The holiday shopping season has officially begun, and it’s time to start thinking about where to find the perfect gifts! I hope I didn’t just cause you some immediate stress and heart burn by reading that, but it’s true! Some of that holiday shopping stress should be alleviated by the fact that I am about to help you get some fantastic ideas! The best part – none of them involve you going into a mall! Can I get a “hell yeah!”?

Don’t wait for “Shop Small Business Saturday” to support your local businesses. Choose to “shop small” whenever you can! If you don’t know any stores in Philly, that’s ok, I can help you with that. Now, you get to be one of those cool kids that are “in the know”. I’ve included a variety of options for all of the different people you may be shopping for this holiday season. If you follow me on Instagram, some of these places will already be familiar to you, but now you don’t have to search my page to find the best ideas for your gifts!

  1. Local Designer creations at M Concept Shop

    Photo courtesy of M Concept’s Instagram

    I am sure that this first one is no surprise to anyone who follows me! The clothing by local designers makes you look effortlessly chic. The accessories add the perfect details to your outfit. The recent collaboration with Bus Stop Boutique also has me obsessed with their shoes. But, honestly, the things that make me smile every time I go into the shop (in addition to the shop’s amazing owner, Ethan), is the collection of aeriums! What’s an aerium? Oh, only the coolest gift you’ll give or receive – think terrarium, but with air plants and other delicate beauties. Trust me, you have to check them out.

  2. Treats at Sweet Box

    This is a recent discovery for me, and oh my goodness, I can’t get enough. Whether you know someone with a sweet tooth, or you’re responsible for bringing some goodies to a holiday party, Sweet Box is a yummy choice! Their treats aren’t overly sweet or heavy, so you find yourself being surprised at the fact that you ate more than you thought you would…and going back for more. They also serve Doughlicious, which if you haven’t had it yet, you will be in love with how they pair their cookies and brownies with this edible cookie dough.

  3. Shoes from  Bus Stop BoutiqueBusStopBoutiqueBus Stop is where the cool girls go for shoes. A true shoe lover has at least one pair of Bus Stop shoes in her collection, and she’s (not so patiently) waiting to add another pair. They are chic, unique, and comfortable. What more could you want from a shoe? Bus Stop also did a recent collaboration with Sticks + Stones!  I first discovered them through Sarah of smoorelovin and talked about in this post. That super cute studded black back pack is by Sticks + Stones.
  4. A bag with custom details from Tesoro

    Photo courtesy of Tesoro’s Instagram

    Run by two of the coolest #girlbosses I have had the pleasure of meeting, Tesoro has beautiful leather bags. Their bags can be made to be reversible, customizable, and every part of their manufacturing process is done in America!

  5.  VerdePerfect place for a quick (but still meaningful) present! 

    Photo courtesy of Verde’s Instagram

    Verde is just one of those stores that you walk into, and you immediately start thinking “Oh! Mandy would LOVE that!” “Sara totally needs that!” “This would be perfect for Vikki!” and I could do that with all of my friends and family. If you are looking for a gift for a host for a holiday party, or a fun but still personal gift, go to Verde! Just when you feel like they have everything, you walk further into the store and discover that they also have artisanal chocolates.

  6.  Vault + Vine for flower perfection

    Photo courtesy of Vault + Vine’s Instagram

    If you haven’t been to Vault + Vine yet, make a coffee date and go! Yes, it’s an adorable flower shop with a cafe, and it’s in East Falls, and there really aren’t any other reasons you need, so go there right now. Granted, it’s not as big as places like Terrain or Ott’s, but it’s collection is equally impressive, and they have great coffee! Stop by Vault + Vine to get a centerpiece for your table that your entire family will be envious of, or pick up a stunning bouquet before going to your family’s for dinner!

  7.  Alice Alexander

    FINALLY, a designer for women sized 12-28, who is even located in Philadelphia!! Mary Alice’s designs are impeccable, colorful, and make every woman truly feel like the bombshell she was born to be. You can shop through her Etsy store, or better yet, make an appointment to go to her studio, and the two of you can create a custom garment literally made for your body. Yet another thing I love about Alice Alexander, is that they focus on using sustainable materials and use salvaged materials whenever possible! If you wear a size 12-28, this could definitely be a “treat yo self” moment, or you can make an appointment for a woman in your life, who you know would love a custom design in their wardrobe!

  8. And We Evolve

    Photo courtesy of And We Evolve’s Instagram

    Through And We Evolve, you can get “like-new” clothing that has been given a second life! The selections that they carry are the best that I have ever seen, especially when it comes to secondhand. When you think of, And We Evolve, think of it more as an updated, upscale synonym to secondhand. They have a lot of on trend pieces, so instead of checking out the stores at the mall, check And We Evolve first – you’ll get a better deal anyway!
    Also, they carry DESIGNER, and quite a few of them are UNDER $200!! This is not a drill! Go to their website before the Louboutins and the Gucci are gone!

  9. A girl’s dream gems from Craiger Drake Designs

If you’re in need of a piece of sparkly heaven, Craiger Drake already has it, or they can create it for you. They are most well known for their custom designs, but they also carry a varied selection of jewelry, including some unique vintage and estate pieces!

After reading this list, if you’re still thinking “yeah, Susan, that all sounds great, but I don’t have time to shop in brick and mortar stores”, I have another amazing way that I can help you. In addition to my personal styling services, during the holidays, I offer a personal shopping service that is specific to assisting you with taking care of your holiday shopping! So, how does it work? It’s easy, I promise.

Step One:  Send me an email (

Step Two: In that email, tell me:

  1. Who you would like for me to shop for (significant other, friend, family member, coworker, boss, teacher, etc).
  2. Your budget you would like to spend per person
  3. The category that you would like me to choose a gift from (clothes, accessories, beauty products, or something pretty for their home or office).
  4. The date for when you need the gift.

After I receive that information from you, I will provide you the estimated total, including your budget and my service fee. Then, pour yourself a glass of wine/bourbon, cup of tea or coffee, or whatever beverage you enjoy and relax, because I have just made your holiday season significantly easier.


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