by Paula M. Riley
With the launch of a new pop-up shop – Bohemian Pink at 8133 Germantown Ave. – Wyndmoor resident and owner Monika Schermer brings pink (as well as other bright colored) merchandise to our shopping district.
Bohemian Pink is a charming boutique featuring a collection of bright and colorful items for women and girls, including clothing, hair accessories, jewelry, totes, umbrellas, as well as knit hair wraps, children’s animal hats and other adorable products. The line of Lilly Pulitzer includes tumblers, technology accessories, and stationery.
Locals may recognize Schermer’s products as she has been a regular exhibitor at Spring and Fall Festivals, PHS Flower Show, Devon Horse Show, Cape May Craft Show and the Philadelphia Christmas Village.
She has traveled across the country, working at private academies, Junior League fund-raisers, and the Houston Grand Opera Nutcracker Market. Her booths attract much attention with their bright colors and include colorful hair bows, barrettes and clips made with grosgrain ribbon, monogrammed necklaces and sparkling tutus.
When she first began her business (formerly Bohemian Crafts) in 1996 , Schermer imported wooden toys from the Czech Republic. Growing up in a bicultural household in Radnor, Schermer spent her summers with relatives in the Czech Republic. She treasured the colorful designs and high quality of these toys and found that others did as well.
After spending a year in Prague and being engrossed in the highly entrepreneurial atmosphere in post-Velvet Revolution Czechoslovakia, she decided to bring Czech products to the United States. She sold her toys to stores across the country but world events and changing purchasing patterns let her to explore other products.
In her years of exhibiting at shows, Schermer came to understand what the market demands, and she developed relationships with many vendors. She likes to support handmade, cottage industries and her fellow vendors’ products. For sale at Bohemian Pink is colleague David Wagman’s interesting collection of necklaces and other jewelry.
Other products include the popular cotton tunic and tote bags available in exclusive patterns – some retro, some classic. These appeal to customers of all ages.
“A customer once told me, ’Tunics have a plunging neckline, and it covers all the problems areas – what’s not to love?’” Schermer said .
Schermer likes working with customers as they try to pick the best colors and fit for themselves. She has great eye for color and is always very honest in her feedback to customers. Engaging with her customers is one of the favorite parts of her job.
“My products are perfect for the people who shop in Chestnut Hill,” Schermer said. “There is a refined customer here, and they seem to really like the colors, brands and products I offer. I will enjoy working with them to personalize items and to learn what they would like me to carry in the future for them.”
During the Fall for the Arts Festival, a customer told Schermer that she was pleased to see a new shop with that “Chestnut Hill look,” which Schermer thinks says it all.
Schermer applauds the efforts to Chestnut Hill Business Association, Bowman Properties, retail recruiter Laurie Wrightman and landlord Richard Snowden for their assistance with her opening.
They all worked with Schermer and supported her as Bohemian Pink grew from an idea to a store opening in just three weeks. Leslie Newbold of Chill on the Hill is credited for inviting Schermer to consider a shop on the Avenue.
Initially planned only as a pop-up for the holidays, Schermer is hopeful that Bohemian Pink will become a permanent fixture on the hill. The overwhelming response to the store and her plans for hosting Friday evening happy hours, special events and fund-raisers support her plans.
“A pop-up is a great opportunity to try out the retail environment,” Schermer said. “I’ve always known Chestnut Hill would love my products. I am just so thrilled to be here. Chestnut Hill has been extremely welcoming. I would not have done this anyway else.”