by Tina McGrath, Photography by Elisa Baxt
Since opening over 20 years ago on State Street in Newtown, David J. Witchell has become a household name in Bucks County. Co-Owners, David and Galina, introduced David J. Witchell at 25 South in 1996, starting the business with 7 employees. Using Galina’s extensive experience in business management and David’s award winning skills in hairdressing and makeup to shape their vision, the flagship salon and boutique grew into a success, attracting clients from all over the region.
Over the years, national and international television and print publications have featured the salon, including Elle, The View, Dr. Oz, and Harper’s Bazaar. David J. Witchell is a 7 time winner of “Best of Philly” from Philadelphia Magazine and recently won 4 awards in the 2015 Bucks Happening List.
It all began with their innovative lifestyle experience located in the center of Newtown Borough – combining the expertise of top stylists, the pampering of a luxury spa, and access to high-fashion finds in their boutique. Over the past year, however, David J. Witchell has taken their lifestyle brand to the next level, unveiling several major additions- DJW Home, Denim and Essentials, and (just announced!) a second salon & boutique location opening in fall 2015 in Peddler’s Village.
Today, the current DJW locations house over 130 employees, each trained personally David, Galina and a talented staff of educators. The 4 storefronts on S. State St total 22,000 sq feet. This includes a women’s clothing boutique with 3 distinct locations, The Mezzanine, Denim and Essentials, DJW Home, and the flagship Salon & Spa.
We got the chance to sit down with David J. Witchell to learn more about their rich history in Newtown and exciting plans:
Bucks Happening: A salon, spa, boutique, & now a denim and home decor store- David Witchell has really evolved into a lifestyle brand! What was the inspiration behind your vision?
David: In 1994 when Galina and I thought of creating a business concept we knew we wanted to be a brand…not just a salon and spa but a lifestyle brand. Space has always been our issue, and it was just a stroke of luck that three spaces became available on State Street within a very concentrated period of time.
Breaking the boutique into three distinct spaces was a vision Galina had always wanted.
The home store is a natural extension of our love for everything Home…creating a sense of comfort and casual, timeless elegance.
Galina has a unique gift for merchandising stores to evoke a feeling of abundance without feeling cluttered. Our stores offer a little something for everyone from cards and notes to the most formal occasions whether it’s a gift for someone else or a special treat for yourself. We want our guests to feel that a visit to any of our spaces is relaxing, nurturing and meaningful.
Every detail of what we do we first imagine through the hearts and minds of our clients.
I think that’s why you’d consider us a lifestyle brand.
Bucks Happening: What is it that drew you specifically to home decor?
David: Galina’s influences are rooted in a European esthetic with an “upper Westside” sensibility. From the first time we blended her influences with hints of eastern culture from my aesthetic nearly 30 years ago, we realized we created something truly unique. That fusion created an energy that eventually evolved into a home store.
Bucks Happening: Do you have plans to expand this vision beyond Newtown?
David: This was a pilot store for us. We certainly intend on having many more.
Bucks Happening: With access to so much fabulous furniture, you must have an amazing home yourself! What is your absolute favorite piece of furniture and why?
David: I think between Galina and myself it would be a tie between the bed and the dining table. We both love plush luxurious beds and the dining table is the heart of the family… so many memories happen around a great meal.
Bucks Happening: Which products are you most excited about bringing to your customers?
David: In a world were so many people are ordering things online, we still love the old fashion approach of touching and holding objects. Textiles like linens and bedding that evoke a feeling of comfort pacify the senses and soothe the soul. We love touching things that make us feel that way and those products are the ones we love to bring to our clients.
Bucks Happening: What has the reaction been like at DJW Home so far?
David: We think that reaction is measured by return consumers, and our clients keep coming back for more and telling their friends so we would say the reaction has exceeded our expectations!
Bucks Happening: You do have such loyal clients! What keeps people coming back to David J. Witchell?
David: Galina and I create the space but it’s the staff that keep people coming back. They follow our lead in caring for the client and giving an extraordinary experience whether the salon spa or retail store everyone is treated with The care concern and respect that Galina and I require. We hire people that truly care because that’s not someone something you can train someone to do… Then we give them the required skills to be excellent at the craft.
Chilewhich table top and linens
Abyss bath sheets
Francis kurkdjian Aqua universalis laundry detergent
Match 1995 Dinnerware
Bucks Happening: Okay- emergency! You’re put on the spot to throw a last minute dinner party. What can a host or hostess keep in their house to ensure an impeccable presentation, even at the last minute?
David: The paper placemats from Kitchen Papers… they make everyday events seem special.
Bucks Happening: You’ve accomplished so much in the past twenty years, and have had such an exciting year with the opening of DJW Home and Denim and Essentials. What’s next for David Witchell?
David: We’ll see you in September at Peddler’s Village!
Bucks Happening: Congratulations on your big expansion! We can’t wait to see the new multi-level salon and boutique.