When I walked into Sophie Stargazer, I found it hard to believe I was in Lancaster.
The boutique, which offers apparel, accessories, and home goods, feels like a storefront in a major metropolis. It’s a welcoming blend of chic, class, and cool.
That’s the feel owner Kristin M. Snyder wanted to portray when she dreamed of opening her own boutique.
“My very first customer in my first shop walked in while she was on her phone. She said, ‘I gotta go. I just found this shop that’s like Anthropologie meets Nordstrom but cozier,'” Snyder said. “It was so exciting to hear! It really nailed what I wanted customers to feel when they visited my store.”
Sophie Stargazer offers many of the same brands found in high-end department stores, but Snyder also likes to carry local artists and designers like Liz Riden (leather bags) and Revolution Lancaster (handmade jewelry) to support Lancaster’s thriving artist community.
“There’s a great, talented group of artists, designer, and crafters here in Lancaster, and we all want each other to do well,” she says. “The artists that I work with are not just producing things as a hobby; they’re building their brands, and I want to support that and help them gain a footing to get to the next level.”
It’s this comradery that made Lancaster the perfect location for Snyder to launch Sophie Stargazer Boutique.
She grew up in Lancaster but moved to Philadelphia after high school to pursue a degree and a career in fashion. After working as a costume designer in theater for eight years, she moved to Hawaii. She planned on moving back to Philadelphia to open her store, but decided in 2012 to return to her roots when she saw Lancaster was growing and changing into a great hub for small businesses.
Her original location opened in June 2013, which she closed in early 2017 to move locations, and the current storefront on the 300 Block of North Queen has been open since July 2017.
“There is so much support for small business here. Plus, Lancaster blends a small-town neighborhood feel with diverse culture that just keeps expanding. There’s always something exciting going on, and it’s a fun place to live and work.”
As a business owner, Snyder prides herself on the relationships she cultivates with her clients. She’s in the shop every day and focuses on getting to know the styles and interests of her customers, a detail that greatly influences her inventory.
“When I think about pieces for the store, I ask myself, ‘Which of my customers is this going to be perfect for?’ so I really treat it like personal shopping for all of my regulars.”
Snyder also pays attention to fashion trends and forecasts, aiming to make the looks and inspiration found on runways accessible to the people living in Lancaster. Her pieces are versatile and classic, ensuring you’ll get your money’s worth from your purchase.
Her favorite new lines in the store right now are Z-Supply tees and Marrakesch, because they are designer labels she’s coveted for years.
“Sometimes you really can’t beat designer brands for style and quality – they may cost a little more, but they’ll last you a lifetime.”
She’s also really excited about the new local brands since her move.
“Hamilton Wax Candles, and Melanin Essentials skincare are just great products. I’d want to have them in my store even if they weren’t local – but that they are produced right here in town by these amazing women entrepreneurs makes them even more special to me.”
Shopping at Sophie Stargazer won’t only make you look good; it will make you feel good, too. Every piece in the store falls into a positive mission category: USA-Made, ethically made or Lancaster local, supporting women and minority entrepreneurs, sustainable materials or giving back to charitable organizations.
“Each piece here is not only on trend, but they’re all impactful, too. It’s an easy way we can all make a difference.”
It’s feel-good fashion at its finest.