Connecting people through thoughtful giving

A South Philly shop is celebrating 10 years of selling thoughtful and inspiring gifts to local residents.

Occasionette, which opened its first store at 1825 E. Passyunk Ave. in 2013 before branching out to locations in Collingswood and Chestnut Hill, will host a two-day celebration on April 15-16 to show appreciation for its loyal shoppers.

Occasionette owner Sara Villari began her retail industry journey through Etsy, where she handled community management and marketing as one of the website’s original employees.

“Working for Etsy is where I fell in love with retail. But I wanted to create a brick-and-mortar experience and take great gifting offline for a more personalized experience. What we do at Occasionette is connect people through thoughtful gifting,” said Villari. “That’s our main purpose and goal.”

After leaving Etsy, Villari designed and illustrated her own line of tea towels, which were stocked by hundreds of boutique shops and major retailers including Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie and Nordstrom. She then opened her first brick-and-mortar in 2013 when Occasionette launched in South Philly. In 2017, she expanded across the Delaware River to Collingswood, which eventually became her flagship store. In September, a third store opened to great success in Chestnut Hill, and several months later Occasionette opened a holiday pop-up in WorkS Kennett Square.

Throughout all the success, Villari put a stress of importance on giving back to the community where it all started. 

Occasionette has donated to Philabundance, The Trevor Project, Black Lives Matter Philly, William Way Community Center, National Immigration Law Center and Planned Parenthood in addition to several other local and national charitable organizations. Occasionette has been a driving force in creating a collaborative, hyper-positive workplace for all with various benefits spanning competitive living wages and health benefits for full-time employees.

“We’ve been very mindful about being active members of our communities,” Villari said. “We’re looking ahead to the next decade of Occasionette and will only get there with the continued support of our guests and neighbors.”

As a way of celebrating with the community ahead of its 10th anniversary, Occasionette will hold a card count guessing contest from April 3-7 when shoppers will have the opportunity to guess the total number of greeting cards sold at all Occasionette locations since opening in 2013. The contest will be held online via Occasionette’s social media accounts, with the winning guess announced on April 8. The contest winner will receive two $100 Occasionette gift cards.

The first 100 customers to enter the original East Passyunk location on April 15 and April 16 will receive a complimentary greeting card of their choice. Additionally, all three Occasionette locations will host a commemorative Sip & Shop on Saturday, April 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. with prosecco pours.