Kevin O’Brien, owner of textile design and production company, Kevin O’Brien Studio, will open a flagship store in the most coveted square block for retail in Philadelphia. Its mission is to brighten the day for any lover of interior design who happens to cross its threshold. Once you enter the modern storefront for Philadelphia’s premier fashion concept store, Joan Shepp, at 1811 Chestnut Street, you can now choose to visit Kevin’s boutique or Joan’s large, full-service fashion emporium. This means, not only can you get some of the finest home furnishings made by Kevin, you can also select from the city’s best curated collection of European and American fashion from Joan.
Joan and Kevin have been discussing the project for over six months. Due to the pandemic, they had a slight delay in plans but the two convened in April this year to plan their next steps. Their goal is to offer shoppers the experience of great interiors that provide an escape from everyday life.
“We were all on the same page and said, ‘let’s do it, even if it’s just to provide a ray of hope, a sign that life is still recognizable, a reason to get out on the streets (safely), a reason to embrace (air hug) a friend and say, ‘I’ve discovered something wonderful,’” said Kevin. “We all decided we had to go forward. Quixotic? No. We do not think so. We are not beating against the headwinds, but rather see a route for smooth sailing just to one side because we are going where everyone wants to go.”
All of the Kevin O’Brien Studio products are designed by him and his woman-led team. In their 25 years of business in Philadelphia, they have made alliances with several of the nation’s top manufacturers for products that they are not able to manufacture themselves in their own studio or factory. Thus, in addition to Kevin O’Brien Studio’s famous pillows, throws, and bedding, the studio will offer rugs with Jaipur Rugs, upholstered furniture with Selamat Designs, and even mosaics with the world famous New Ravenna Mosaics. From their outpost in the heart of south Philadelphia, Kevin will be able to rush products right to Center City just as they come off of the sewing machines or as soon as the varnish is dry. The store is big enough to hold three beds, a couch or two, and some sitting arrangements, as well as 300 or 400 pillows, rugs, and mosaic samples.
A few years ago, with help from PIDC’s Capital Project Loan, Kevin turned an abandoned movie theatre on Philadelphia’s famous South Broad Street into a modern two-story, 10,000-square-foot production studio, and showroom. PIDC also assisted Joan with her fashion concept store by providing funding from the Philadelphia COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund — a fund launched in March 2020 to offer grants and zero-interest loans to Philadelphia small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Source: Original story provided by Kevin O’Brien.