Deanna Johnson and Sandra Mulry, two intelligent and innovative creatives, have wanted to work together on a project for many years. The fierce business acumen of these female powerhouses has culminated in the opening of Shoppe Lieu in Kennett Square, PA.

Shoppe Lieu, pronounced as “loo,” is a place that aligns with the current trend of blending antiques and vintage furnishings for a modern interior. It provides a thoughtful space for creative individuals and collectors to share their experiences and offer valuable pieces from their collections, inspiring people to curate their own homes. The space has a mix of modern and eclectic vintage and antique items, but the common thread that ties everything together is the shared creative spirit that fosters a sense of community.

The State Street Connection

As owner of Shoppe Marche along East State Street, from which she also operates her highly sought-after interior design services, Deanna has always woven “a smattering of vintage” throughout her modern aesthetic. Now, Shoppe Lieu highlights the rich landscape of the interior design industry and the unique finds waiting to be discovered locally. “This area is a treasure trove of vintage and antiques,” Deanne shares. To mine this wellspring thoroughly, Deanna and Sandra chose to work with carefully selected “curators”—the best of the best in singling out those one-of-a-kind pieces, locally sourced with some stylish additions from other regions, including some European offerings. This curator community mirrors their passion for the greater community of Kennett Square.

Deanna and Sandra have intentionally embedded their work within Southern Chester County and Kennett Square. Sandra, the Creative Lead at Square Roots Collective, has re-imagined spaces throughout the Borough of Kennett with a focus on community building. “Kennett is such a special place,” says Sandra, “When this community gets together, the world shows up.” Meanwhile, at Shoppe Marche, Deanna makes a conscious effort to keep production local whenever possible, even noting that their upholstery is done in-house. When they began planning for Shoppe Lieu, their search for space began and ended in Kennett Square. During Deanna’s drive home, she came across an empty space on the 400 block of West State Street that was ripe with potential. While the 100 blocks of State Street anchor Kennett Square, Kennett’s walkability and vibrancy continue to expand the shopping experience for both locals and visitors. This includes the addition of Shoppe Lieu, which reflects the legacy of Kennett’s small-town charm and the underlying current of an authentic community within its doors and experience.

Community in Curating

“There’s something magical that happens when you are around creative people,” describes Deanna. “It’s an authenticity that can’t be replicated.” This authenticity is clearly evident as soon as you enter Shoppe Lieu, not only in the unique pieces that adorn the space but also in the creative vignettes carefully curated by the experts. The team of curators at Lieu have decades of experience and knowledge, which they generously share with each other and their customers. One such expert is Rita Balee, a renowned name in the industry, who is known for her sharp eye and has decorated spaces all across the northeast and beyond. “We learn from her every day,” Sandra and Deanna express their gratitude.

Mike and Claire, who are well-known for their store Charlie Dog Vintage, have been given the title “Masters of Mid-Century” by Deanna. They started out by searching for mid-century furniture for their own home, but now they offer the best mid-century pieces to Shoppe Lieu customers. Classic Estate Associates provides the highest quality items from their downsizing services in the area.

The curators of Shoppe Lieu feature a group of women who have returned to their hometown after gaining significant experience in their respective fields. One such curator is Lauren Simo, originally from Chadds Ford, who earned her reputation for designing exceptional vignettes while working at Selldorf Architects in New York City. Another curator is Gina Tossame, who refined her sense of style in Los Angeles and now brings it back to her home state, offering vintage clothing gems.

“Our goal for Shoppe Lieu is to create a community space,” Sandra explains. This is reflected in the events they regularly organize to engage their customers, as well as their plans to activate additional space soon. Shoppe Lieu is a great addition to a weekend itinerary for those traveling from nearby urban areas like Philadelphia or the Main Line. You can visit Longwood Gardens, take a drive along the idyllic rolling hills, enjoy the surrounding wineries, and then wander through Kennett’s shops. Make sure to leave ample time to explore Shoppe Lieu’s curated collection.”

Inspiration Abounds in Kennett Square

With the addition of Shoppe Lieu to its already robust art and interior design scene, Kennett Square is a wealth of inspiration. “Kennett has earned a reputation as a place to experience beautiful spaces. Moreover, it has become a popular destination for those who seek furniture and home goods to decorate their own spaces,” says Daniel Embree, Executive Director of Kennett Collaborative. “Our vision for Kennett includes new and old coming together in reimagined ways. Stores like Shoppe Lieu showcase that vision and help folks across the region access it for themselves.”

Shoppe Lieu, true to its name meaning “place,” is a carefully curated space that offers beautiful and unique finds as well as an inspirational communal experience. It provides a path for individuals to explore, broaden, and enhance their personal style of “place” with the help of trusted and discerning creatives who guide them through a constantly evolving collection of fresh and desirable objects. Every visit to Lieu offers an opportunity to discover something new. One trip won’t be enough to satisfy your craving for the one-of-a-kind vintage gems found at Shoppe Lieu.

Shoppe Lieu. Open Thursday-Sunday or by appointment.
404 W. State Street
Kennett Square, PA 19348