PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A shop with an international vibe has found a home in the heart of West Philadelphia.
"We have all types of stuff that comes directly from Africa," said Tiffany Murphy, who is the co-owner and Co-Chief Creative Officer of Art and Soul Gallery and Boutique.
"We wanted people to feel warm. We wanted people to feel comfortable," Murphy says of the space which is situated at 59th and Haverford in the Haverford section of West Philadelphia.
The shop carries accessories, clothes, beauty products, art and more from creators who are both local and international.
"We have statement pieces that come directly from Kenya (or) come directly from Ghana," said Murphy.
When and her business partner Jamese Newsome-Williams opened the space in 2019, they did so as artists and true "Philly Girls." It's evident by taking a look at a t-shirt that is one of the first things you see when you walk in the door. The shirt features the names of Philadelphia legends of hip hop such as The Roots, Lady B, Schoolly D and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince.
"I'm such a Phillyhead," said Murphy. "Everything Philly! Everything all day. I'm a whole jawn!"
But selling unique items is only part of what Murphy and Newsome-Williams strive to do.
"For us, building relationships and making connections with the community has a whole lot more currency. It holds a whole lot more weight," said Murphy.
That's why they offer low-cost space for artists to exhibit and sell their work and a safe space for anyone who needs it.
"It was a young man being bullied," recalled Murphy of a boy in the neighborhood, "and he felt drawn to come into the story and hide."
The business owners helped the boy get home safely. Stories like that are examples of their commitment to their three pillars: Community, Creativity and Collaboration.
"If you stop by, you don't have to be held to buy anything," said Murphy of many community members who come in to just say hello and check in. "But if you by something, that's dope too"
One of their biggest satisfactions is bringing accessibility to fashion and art.
"Turning young people into art collectors," she says with a smile while recalling the story of a young man who is their FedEX delivery driver discovering pieces he liked and beginning his art collection.
They do so while keeping the soul in West Philadelphia.
"The currency is in the connection," said Murphy.
Art and Soul Gallery and Boutique is located at 5912 Haverford Ave. in Philadelphia.
The store is open the following hours:
Sundays - Wednesdays: Private and Virtual shopping (by appointment only)
Fridays: 4pm-7pm (12pm-4pm Christmas Eve)
Saturdays: 12-4 (closed Christmas Day)