Shoppers out during a recent “Stag & Doe” night. The Hill tradition has helped spur sales on the
Avenue. (Photo by Elizabeth Ferguson)

by Maddie Clark

This holiday season has seen business booming in Chestnut Hill according to retailers and the Chestnut Hill Business District.

According to the Executive Director of the CHBD, Philip Dawson, Chestnut Hill has had a good holiday season thus far.

“There’s been a lot of rain, but all of the Stag and Doe nights have been clear and every weekend [with the exception of] one,” Dawson said.

Nerice Kendter, owner of Busy Bee Toys, said “business has been strong.”

Though this toy shop has only been on the block for about nine weeks, Kendter has already survived the somewhat hectic nature of the Hill’s Stag and Doe nights.

“I didn’t leave until almost 10 o’clock last night,” Kendter said.

Aside from the business of the holiday season, Kendter stated that it has been fun getting to know Chestnut Hill.

“The community has been very warm and welcoming … people are thrilled to see a new toy store here” she said.

Kendter also wants to give a shoutout to her fellow Chestnut Hill business owners, who have been “very wonderful.”

The business district has also done a great job welcoming new businesses to the community, Kendter said.

Located at 8511 Germantown Ave., Busy Bee Toys carries infant toys to family-friendly activities ranging from costumes and dolls to children’s books and board games. Busy Bee Toys tries to have something for everyone, said Kendter.

Hillary O’Carroll, owner of Isabella Sparrow, said she has also been blessed with good business this holiday season.

Located at 8433 Germantown Ave., this retail and design-based store is home to many of O’Carroll’s favorite things that she loves under a roof, including mercury glass ornaments, wood turned pedestal tables and swiss cross blankets.

While O’Carroll’s business is plentiful throughout September to December, Isabella Sparrow, and other Chestnut Hill businesses, experience a hit after the conclusion of the holiday festivities.

“We’re remembered during the holidays, but then forgotten about after February,” said O’Carroll.

Because of this ongoing trend, O’Carroll, who does 100 percent of her shopping on the Hill, believes that if everyone in the neighboring communities adopted about three stores to focus on after the holidays, more businesses would stay afloat.

This up-and-down trend is supported through measurements taken by the CHBD. On Highland and Southampton Avenue, the business district has counting devices that monitor the foot traffic along the Hill.

“Foot traffic gets a pretty big bump during the holidays … [usually] twice what they are at other times of the year” Dawson said.

Though it is now working correctly, the device near Highland Avenue was blocked when one of the shops was putting up their holiday greens, thus effecting the overall foot traffic. Other retailers like Host and The Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop said they’re seeing that holiday bump.

On the lower end of the Hill, Sarah Ries, owner of the home furnishing store Host, has also had her fair share of extra business.

“We’ve been busy getting [items] together for people who placed orders weeks ago, so homes are perfect for the holidays,” Ries said.

When talking with Dan Wiess, owner of the Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, he recounted a saying that his dad, and former shop owner, used during the holidays.

“Son, even idiots are busy at Christmas,” he said.

In order to increase business on the Hill, the CHBD has also been doing a lot of marketing this year, Dawson said.

They’ve even been bringing back some old traditions, such as the horse and carriage rides throughout the Hill.

“We encourage everyone to come out [and enjoy the festivities],” Dawson said. “We’re grateful for the busy season.”

Maddie Clark is a regular contributor to the Local.