About 90 percent of retail sales still occur in brick-and-mortar stores.

It's that other 10 percent - online sales - that's growing at a faster clip that has Starr Osborne fired up.

Osborne wants to turn the tables as owner of Tailored Home, a new bridal and furniture shop in Chestnut Hill.

"We are the antidote to web shopping," she said, citing her careful selection and old-school service.

Her approach: Go after what she calls the "non-Amazon Prime shopper," sell only what your neighbors don't, and encourage customers to use the Hill's shops to plan a wedding.

When it officially opens on Sept. 15, Tailored Home will sell gift cards, but not stationery because Paperia down the street has that covered; it won't sell kitchen appliances because Kitchen Kapers next door does.

"I actually think that there is a backlash to internet shopping in the luxury goods area," claimed Osborne, who in 2004 opened Tailored Transitions, a home staging, moving management, and interior design firm in Wyndmoor.

Tailored Home is the latest part of Osborne's expanding home empire.

"Our interior-design division was growing fast, fed only by word of mouth," she said. "We decided to look for a really small shop to create a physical presence on [Germantown] Avenue. What we offer that stands out is our whole package: a curated collection and old-fashioned customer service."

Her clientele?

"Those who must come in to feel the linens and see the fine china themselves," Osborne said. With her was close friend Stacy Cannon, whom she hired as retail development manager to nurture Tailored Home.

The shop sells gifts, seasonal décor, tableware, lamps, and decorative arts. The 4,000-square-foot, bi-level space resembles a well-kept home with a wooden staircase to the second floor, which has display beds and rows of fabrics to customize drapes, luxury bedding, and pillows.

Tableware, both formal and informal, ranges in price from $10 to $600, with major brands, including Mottahedeh, Juliska, and Simon Pearce. Home goods include brands such as Bungalow 5, Robert Abbey, and Kravet.

"Although we're a retail store, we see ourselves as a service business, helping our clients live better, happier, and prettier lives," Osborne said. "Our buyer is anyone who cares about dressing their home to enhance their life."

But it's the wedding registry that Osborne is really touting - a bride and groom's traditional wish list that she says Chestnut Hill hasn't offered until now.

"We want you to be able to purchase everything for a wedding in Chestnut Hill - from the hotel, catering, flowers, invites, and registry," Osborne said. "Everything except a gown."

There was another purpose: "We want to get people back out on the street, not just on their computers and iPhones, but to come and have lunch with a friend," Cannon said. "You can have 4,000 Facebook friends and no one to have lunch with."

Tailored Home, at 8528 Germantown Ave. is among five new businesses opening this month on Germantown Avenue. Over the last two years, Chestnut Hill's retail vacancy rate throughout its commercial district has gone down from 13 percent to 8 percent, according to the Chestnut Hill Business District.

The shop is flanked by other small businesses without big chains behind them, with the exception of a Starbucks. Instead, they bear such names as Chestnut Hill Cheese Shop, Cake, and William Kilian Hardware Co. Many are owned by women.

Thirty-four businesses in Chestnut Hill have been around at least 20 years; eight for 50 years, according to the business district.

Osborne credits the Goldman Sachs Small Business Program, which is run out of the Community College of Philadelphia, with encouraging her to grow Tailored Transitions.

The district, led by executive director Martha Sharkey, and retail recruiter Kathie Meadows, helped Osborne identify potential properties and alerted her when one opened up on Germantown Avenue.

Osborne also received a loan from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and a grant through the Merchants Fund that aids developing businesses for items in its wedding registry.

"The merchants on the Avenue work together as a team, toward a greater goal," Osborne said. "The business association develops this camaraderie."

Kitchen Kapers, for example, offers a cup of espresso for the business owners every day at 4 p.m.

This month McNally's, an Irish tavern that's been at 8634 Germantown Ave. for 35 years and sells the famous Schmitter sandwich, will promote Tailored Home in its monthly menu for free.

"We have each other's back," said fourth-generation owner Ann McNally. "There is something about knowing your neighbor."

Osborne, who has called Chestnut Hill home for 17 years, said its European village-like feel and walkability made it ideal for a Tailored Home.

"We see Chestnut Hill as a lifestyle corridor in the city," she said. "Customers looking for home goods will be more apt to shop on the Hill because there are so many shops, each with its own style."

In planning a wedding, "customers can register with us, choose their flowers at Robertson's, have lunch at one of our many great restaurants, and design their invitations at Paperia," she said.

"Sure, you can find anything you want on the web, but you can also make some costly errors," Osborne said. "We are sensory beings, and the web only allows us to judge things visually.

"Smell, touch, scale, and quality are all things for which you need to be up close and personal."


215-854-4184 @SuzParmley