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September 13, 2017
Fresh Face: Penny Lane Emporium
“Pop in to see me!” A hip panda sporting a slouchy yellow hat invites passersby to step off State Street and into the colorful, whimsical world of Penny Lane Emporium.
“Happy kids, happy parents, happy shopping,” is how owner Shannon Blake sums up her fresh, fun approach to kids’ retail.
As a mom frazzled by the hassles of shopping, Blake dreamed of creating “a cool shop where kids were welcome and you could find something smart and different.” Penny Lane is that dream come true. After 17 years in corporate retail, Blake woke up one morning last October with renewed vision for this long-held dream. “All those years of building knowledge and experience, and the support of my family, brought me here,” she says.
Penny Lane exudes the fun, eclectic spirit of the Liverpool street the Beatles made famous. Unique, eye-catching finds are everywhere, from girls’ and boys’ apparel with kid-inspired flair to books, gifts, and even Mochi—treat-sized ice cream wrapped in sweet rice dough. Curious kids can explore the play area, Little Free Library, and baseboard-level clues about the elusive resident
mouse (those who find him are rewarded with a lollipop).
Blake, who grew up here and moved back three years ago with her husband and two young daughters, has strong ties to Kennett Square. “I can’t imagine starting this business anywhere else,” she says.
Blake is enthusiastic about connecting with families and loves the collaborative spirit she’s found. “Business brings business,” she says, “and there’s so much happening in Kennett. It’s on the verge of expanding in a big way.”