Small Business Spotlight: Ocassionette

Have you ever had the difficult task of finding the perfect gift for that person in your life that is absolutely impossible to shop for? Well, you no longer need to drive yourself insane scouring the internet and searching through countless retail shops until you finally give up and defeatedly buy them a generic gift card. Occasionette in South Philadelphia has got you covered for all of your difficult, last minute and creative gift needs!

We recently spoke with Occasionette’s owner and curator, Sarah Villari about what makes them the perfect, go-to gift shop. Villari states that “we aim to be the best place in the city to find the perfect gift and note cards for any occasion, from a new baby, to a birthday, to weddings and more.” She began her career in 2006, selling specialty presents under the brand name Girls Can Tell Gift Co. In 2013, she noticed a storefront on East Passyunk Ave and she just had to have it. She opened up Occasionette as “a place to go for birthday cards, candles, housewares and other great gifts!” The store carries Villari’s signature line as well as products from vendors around the country.  After visiting Occasionette and seeing their unique products you will never want to shop at major retailers for gifts and cards ever again!

Villari is serious about the inventory of her store. She carefully selects her merchandise using her years of marketing and gift industry experience, making frequent visits to New York in order to attend trade shows and browse for the next hot item to stock her shelves with. She is friends with most of the people who produce and design the items in her shop, striving to work with independent artists and other small businesses. One of Occasionette’s trademarks is their decorative cards and Villari delights in her success of “bringing the world of amazing cards to Philadelphia!” Her efforts are apparent in the endless supply of quality gifts at Occasionette which she affectionately describes as “the best of the best” in the craft world.

The folks at Occasionette love Philadelphia and the East Passyunk neighborhood.  They are extremely grateful for all of the support that they have received and their favorite part of working at Occasionette is chatting with the regular customers.  The positive feedback that they receive inspires them to consistently improve the store to meet and exceed customer needs. Villari and her staff love that they play such a particular and purposeful role in the community, allowing people to purchase products locally that were previously unavailable in Philadelphia. They give thanks to Philly by dedicating several weeks of the year to charitable efforts, donating a certain amount of their proceeds to a variety of organizations. They also urge Philadelphia citizens to shop locally and help support the small business community!

In the future, Occasionette plans on hosting a workshop series that provides an opportunity for Philadelphians to get creative and make their own decorative cards. They are also dedicated to “finding great unique gifts and working to be the best gift shop and place to buy cards in Philadelphia.”  No matter what you are celebrations, Occasionette will help you find the perfect gift and, if you are anything like us, you may just ending up buying a present for yourself while you are there. Next time you find yourself in a present-related panic, you know where to go!

UPDATE: Two E. Passyunk Ave. shops, HOME and Occasionette, are coming together for a collaborative storefront at 1825 E. Passyunk Ave. South Philly’s favorites are combining in one, joyous, beautiful union that will offer joint creative workshops as well as combined storefront. Check out this store on

Find out more about the East Passyunk / South Philadelphia area in our Explore Philly section of the site!

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