RETAILER INTERVIEWS: JOAN SHEPP

In Industry News, What's New by Accessories Staff

The August shows are right around the corner, so in the weeks leading up to AccessoriesTheShow and AccessorieCircuit, Accessories Magazine will be chatting with retailers about business and fashion/accessories opportunities. Joan Shepp is a 9,000 square foot concept store in the heart of Philadelphia, PA. With entire departments devoted to exclusively to hats, jewelry and other accessories, owner and buyer Joan Shepp shared with us some of her accessory insights.

Joan Shepp

Joan Shepp (left) pictured with daughter Ellen Shepp (right)

What’s selling lately?

We always see great success with our jewelry. Pieces from John Wind are perfect for shoppers looking to pick up vintage-inspired pieces at an extremely affordable price. In terms of handbags, Bao Bao bags by Issey Miyake can always be found in our store. It’s one of the “must-have” bags of the moment and season after season we always have tremendous success.

What have been some challenges in the accessories business?

Weather plays a major role in the accessories business. If we experience an unseasonably warm winter on the east coast, our sell-through rates are affected tremendously.

Is there something new you’re adding to your store?

We’ve recently devoted the upper level of our store to Urban Zen; a lifestyle collection by Donna Karen. The in-store boutique features beautiful jewelry and furnishings made from the finest of materials and designed by craftsman from Haiti, Bali and Thailand.

In the Fall we will open our Mason Margiela installation, which will feature not only ready-to-wear pieces but also jewelry, shoes and handbags from the design house.

In terms of beauty, we house an Eden Square Apothecary, which features exclusive and ultra-niche European fragrances. You can find brands such as Fornasetti, Montel, Juliette Has A Gun, and Maison Francis Kurkdjian.

What are you exploring for the Holiday season? Are you buying holiday kitsch or looking for more upscale holiday items? 

We like to offer both to our customers. Small home decor items act as great last minute gift options, while Comme des Garcon laptop covers, Moschino iPhone cases and Fornasetti candles cater to our clients looking for more “upscale” designer options.

JOAN SHEPP

1811 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia Pa 

—Christine Galasso