I am getting to that age now where boutique stores are no longer unattainable. I mean, yes, I still cringe at some of the price tags (you want me to spend how much on a coaster?!) but for the most part, I’ve woken up to the idea that quality over quantity exists and shopping local in the end helps out the community. So in honor of my new look on what “femme adulting” means to me, here is a list of the top five boutiques in Philly that you most definitely, absolutely should visit.
Moon & Arrow – 754 S. 4th St.
Hidden away in the Queen Village neighborhood, this shop boasts itself as a socially responsible store, with its shelves stocked full of handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, home goods and yes—an apothecary! They carry everything from digestive bitters to beard tonic to detox sea salts. So if natural remedies are your thing—make sure to add Moon & Arrow on your list of places to shop.
Aoki Boutique, named after owner, Alina Alter’s cat, opened up in April 2012 and is ready to approach its four-year anniversary. “I wanted to create a space and a brand that I would want to encounter as a consumer and which I felt filled a void here in Philly; a cool store to discover labels, a multipurpose space to attend a variety of events and excellent customer service and hospitality,” Alina said. As for the stock, “I buy with an eye for my personal style; if I wouldn’t wear it or use it, I don’t sell it here,” she said. “I put a lot of thought into curating the Aoki collection because I want it to feel eclectic but tell a cohesive story. What’s the “cat’s pajamas” in the store right now? Alina says the Protection Candle by Spitfire Girl, the “Let’s Stay Home” flag by Zana and the Striped Shirt Dress by Sugarlips.
Open House – 107 S. 13th St.
This shop is going to get me into a lot of trouble, especially because it is right near my gym and conveniently close to my bus stop. Open House isn’t where you buy your gag gifts. Oh no my friends, this is where you purchase a gift that will put you on the “coolest gift giver ever” list. Open House is also famously known for its Philly-centric paraphernalia—toting everything from coffee mugs, glasses, tote bags, and beer openers with soft pretzels and the liberty bell. Open House is also where you can find succulents (for all you plant lovers out there), Scrabble-themed coffee mugs and magnets, baby clothing and toys and more.
Smak Parlour – 219 Market St.
Smak Parlour is as adorable inside as it is outside. The store opened its doors in March 2005. Owners Abby and Katie met when they were just 15 years old. Both having a passion for fashion, they always knew they would open a store one day. Abby and Katie studied design together in college, where they designed a wholesale line called SMAK by abby & katie. Their products were sold to boutiques, which ultimately “gave us the confidence to open our very own shop.” Smak Parlour has grown substantially throughout the years, evening opening up a fashion truck (think food truck but with clothing). The truck, which launched in July 2013, just completed a cross –country trip and is now in Los Angeles. “The truck has been getting a great response so far…everywhere we go, it feels like paparazzi are following the truck because people are excited and taking pictures!” Abby and Katie just completed designing their new in-house line. “It is a capsule collection comprised of proprietary prints and everything is printed & produced in the USA.”
Occasionette – 1825 E. Passyunk Avenue
Do you ever walk into a store and immediately upon entering, you get the urge to buy literally EVERYTHING?! This is how I felt when I first walked into Occasionette. Nestled in the East Passyunk neighborhood, Occasionette sells everything from bath products to housewares, to cards. Plus, the owner is super sweet.
This city is filled with independently owned, locally committed shops, so make sure to show them some love.