The staff at New Balance of Philadelphia & South Jersey isn't concerned with simply selling shoes—their mission is to pair customers with the footwear that will carry them comfortably through life’s arduous steps. Understanding that an ill-fitting pair of athletic shoes can cause pain to joints and potentially damage knees, hips, and the back, associates measure the length and width of each client's foot and conduct a gait analysis to chart the trajectory of their stride when walking normally or running through ball pits. The data are collected to help the staff match clients with their ideal shoe, keeping them running longer and looking good while doing so.
The knowledgeable staff at independently run Culture Clash Records guides local music lovers through an extensive selection of new and gently used disks and vinyl. Scour ample bins of used CDs ($1–$5.97) and LPs ($1–$7.99) for hidden gems in genres such as rock, soul, bluegrass, and futuristic robo-polka. Every Tuesday, new releases replenish the store’s stock of new CDs ($9.97–$11.97) and LPs ($11.99–$13.99). Browsers can snag recently released titles by artists such as They Might Be Giants, Wilco, and Colbie Caillat. Culture Clash patrons can also furnish their acoustic abodes with a wide variety of turntables, record needles, sleeves, and cleaners for records and frisbees mistaken for records. In addition, headphone-sporting customers can test out new tunes and silently dance the macarena at listening posts perched throughout the incense-scented space.
Paula Brown Shop houses an eclectic inventory of products from the United States, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, and Australia. Alessi flatware ($7.50–$26.50 per item) curbs the urge to eat chili with your hands, while Paula Brown's large selection of cookware forever eliminates the use of sharpened boomerangs as food processors. Bar accessories include a Mariposa pearled ice scoop ($34), Michael Aram twig tongs ($45), and an Alessi parrot corkscrew ($42). For friends that are expecting, or for adult friends aging backwards, Paula Brown offers a variety of baby products ($14–$50), as well as a range of collectibles ($22+) for all ages. Paula Brown Shop’s exterior is evocative of a modern-day castle, with its innards aglow with the shine of the sun, warm lighting, and the twinkle of trinkets’ souls.
Czech glass, polymer clay, and Swarovski crystals glitter along the walls of Stony Creek Bead's interior, waiting to add their sparkle to bracelets, necklaces, and baubles created by visiting beaders. Buyable jewelry crafted by local artisans also dots the shelves and displays, lending inspiration as they await purchase. The knowledgeable and patient staff leads the way to customer-created wares, referencing the shop’s kits, books, patterns, and tools, and leading classes on beading techniques, jewelry making, and lessons on why the “a” in bead is silent.
When Yourist Studio Gallery's founder Kay Yourist first touched clay at the age of eight, she instantly fell in love with the art of pottery. In 1984, this passion led her to open a home studio and begin teaching. When the number of students outgrew her small studio, Kay decided to open a facility that would fuse the aspects of a workshop, gallery, and art education center. Beneath the skylights of this equipped studio, Kay and her team of talented instructors lead classes that can take students from introductory to advanced levels. Boasting art degrees, international experience, and knowledge of any pottery wheel's circumference, the teachers use their expertise to design workshops that cover specific techniques and plan creative events. In other areas of the studio, reduction and oxidation kilns solidify freshly created masterpieces. Sculptures, pottery, and paintings populate exhibitions that introduce visitors to the works of celebrated artists, and free monthly video screenings tempt potters to fill their vases with popcorn.
Stuffed animals are our first friends as children, comforting us during long scary nights and on road trips to unfamiliar new solar systems. Chelsea Teddy Bear Co.’s employees realize how important these companions are to children, so they pay the utmost attention to detail as they stitch together soft, plush fabric, ensuring that the custom furry friends last a lifetime. The comforting pals range in size from 4.5-inch key chains to 20-inch animals that inspire reassuring hugs. Children can outfit their choice of a bear or other wild creature, ensuring that their companion is suitably dressed for tea parties or waging war on an infestation of Furbies.