Brandywine Valley: Weekend Getaway

Spend the weekend in the Brandywine Valley

Just a few hours from Manhattan and close to Philadelphia, the Brandywine Valley is known for illustrator N. C. Wyeth and son Andrew, who drew inspiration from the rolling green hills. Spend the weekend strolling more than 3,000 acres of landscaped gardens, museums, restaurants, wineries and local shops.

The 12 mile stretch of the Brandywine Valley from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, to Wilmington, Delaware, may seem brief, but it takes a few days to truly enjoy. The continued allure is evident with the announcement of of the hugely successful Clover Market coming to Kennett Square {mushroom farming capital of the U.S.} on Sunday June 18th {Father’s Day}. Voted best market to shop by Philadelphia Magazine, the open-air market will feature dozens of food and beer vendors, plus local handmade goods and antiques {see complete list of vendors}. Clover Market has been pleasing shoppers in Bryn Mawr, Chestnut Hill and Collingswood for years with its spring and summer schedule of outdoor markets. The one-of-a-kind market will be located at 600 S. Broad Street.

map of brandywine valley

With more than one million visitors a year, Longwood Gardens is regarded as one of the most spectacular gardens of the region. The Main Fountain Gardens return May 27th after a two year renovation. Inspired by the great fountains of Europe, this 5-acre masterpiece was created by Pierre S. du Pont, in the early 20th century.

Visit the Brandywine River Museum often called the “Wyeth Museum” for its extensive collection of works by the internationally acclaimed Wyeth family – grandfather N.C., father Andrew and son Jamie – the Brandywine River Museum is housed in a converted 19th-century grist mill on the banks of the Brandywine.

Enjoy touring eight wineries that make up the Brandywine Wine Trail, including Penns Woods Winery, where owner Gino Razzi create wines made 100% with Pennsylvania-grown grapes. Extend your stay and enjoy Winterthur and Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware just 15 minutes down the road. Where to stay? The Inn at Montchanin Village was once home to the workers of the du Pont powder mills.

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Creativity abounds at WorKS in Kennett Square (432 S. Walnut Street), open Friday – Sunday the concept store offers 10 new artisans vendors, in addition to vintage finds. Founded by vintage maven Tara Dugan as a curated group of high-end purveyors of artisan, designer, and one-of-a-kind goods. “The creative offerings that Clover Market brings to Kennett Square fits perfectly within our efforts to create an attractive and eclectic retail pop-up experience alongside worKS and the Creamery.” said Tara Behan. For several years, Clover Market founder Janet Long and manager Pat Norton, had been looking at Kennett Square as a potential future destination.

WorKS Kennett Square - Social Stylate

The Creamery pop-up beer garden is located at 401 Birch Street in Kennett Square and will be debuting their second season starting Memorial Day through October, 2017. Built in 1902 and re-imagined in 2016, The Creamery is a community gathering space and pop-up beer garden for the whole family in the heart of Kennett Square. A setting that’s rooted in Kennett Square history, The Creamery is committed to re-purposing and re-vitalizing a once-industrial space into a unique environment for the whole family. Nestled on historic Birch Street, The Creamery offers a variety of food options through rotating food trucks, craft beer, lawn games and live music, making it a destination for both Kennett Square residents and visitors alike. With a distinct focus on highlighting the many local talents of Kennett Square’s active art and music scene, the Creamery truly has something for everyone to enjoy.

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A few of our favorite shops include: houppette, No 109, Scout & Annie, Ashley Austin, Terrain at Styers, and Talula’s Table {owned by Aimee Olexy, one of the most recognized personalities in the Philadelphia dining scene}.

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photo: Little Nest Photo Glen Mills, PA

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Local Celeb Mary Dougherty of Nicole Miller Philly

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Mary Dougherty of M.K. Associates prior to New York Fashion Week. Mary has secured her reputation as a trailblazer in the City of Philadelphia. As an exceptional businesswoman and community leader in the city of Philadelphia, she has been named one of “Pennsylvania’s 50 Most Successful Business Women” by Business Journal Magazine, one of the “Top 50 Women to Watch” by Business Philadelphia Magazine, and most recently named one of the “Top 25 Most Fashionable Philadelphians” by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

You have been working for the Nicole Miller Brand for 30 years. How have you seen the industry change?
The industry has changed in so many ways. However, excellent service and making sure Nicole’s loyal customers know how important they are to our business has been the key. A great fashion experience never goes out of style.

How did the event planning side of your business come to life?
I privately own and operate the two Nicole Miller stores in Philadelphia and our Wholesale Representative Company with a talented team. We have always executed all of our own events, philanthropic endeavors, local press, and fashion shows. People would always ask which agency we used, and we finally decided to go after some of the business as MKD & Associates.

What philanthropic experience really changed the way you work?
When I was young, my parents encouraged us to engage as a family in philanthropy, whether it was volunteering at our church, helping to feed the homeless, or just lending a hand to a neighbor in need, it was engrained in us that there was always enough to go around. I remember when we opened the Nicole Miller store in Manayunk in 1994, my husband Erik and I said if we are fortunate enough to be successful, we will share our success with the community. We continue to honor that commitment.

What role do you think social media plays in fashion today? 
Social media is critical, especially in terms of reach and visibility for a brand, which can be achieved if you understand how to use it properly. While it can be difficult to calculate the correlation of direct sales with a social media campaign, it is clear that the brands and companies who engage their customers on social media are gaining a larger audience. In the fashion industry in particular, it gives followers a peek inside a previously private and exclusive world.

What is the best advice you have ever received?
If you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.

What is the one wardrobe essential you can’t live without? 
BLACK LEATHER PANTS!!!!

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photo: Nicole Miller Philadelphia

A few looks from the Nicole Miller Spring 2017 NYFW

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Nicole Miller NYFW 2016

photos: Nicole Miller

 

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Remembering 9/11 with Art by Peter Max

This month marks the 15th anniversary of the tragic events that occurred in New York on September 11, 2001. As we reflect on this day, we turn to artists like Peter Max who like many others was devastated following the attack.

To accomplish this goal, Max created a series of 9/11 art to benefit the September 11 Twin Towers and Survivors Relief project. Proceeds from the sale these American-themed works were donated to the funds, with Max considering it a “labor of love.”

Max also created portraits of the 356 firefighters who lost their lives at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. He acquired photographs of the firefighters used on photo IDs to paint each portrait.

“As I painted them, it was as though their gazes were looking directly at me…They could have been my friends or my relatives, and were all my fellow Americans. And all heroes.”

Michelle Maidenberg fell in love with Peter Max after 9/11. She reflects, “I am touched by Peter Max’s Americana painting — the vibrancy, his free-flowing style and connotation to personal liberty. It helps me to continually be reminded of my freedom, my strong sense of community and the strength and resilience of American citizens. I feel connected to my patriotism and truly blessed to be an American citizen.”

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Olympic Moments That Change History with Michael Phelps

Over the course of the last thirty years there have been many athletes who have changed the course of Olympic history. Heroes who inspire and leave deep impressions of embodied memories for years to come. Blood, sweat and tears don’t even come close.

Rarely seen are the mental anguish and internal battles these athletes endure. How they overcome them is the journey that truly inspires. This week Olympic swimmer Alison Schmitt opened up about her fight with depression on the Today Show. Schmitt divulged how depression had paralyzed her and how seeking professional help and sharing her vulnerabilities with friends like Michael Phelps put her back on track for the Gold. Phelps often refers to Schmitt as a sister from another mother. They have trained together for over a decade.  It takes a village to raise a champion and Schmitt has taken a personal stance to help others with their plight.

Schmitt along with the rest of her team mates are “paying it forward” with VIP Survivor’s Olympian Leather Cuff. The entire Team USA swim team received the emblazoned “Olympian” gold cuffs and have been wearing them in Rio. When they return to the USA, they will autograph the back of each cuff and give it to someone they feel possesses Olympian traits. Commemorating this journey and inspiring greatness in others is the goal.

Olympic Cuff

VIP Olympic CuffVIP Survivor founder Leigh Ann Barnes and Dana Jo from Fulfillment Merch teamed up to design these custom Olympian bracelets. “Designing a special cuff for Team USA  was an awesome endeavor. We are so excited they’re wearing them and look forward to collaborating with Allison Schmitt on her own line of inspirational cuffs,” said Leigh Ann Barnes.  “Our VIP Survivor cuffs are pretty special because they’re handmade in the USA by some Very Important People, survivors of domestic violence.” VIP Survivor creates products using the leather remnants and gives women jobs here in the U.S., especially ones who are trying to rebuild their lives.

Partnering with domestic violence shelters across the country, VIP Survivor hires women residing in the shelters’ transitional housing and offers them an opportunity to earn money while in a safe haven environment. It’s a triple win –  a product that is creating new jobs here in America from a new employee pool by reclaiming exquisite leather remnants and scraps.

 

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