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The Owner Of The Philly Boutique “Yowie” Pushes Boundaries With Her “Weird Art” Aesthetic

by BUST Magazine

When Shannon Maldonado left the N.Y.C. fashion industry to return to Philadelphia in 2016, she was ready to push her hometown out of its comfort zone. “It’s traditionally a pretty bluecollar city and I was like, ‘I want to open this really weird art store in a place that maybe isn’t quite ready for it, but I want them to get ready,’” she says. That dream became a reality in Yowie, her Queen Village shop that sells apparel collaborations with brands like Lisa Says Gah alongside dreamy home decor, glassware, foodie treats, and candles in stellar scents. The name itself has an unexpected meaning: yowie is the Australian word for Bigfoot. “Similar to Bigfoot, I wanted to create this brand that was very slippery and can never be pinned down. It’s constantly evolving,” says Maldonado, who is just as multifaceted. Since opening the shop, the 37-year-old has also become an interior designer, creative director, and champion of fellow BIPOC creators, and is now working on the crowdfunded Yowie 2.0: a space that will house hotel units, rentable creative suites, and an expanded retail store including furniture. In the meantime, you can find her favorite curated goods online at


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Cereal Bowl by Ekua Ceramics $45
“This cereal bowl can elevate even the simplest of meals. I am so drawn to the soft green glaze and its high walls that will make me feel less guilty about having that second
bowl of Frosted Flakes.”

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Vincent Desailly: The Trap $44
“I have never been to Atlanta, but I am fascinated by its rich music history and culture.
Each person is photographed here with a tender lens, and every detail is given a beautiful pedestal.”

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Everyday Mug by Recreation Center $40
“Josephine of Recreation Center is one of the first artists I worked with when starting Yowie. Each piece is lovingly thrown and glazed by hand in her studio, and she was one of the first to reimagine the Memphis aesthetic and truly make it her own.”

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Line Planter by Not Work Related $60
“I not only admire Sarah’s beautiful products, but also her humility, dry sense of humor, and thoughtful approach to everything she creates at Not Work Related. This is the best part of my job: working with people I love!”

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Black Duplero Candle by Níle $34
“I recently fell in love with these handmade candles by Níle, and the quiet strength they hold. Each one is designed and handmade in Mexico City.”

By Anna Gragert
Portrait by Caro Ramirez

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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