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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Do you ever feel like you have all the big chain stores memorized?  I mean I’m in love with Target (especially their Nate Berkus and Threshold Lines), but I also am a huge supporter of small businesses.  That’s one of the reasons I love all of our blog sponsors here on EC2.  Anyhow, a friend contacted me and told me that our area had a “Best Kept Secrets Tour” coming to our area.  Basically, you buy a ticket and get a complete guide (with coupons and freebies) to a ton of the amazing small businesses in the area- everything from crafty shops & restaurants to Alpaca farms- WHAT? Who knew!?!  The tour is in our local Montgomery County area this month, so I asked our blog assistant Diana to head out on the tour and report back what she found (we’re filming back to back weeks, so we couldn’t go along- boo!) I kind of felt like Ellen Degeneres sending her man in little shorts out on a mission (I promise Diana didn’t wear mini shorts!)

So take it away Diana- oh and make sure you locals get all the way to the bottom, because we’re giving away 3 tickets to the tour!!

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Are you looking for a way to give back to community this year while shopping for unique items for the holiday season? Well, now you can because this year the Best Kept Secrets Tour has come to Montgomery Country and with every $8 tour ticket sold $1 is donated to the Laurel House, which helps to provide a safe home for women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

There is something for everyone on Montco’s Best Kept Secrets Tour, whether you are looking for antiques, holiday decor, one of a kind treats, or handmade items, you won’t be disappointed. There is even a chance to win raffle items and a $200 shopping spree at the tour business of your choice! Locations are spread out within the county;  Boyertown/Gilbertsville, East Greenville/Pennsburg, Royersford/Collegeville, Harleysville/Souderton, Hatfield/Lansdale, Ambler, and even King of Prussia.

tour1

The tour goes on until November 23rd and we just happen to have a few tickets to giveaway today! Throughout the tour, certain locations will be hosting demos, games, food sampling and more, so be sure to check it out even if you don’t win.

Here are a few of the locations I checked out in the Hatfield/Lansdale and Harleysville/Souderton areas…

theWoodburnersShop1

I’ve passed by The Woodburners in Hatfield many times, but just  figured it was a shop for someone looking for a wood burning stove! Well, I’m glad I made this one of my stops on the tour, because it is definitely one of MontCo’s Best Kept Secrets. The shop is filled from floor to ceiling with gorgeous artisan items that include pottery, jewelry, blown glass ornaments, and more.

AllyKatzShop1

Not too far down the road from The Woodburners was Ally Katz, located in the Lansdale shopping center near Kohls. They are a cute little boutique that has gifts for just about everyone on your Christmas shopping list. From holiday and home decor to jewelry and baby gifts, they are that one stop, I need a great gift type of shop.

Laurel'sLoft1

The great thing about the tickets for Montco’s Best Kept Secrets Tour is the map that’s included and the way each store is listed by location. So next on the list from Ally Katz was Laurel’s Loft, which is a thrift and consignment shop associated with Laurel’s House and all proceeds from sales go to services offered there. They had a great book selection and a raffle giveaway for a beautiful handbag, so if your in search of a new purse, be sure to make this one of your stops for a chance to win!

LOSTCREEKALPACAFARM1

Would you believe my next stop on the tour was Little Lost Creek Alpaca Farm! This wasn’t the next location according to the map, but there is no right or wrong way to take the tour, your mission is to explore and have fun while giving back. The alpacas were very sweet and so were farm owner’s Alex and Sandy….

lostcreekalpacafarm2

Here, Alex is showing me the baby alpaca who was being shy and tried to hide behind the others!

CornerStore1

The last shop I stopped at on Montco’s Best Kept Secrets Tour was The Corner Store: Hidden Talents Gift Shoppe, located not too far from the alpaca farm in the Harleysville area. I didn’t want to leave this adorable shop, especially when I saw this shelf of owls….oh I was in trouble! I’m obsessed with these wise guys, but I knew if I brought another one home my husband and step-daughters wouldn’t be too happy. They’re already calling me the crazy owl lady! The store owners were so delighted to see tour shoppers, and even created a scavenger hunt and treated us to Apple Cider, Popcorn, and Cookies.

So are you ready to join the tour and enter the giveaway? 

Enter below and if you want to head out on the tour sooner, you can buy your tickets at Best Kept Secrets Tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The comments +

  1. swisewoman says:

    Love your show and didn’t know you were local to my area until I liked on Facebook and all. Thanks for your awesome ideas and creativity!

  2. Whitney says:

    Love to see local stuff on the blog. I’m moving from bucks to montco next week!

  3. Stephanie says:

    Care and Share book shoppe… 🙂

  4. Amber Monte says:

    This sounds so cool! And I am owl obsessed too. I have a 4 month old and her room is owl themed. I am totally going to ally Katz today based on your picture of all the owl things!

  5. Love Diana’s posts. Keep the local coming.

  6. gina says:

    Best Kept secret shops? Gosh I have no clue – we moved to Bucks county 4 years ago and I still feel like a newbie!

  7. Katie P says:

    The Clay Rat in Souderton!

    Great post Diana 🙂

  8. I have yet to visit there, but was just talking to my director about a shop she frequents in Trappe — Michelle’s Jewelry. She said it’s one of the best places she’s been to for gifts and random pretty things. Considering it’s just down the road from my house, I’ll have to make a stop 🙂

  9. Stacey Haferl says:

    I am a Bucks County girl and we have some amazing places down here in the Yardley /Newtown area. One of my favorites is Fernish- Vintage Home Goods. Check them out on facebook…worth the drive 🙂 Going to try the Montco’s Best Secret Tour for sure!!!

  10. Melissa C. says:

    I love to shop thrift and have already done a bunch of Christmas shopping for my kiddos at the Care & Share in Souderton. For many others on my list I can just pop over to 10,000 Villages in the same shopping center and get some great fair trade goodies. Thanks for the giveaway! I love supporting small, local businesses.

    • Monica says:

      Hi Melissa,

      We love that shopping center too, and guess what 10,000 Villages is on the Montco’s Best Tour!!

      Thanks for stopping by the blog.

  11. Amye says:

    Love this! Wish it was still going when I’m home for Thanskgiving, but I’ll definitely be sharing this with family in Bucks!

  12. Heather says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I’ve seen this signs and was wondering what shops were on the tour. I definitely would like to do this tour now! Love supporting small businesses!

  13. My bakery in Elizabethtown just participated in the Lancaster County Best Kept Secrets Tour and had a great time! I didn’t get a chance to head out and participate in the tour, because all the new customers kept me swamped, but I’m hoping to be able to in the spring! Such a fantastic idea!

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