Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs 2009

Our readers and critics pick their favorites.

(page 8 of 21)

Shopping & Service (Critics)

Antique Shop: King Street Traders Fine Arts and Antiques

Among the antique-sleuthing set, it’s probably no surprise that King Street Traders is housed in a former general store. Owner Lynda P. Williams has a reputation for selling everything and anything—as long as it’s rare, elegant or has exceptional craftsmanship. That includes 18th- and 19th-century furniture, packed like a jigsaw puzzle into two floors and a back yard full of statuary. Still, it’s the American art—including sporting, sailing, and pastoral landscapes by graduates of the Pennsylvania Academy—that’s kept it in business for more than 25 years. 16 E. King St., Malvern, (610) 296-8818,

Barber Shop and Recording Studio in One: Vince’s Barbershop and Optimus Recordings
See story. 11 St. Alban’s Circle, Newtown Square, (610) 356-4199,

Sorella's Prom Lounge (Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli)Bookstore for Grownups:
Reader’s Forum

This old-fashioned spot is for serious readers looking for something a little different from what they’ll find at the big chains. Though you will find the works of mainstream authors displayed on its shelves, the crux of the Reader’s Forum mission is getting the word out about the lesser-known titles that aren’t backed by the big boys. 116 N. Wayne Ave., Wayne, (610) 254-9040

Bookstore for Kids: Children’s Book World
This small wonder remains an active force in helping parents foster a love of reading in their children. It works closely with area schools to do the same with its students. Lots of visiting authors and illustrators means your kids can build a timeless collection of autographed books to pass on to the next generation. 17 Haverford Station Road, Haverford, (610) 642-6274,

Bookstore to Discover Local Authors: Chester County Books & Music

If bookselling was baseball, then local authors would be relegated to the outfield. But at Chester County Books & Music, there’s that old bookstore vibe that welcomes—and even highlights—authors from the neighborhood. As lovers of great literature (rather than just the bottom line), they’re not afraid of placing locals alongside nationally and internationally established authors. That gives even the greenest area writers a shot at hitting a home run. 975 Paoli Pike, West Chester, (610) 696-1661,

Boutique Customer Service: Skirt
At Skirt, the needs of the customer come first—which is why owner Maureen Doron hires “stylists,” not salespeople, to work at her boutique. They all have backgrounds in the fashion industry, and they don’t work on commission. So if a stylist seems a bit too enthusiastic about that Catherine Malandrino dress or perfect pair of Hudson jeans, it’s because you really do look fabulous. 931 Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 520-0222,

Boutique for Prom Gowns: Sorella’s Prom Lounge
Charlene Mulholland and Jeanine Sherry have transformed the lower level of their women’s boutique into a luxe prom lounge, with racks of stunning gowns from hip designers like Aidan Mattox, Mori Lee and Tony Bowls. And since no girl wants to see a mirror image of her look, Sorella won’t sell two of the same dress for any prom. Where, oh where, was this place when we were in high school? 23 E. State St., Media, (610) 566-2393,

Bosom Buddies Lingerie (Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli)Boutique to Get Your “Girls” Expertly Fitted: Bosom Buddies Lingerie

Bosom Buddies’ Gina Mastrangelo—the queen of matching a woman to the perfect bra—buzzes around her boutique measuring busts as she explains the importance of a proper cup fit and why the band of the bra shouldn’t be giving you “back fat.” Mastrangelo’s caring approach, coupled with her full line of specialty bras and accessories, is a godsend, especially for those who’ve undergone breast-related surgery. 36 Chestnut Road, Paoli, (610) 296-7626,

Bridal Boutique: Suky
After years in Ardmore, Suky moved to a more intimate location in the heart of Bryn Mawr last fall. The boutique is filled with stunning gowns from the most renowned names in bridal fashion, including Vera Wang, Bagley Mischka, Romona Keveza, Anne Barge and Ulla-Maija. Suky also caters to mothers of the bride (or groom) with gowns from Kevin Hall, Rose Taft and other hot designers. 1038 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 520-0122,

Bridal Registry: Home Grown
You’ll find the best of the best throughout this Haverford boutique, everything from beautiful Simon Pearce stemware and elegant Bernardaud dinnerware, to amazing crystal from William Yeoward and Baccarat, and whimsical pieces from the MacKenzie-Childs collection. 393 W. Lancaster Ave., Haverford, (610) 642-3601,

Camps with Academic Cred: High School/Pre-College Camps at Julian Krinsky

Overachievers take note: Julian Krinsky’s High School/Pre-College Camps offer incredible opportunities, many in consort with the University of Pennsylvania—like an intensive four-week studio program in art and architecture at Penn’s School of Design and internships in a chosen field of interest. And for your budding M. Night Shyamalan, the WHYY Film Production Academy camp immerses students in the movie-making process, the end result shown at a festival that caps off the three-week session. 610 S. Henderson Road, King of Prussia, (610) 265-9401,

Childproofing for the Home: Kidproteq

Main Line grandparents Rachelle and Jeff Gansky first launched Kidproteq online before opening their Wayne store last year. The place has everything a worried parent could want, from outlet covers, baby helmets and edge-blockers for tables, to the Kidproteq tube, which measures whether an object is a choke-free size for children under 3. The Ganskys are even available for in-home baby-proofing. 532 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, (610) 688-7404,

Petunia's Consignment Boutique (Photo by Luigi Ciuffetelli)Consignment Shop for Fashionistas: Petunia’s Consignment Boutique
When it comes to her inventory, Petunia’s owner Lauren Handel is exceedingly label-conscious, so you can expect items that look almost new priced as low as a third of their full retail price. On a recent visit, we lusted over a pair of Manolo Blahnik patent-leather sandals, a Christian Dior evening dress, and a Louis Vuitton handbag. 22 Ardmore Ave., Ardmore, (610) 649-4005,

Consignment Shop for the Home: Great Estate Consignment Shop
Bobbie Cameron and Marcie Reber couldn’t have opened their year-old Great Estate Consignment Shop at a more opportune time, since most Main Liners are looking for recession-friendly shopping alternatives. This cozy corner shop in Bryn Mawr is stocked with almost-new settees, lamps, desks, tables, chairs and other unique pieces. If you want something you don’t see, leave your request on Great Estate’s wish list—and when the owners are on a buying trip, they’ll keep an eye out for it. 701 County Line Road, Bryn Mawr, (484) 380-2174

Custom Closets: Closets by Design

Get it together once and for all with an organizational system from Closets by Design—each customized to meet specific needs and maximize space. Begin the process with a complimentary design consultation and explore endless storage possibilities. Take it to the next level by adding crown and base molding and raised panel doors. 928 Springdale Drive, Exton, (610) 644-4143,

Denim: Katye K Boutique

Katye K manages to make the unnerving task of finding the perfect pair of jeans a pleasant experience. The staff will recommend styles that flatter your assets and de-emphasize, well, what you need de-emphasized. And don’t leave without checking out the boutique’s “Be Green Recycle Your Jeans” section, where you can donate a pair and pick up a gently worn replacement from the likes of True Religion and Citizensof Humanity at a fraction of the original retail price. 510 Lancaster Ave., Haverford, (610) 525-5552,

Framer: Framers Market Gallery
Keeping it in-house is a business formula that seems to work quite well for this onetime mom-and-pop shop that’s expanded into a two-store operation complete with its own 10,000-square-foot factory. The diverse selection of moldings suits any style, whether your artwork’s backdrop is sleek, contemporary or stone-barn rustic. Best of all, prices are low and turnaround is quick. Whiteland Towne Center, 195 W. Lincoln Highway, Exton, (610) 363-1371; 5028 West Chester Pike, Edgemont, (610) 356-1033;

Handcrafted Furniture: Origin & Ash
The hunt for one-of-a-kind furnishings for the home could easily begin and end here. All of owner T.R. Risk’s sustainable pieces are made from reclaimed lumber, vintage hardware and antique glass. He also makes house calls; many homeowners commission him to do custom installation projects. And Risk’s wife and business partner, Marcie, is an interior designer. What a duo. 876 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, (610) 527-6627,

Home Accessories: Bittersweet Farm
Not many home stores are actually in a house, but Bittersweet Farm is the charming exception to the rule. Owner Jane Panasiti-Watkins has every room staged beautifully—custom furniture in the bedrooms, hand-loomed rugs in the living room, and custom floral centerpieces and tableware in the dining area. She’ll even make house calls to help infuse the Bittersweet aesthetic into your home. 8 Reese Ave., Newtown Square, (610) 355-1776,

Hostess Gifts: A Taste of Olive
This one-of-a-kind shop in West Chester stocks a variety of extra-virgin oils from Italy, Greece, Spain, Australia, Morocco and Tunisia, plus balsamic vinegars harvested in Modena, Italy. The Sampler Set features four of their most popular extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars, including the tasty blood orange olive oil and pomegranate balsamic vinegar. 40 S. High St., West Chester, (610) 429-0292,

Makeup Artist: Julia Glikman at Mademoiselle Salon & Spa
Makeup artist extraordinaire Judy Glikman has the expertise to accentuate your best features and de-emphasize all the rest, resulting in a polished, flawless look. The private-brand mineral makeup line she uses is all natural and safe for a variety of skin types. 510 W. Lancaster Ave., Ardmore, (610) 525-8100

Modern Furniture: Dane Decor
Dane Decor’s Scandinavian inventory is as beautiful as it is easy to care for. Customize selections by choosing from a wide variety of fabrics, glass colors, wood types, etc. The furniture’s durable craftsmanship ensures longevity—and the company stands behind its product, offering a free 25-year warranty. Various locations,

Mother-Daughter Shopping: Just Girls and Elizabeth Maar Boutique
Mother-daughter shopping is twice the fun now that Elizabeth Maar has moved across the street and doubled in size to include its younger counterpart, Just Girls (already a hit in Newtown Square). The hip, sophisticated and not-too-racy teen boutique is wooing a whole new clientele with its ever-evolving inventory. Right now, you’ll find enamel and rhinestone jewelry from cc skye, oversized designer handbags, multi-colored maxi-dresses, ruffled dresses, and smocked halter and tunic tops. 390 Lancaster Ave., Haverford, (610) 649-7677; 3515 West Chester Pike, Newtown Square, (610) 325-3731

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