Shop Local: West Chester Holiday Gift Guide
December 9, 2014 | Ronna Dewey, Dish Works
West Chester PA -- Holiday shopping is in full swing! With over 75 quaint shops to explore in downtown West Chester, from boutiques slinging clothing, jewelry and accessories to art, furniture and collectibles, this town makes finding that perfect gift easy.
Let Victorian carolers set the tone for a spirited shopping trip on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons throughout December. The carolers, sponsored by the West Chester Downtown Foundation, stroll through the shops and restaurants decked out in their period costumes.
Downtown West Chester has ample parking available for visitors, so you don’t have to worry about circling the mall parking lot to find a space. From parking in the convenient garages or at metered spaces, you’ll be close to all the deals without the parking stress. Many of our retailers validate garage parking (please check with each retailer for details) and the entire Justice Center Garage is free after 5 p.m. on Friday through the whole weekend. Plus, parking is free at meters and garages every Sunday. See more at Parking in Downtown.
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FOR THE FITNESS FANATIC
Chester County Running Store
If you're looking for some cool gear for your favorite athlete, swing by Chester County Running Store for the latest in running shoes, fitness apparel and cute running-themed gifts. Help your runner stay warm throughout the winter with running gloves, hats and tights or get them that new electronic device to help them keep track of their miles. 24 S. High St.; 610-696-0115; RunCCRSccrs.com.
FAIRMAN'S Skate Shop
As one of the East Coast’s oldest and most respected skate, snow and surf shops, Fairman’s knowledgeable staff can help you select from hundreds of boards in stock, clothing for men, women and kids and a wall of the latest shoe styles. Don’t forget the sunglasses, watches, hats, backpacks and belts from all of the coolest brands. 43 W. Gay St.; 610-344-9959; Fairmans.com.
Know someone who wants to get fit and go green in the new year? Why not get them a pedal-assisted electric bicycle? Biking is a great choice for commuting short distances to work, running errands, exercising or simply having fun. Hybrid Cycles sells only electric bikes and has the knowledge and experience to help you make the right selection for your budget.They also can help you outfit your traditional bicycle into an electric bike. Not sure an e-bike is right for you? Rent one for the weekend or a week. If you like it, they will apply some or all of your rental charges towards the purchase price if you decide to buy. 124 E. Gay St.; 610-212-3070; Hybrid-Cycles.com.
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FOR THE FASHIONISTA
If the lady in your life is a fashion freak, BLINK is your one-stop shop for all the latest trends and hottest brands like Hudson, 7 for all mankind, Joie, French Connection and more. Score super cute scarves, denim in a variety of colors and styles and fun tops for every occasion. If you need a fun and flirty party dress, BLINK’s friendly staff can help you find the perfect fit. Plus, gift wrapping is free! Not sure what to get? A BLINK gift card is the perfect choice. 136 W. Gay St.; 610-431-2212; ShopBlink.com.
Tish offers a comprehensive list of brands and designers that showcases their passion for fashion. Their belief that every woman should feel and look their best at any age, size or income level is apparent with the wide range of labels and truly unique pieces. You'll find luxurious fabrics, premium denim and handmade jewelry, plus helpful staff ready to assist you in choosing that perfect present. 138 E. Gay St.; 610-692-7500; TishStyle.com.
Nich is the kind of boutique that is unintimidating for the fashion novice and makes finding the right outfit or accessory fun. They receive new items on a weekly basis so you can find the hottest styles and do it all on a budget. Score one-of-a-kind screen printed and remade tops, adorable tees, affordable denim, dresses and seasonal styles. They carry a large selection of handbags as well as jewelry for every occasion. 29 S. High St.; 610-436-8181; ShopNich.com.
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FOR THE GUYS
Piper’s Way Celtic Imports
Bring a little bit of Scotland and Ireland to Chester County with a visit to Piper’s Way. Choose from Edinburgh Crystal, jewelry, sweaters, mini pipes, swords, dolls, candles, rugs, family crests, tweed caps, ties, music and more. Want to go all out and dress the part? Piper’s Way rents kilts, too! 109 N. Church St.; 610-431-9772; PipersWay.com.
Main Line Custom Clothiers
Providing men the best in formal and business attire for more than 50 years, Main Line Custom Clothiers are the experts in fitting men in tuxedos, custom suits, ties and dress shirts—all at an affordable price. They offer a comprehensive collection from the world’s finest designers and can tailor almost any item to fit properly. Mainline Custom Clothier also rents tuxedos if you are in need for a formal holiday party. 129 W. Market St.; 484-905-7098; MainLineCustomClothiers.com.
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FOR THE MUSIC BUFF
Mad Platter has been keeping the music alive in West Chester for over 30 years. Sure, you can just download your favorite songs, but holding a CD or vinyl record in your hands takes the music appreciator straight down memory lane. Mad Platter also carries DVDs, posters, clothing, memorabilia and so much more. You never know what you’ll find as you browse the aisles. 111 W. Gay St.; 610-431-1509; facebook.com/TheMadPlatter.
Taylor’s Music Store & Studios
Taylor's has served as the center for musical instruments and music education in Chester County for over 80 years. They carry a wide range of musical instruments for sale or rental. Get your music-lover everything from guitar picks, microphones and amps to drum sets, sheet music or music software. You can also purchase your budding Beethoven some lessons to keep the music going for years to come. 116 W. Gay St.; 610-696-1812; TaylorsMusic.com.
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FOR THE ART LOVER
Not only can you get custom framing at wholesale prices, Z Gallery has a host of unique gift possibilities. Z Gallery provides custom laser engraving on slate, granite, mirrors or acrylic holiday ornaments and also can engrave photo-quality images with custom text to make the perfect family keepsake. For a truly special gift, commission one of their artists turn your photograph into a custom painting. 109 W. Gay St.; 610-696-5515; ZGallery.com.
Visual Expansion Gallery
Showcasing one of the largest collections of local artists from the Brandywine Valley, Visual Expansion Gallery provides the art aficionado in your life and incredible collection of sculpture, custom mirrors and original or quality print artwork. They carry custom jewelry, mosaics, vintage art posters and antique map reproductions, too. Visual Expansion Gallery also can revive your valuable paintings with their restoration services and offers custom framing. 126 N. High St.; 610-436-8697; VisualExpansionGallery.com.
Sunset Hill Jewelers & Fine Arts Gallery
If you have a fan of vintage jewelry on your shopping list, then Sunset Hill Jewelers is a can’t miss shop. They carry a large selection of authentic antique and estate jewelry from the Victorian era through the 1950s and can restore, repair or redesign using the gems from your own family heirlooms. Sunset Hill also carries jewelry collections from top designers including Coast, Metalsmiths, Honora, GemVeto, F. Goldman and Triton. Make your way upstairs to their fine arts gallery and find original artwork in various mediums. 23 N. High St.; 610-692-0374; SunsetHillJewelers.com.
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FOR THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS
Katie Mac Floral Designs
Don’t forget to treat the host or hostess of your holiday gatherings—spoil him or her with a bouquet of flowers, a plant or a gourmet gift basket of goodies. Choose from baskets filled with sweet treats, coffee, tea, cookies and more. Better yet, arrange online for delivery in the West Chester area and take the stress completely out of your shopping. 36 S. High St.; 610-431-9414; KatiMacFloralDesigns.com.
The 5 Senses
There is a little something for everyone over at The 5 Senses. Choose from wind chimes and other garden accessories, handmade jewelry, candles, soaps, hand-blown glass and pottery. There are also eco-friendly greeting cards and gourmet gifts like herb dip mixes, spiced nuts, mustards and more that will wow your hostess. 133 W. Market St.; 610-719-0170; The5Senses.com.
Featuring all natural apothecary items, Beau Etre (which translates to Beautiful Being) uses only organic ingredients. Their products are custom-crafted without chemicals—-no sulfates, petroleum products, phthalates or artificial colors. All of their soaps, lotions, body scrubs and bath salts are fragrance-free, but can be custom-blended with essential oils. Popular combinations like mint and rosemary or ginger jasmine are sure to impress. 148 W. Gay St.; 484-319-6215; facebook.com/BeauEtre.
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FOR THE FOODIE
If you are fond of a food lover and need to find something special for him or her, downtown West Chester is the place to shop. From gift cards to gift sets, West Chester has you covered. See our blog post: Locally Sourced: 7 Must-Have Gifts to Give the Food Lover for some great ideas.
AND SO MUCH MORE. . .
Visit complete downtown retail directory at downtownWestChester.com. For the best bargains, check out the discounts offered by our shops that participate in the ThinkShopBuy. . .LOCAL initiative (TSBL).