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September 03, 2015

Skip the chain store: small shops for the perfect gift

Small Business Gifts
Scarlet Alley Scarlet Alley/for PhillyVoice

Scarlett Alley

Buying gifts is supposed to be a fun and personal experience for both the giver and receiver.

But in the age of baby and bridal registries and big chain stores, we too often find ourselves purchasing a $75 blender from a Bed, Bath & Beyond instead of something special.

But remember, a registry is just an option. Next time you're invited to a gathering, be it a baby or bridal shower, birthday or dinner party, pop into one of Philly's small gift boutiques for the perfect, personal present. 


935 N. 2nd St.
Swag is a Northern Liberties boutique that features an array of whimsical and unique gifts. (Swag)

Everything in Swag has been hand-picked by its owner based on an eclectic array of items she finds cool and quirky, from innovative kitchenware to home decor and baby gifts.

Art Star

623 N. 2nd St.
Art Star
Art Star in Northern Liberties carries a curated select of  handmade clothing, accessible fine art, jewelry & home accessories from artists across the country. (Art Star)

Art Star aims to offer personal gifts to accommodate everyone’s budget. According to its website, Art Star works with more than 50 artists across the U.S. and brings the best to its brick-and-mortar shop.

Hello World

3610 Sansom St.

Hello World
A University City gift shop with original home items, baby gifts, jewelry and more. (Hello World)

This University City shop houses more than 2,000 square feet space of home decor - including its owners own private-label line of custom upholstery and chairs - as well as personalized gifts for all the people in your circle.

Scarlett Alley

241 Race St.
Scarlet Alley
This fab Old City shop has been in the gifting game since 1993. (Scarlett Alley)

Scarlett Alley might be a small business, but its customer base spans the nation and beyond. The store has been nationally recognized for its ever-changing inventory, worldwide shipping and free gift wrapping.