street, not far from her home. It supports 75 local artists, most from the Philly area, and sells handmade ceramics, jewelry, clothing, prints, accessories and artwork. Q: Tell me about the idea for Nice Things Handmade. A: I got laid off from my job and I was also an artist at Mew Gallery. I was sad [Mew] closed and decided to open my own boutique gallery.
July 29, 2013 |
Joan Shepp talks shop standing near the display window of her iconic Walnut Street boutique, her voice shifting from uncharacteristic, unsure whisper to typical fashion-savvy confidence. She's in a pickle. Her self-named specialty store, with its curated selection of high-end designers from Rick Owens to Ann Demeulemeester, has played a major part in shaping Walnut Street - west of Broad through 19th - into Philadelphia's poshest place to shop. But it's her success, and that of other chic independents along five Rittenhouse Square blocks, that has helped spike the value of commercial real estate in the last two years and, ironically, has led to her exit - at least off the best blocks in the strip.