Owner Elissa Kara drew her inspiration from her mother when she created her indie boutique Nice Things Handmade in Philadelphia, PA. She shares with us why having a physical shop is important and how she plans to foster more creativity in her community.
My name is Elissa I am an artist and I own Nice Things Handmade. I am from Philly and I love the city!!! I love every brick and street light! I am soooooo proud to own a business in this city and know that I am providing a creative space. I have had an uncontrollable love for fibers and textiles ever since I was little. I currently work with these tools and have been making hats for the last 5-6 years. I even hand spin and hand-dye some of my own yarns (which I LOVE!!!) When I am asked “why is handmade important to you”, I feel like this is just what I have done my whole life. I decided to take a HUGE step and open Nice Things after I saw two of my favorite indie stores close here in Philly.
I opted for a SPACE instead of an online venture because…I love to feel things and touch stuff!!! I love feeling fabric, seeing the detail of stitches, the slight variations of color, and feeling the quality. Most importantly, I love seeing the attention each artist gives to their work resulting in something unique and rare. To me these details are all part of the fun of shopping. What an expeirience to see what’s new in the windows and watching the seasons bring new color and inspiration. My mom loved to walk the streets of Philly and visit stores like my own. She would admire the craftsmanship and the beauty of originality. From these memories comes the name of my shop!
I aim to create a comfortable and creative space. Nice Things Handmade presents a cohesive and polished product that is accesible and affordable. As well as a creative outlet for independent artist near and far. I carry jewelry, prints, cards, bags and clothing for men, women and children and I am always looking for new artists.
I want to bring creativity into the community by showing that creativity is living and thriving within each one of us. To this end, we have monthly art openings and I am preparing to do workshops for adults and children. Workshop offerings will include various stitch classes (cross stitch, embroidery, knitting) for the summer as well as art therapy workshops. I will have watercolor classes for kids as well as other fun creative outlets for them to get messy!!!
Nice Things Handmade
1731 East Passyunk
Philadelphia, PA 19148