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Therapy Stores offer unique items that positively connect people
Therapy Stores encourage practical and positive shopping
Article from ScotScoop.com by Ben Romanowsky, Staff Writer | January 31, 2023
Therapy Stores are much more than typical retail stores. Every item in-store is hand-picked from trade shows to foster a positive retail experience for shoppers of all backgrounds.
The San Carlos location opened on Oct. 21, 2022, becoming Therapy Stores’ 11th location. Other peninsula locations include Burlingame and Mountain View. From opening to closing, seven days a week, the store is filled with locals and tourists that come for its unique shopping experience.
“Therapy Stores aims to use products to help people connect. We do so through words, designs, color, and scent,” said Jing Chen, the founder and CEO of Therapy Stores and a first-generation Chinese American.
All the products are organized to maximize the store’s space and make the shopping experience easier and more enjoyable.
“I walked into Therapy Stores because it looked intriguing from the outside,” said Osnat Loewenthal, a shopper.
Therapy Stores aims to provide a vast array of products like books, candles, clothing, games, jewelry, and more. This variety makes for a convenient experience in which shoppers can purchase everything on their shopping list in one trip.
“When I walked in, I expected to buy items for myself. After looking around, I am inspired to buy gifts for friends and family too,” Loewenthal said.
At Therapy Stores, there is an emphasis on creating a positive shopping experience to make the outing worthwhile. Every aspect of the store, from the music to the art on the wall, is selected with the intention of fostering a welcoming environment.
“Part of our employee training process is to show them how to connect with shoppers on an emotional basis,” Chen said. “We find that the more customers can open up about their lives, the more likely our staff can provide the perfect item for them.”
The phrase “retail therapy” means shopping primarily to improve one’s mood. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as “comfort buys.”
“I feel a sense of relaxation when in Therapy Stores,” Loewenthal said.
A strategy Therapy Stores uses to keep guests coming back is including various products that cater to different senses. Some of their best-sellers are their unique-smelling candles that range in both size and design. Furthermore, Therapy offers personalized gifts like items featuring different zodiac signs or mugs with personalized messages.
Beyond Therapy Stores’ impact in person, they also use Instagram to promote the store and support outside causes.
“As a company, we do many little things to make guests feel comfortable in the store…” Chen said.
Piper Osgo, a sophomore at the College of San Mateo (CSM), works at multiple Therapy Stores locations on the weekends and weekdays after class. Osgo grew up going to the Burlingame location and knew at a young age that she wanted to join the Therapy Stores team.
“My workdays go by so quickly because of the positive environment,” Osgo said. “The second I step into the store, my mood improves.”
Therapy has been brightening Bay Area shoppers’ days for the last 27 years. It hopes to be in as many peninsula towns as possible to continue spreading its positivity.
“Our stores encourage guests to go outside the box and try something they’ve never tried before. Often, guests will come in looking for a specific item and leave with a product they never would’ve expected to buy,” Chen said.
Browse more shops in San Carlos, here in San Carlos Life
Top Reviews in Yelp
San Carlos, CA
This store is so cute. They have tons of cool items, great for gifts or for yourself. The owner and staff are very friendly and helpful. If you’re looking for an original gift for someone, you will definitely find something there! So happy to have it in downtown San Carlos.
San Carlos, CA
I went to stop in on Laurel Street with a couple friends and absolutely adored the atmosphere of the store. I didn’t even know there was a location in San Carlos, as I live in the city and have only been to one location downtown. It’s hard to find retail places nowadays that have wonderful customer service who are there for you start to finish! Both workers constantly checked in with me and made sure that I was comfortably browsing and was finding everything alright. They were frequently going around the store to steam clothing for customers and make sure everything was in pristine condition to browse. It’s hard to leave without spending more than I want to!! The most precious young man had great hair and we had quite a laugh about it when I asked him about what product he uses. He encouraged me to write this review on Yelp as I had lots of positive things say about this store along with the Bernal Heights location where I reside. This shop has been my go-to for a while to find new items for family’s birthdays. It’s great to see a variety of people working there and wanted to share this experience that deeply resonated with me.
Keep on what you guys are doing. I will be sure to stop by again!
San Jose, CA
I absolutely love the Campbell location of this store, which I’m a regular at, so when I found they had one in San Carlos, I just had to check it out. It’s about the same size (or perhaps a slightly larger space) compared to Campbell, but the clothes section in San Carlos is smaller, leaving a lot more room for quirky gift items and books to browse and purchase! We met the owner (of all the locations), who rang up our orders. She’s really sweet, and informed us that this location is brand new and has only been open for about 8 weeks.
They have a lot of cool stuff here. I especially love their self-therapy products. After having some laughs with my friend as we explored the various items, we walked away with a few cool novelty gifts and books.
Free street parking was not too difficult to find a block away. Downtown San Carlos also has a parking lot with an easy-to-miss entrance on Cherry Street, which is right around the corner.
San Francisco, CA
Therapy stores always have a great selection of odds, ends, books, gifts, cards, etc.
You can definitely find something for everyone here. I bought a cookbook, coaster set, a dice game, a blanket, a convertible backpack, a plant guide, and a beanie – all for different people.
The store is very clean, friendly staff, plenty of space, and lots of selection. Plus the reusable orange bags are a plus
New in SC so check it out!
Daly City, CA
What a cute store!! LOOOOOVE.
Stumbled in here by accident, usually I ignore the stores because they’re all so familiar but I had to stop walking and drag my friend in because the brightness and fun-ness of the interior caught my eye….and once in, I wanted to look at and purchase everythingggg my eyes were glittering with $$$ signs.
I collect lots of trinkets but a big one for me is funny magnets. I’ve been having a harder time finding them in person lately, but Therapy had an entire display of them and these high school girls were looking at me like I was insane (and my friend pretended not to know me) because I was cracking tf up reading them. Some tame, some NSFW, some literally spoke to me as if they were made specifically for ME, Megan.
Ended up getting three though I wanted to get 10. The store also had really cute household goods and fun girly stuff, the jewelry was adorable as well, some clothing in the back.
What a fabulous addition to Laurel Street! I’ve never been to any of their other stores so some may already be familiar with the brand, but I am totally going to stop in here for adorable unique Christmas gifts!
Therapy for all!!
San Carlos, CA
I’m a 38-year-old dude and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this Therapy store. The store manager, Danielle, is awesome and super helpful. I’ll be coming here when I need to get unique/meaningful gifts for people, which I usually suck at.
San Carlos, CA
I am so amazed by the unique selection of the products at the San Carlos location. They are very unique and not the stuff you find in general department stores. Marcus is very helpful and he always wears a smile on his face, making it a very enjoyable experience shopping in the store. Highly recommend this place for unique shopping experience.
KJ Speak S.
San Carlos, CA
Something for everyone! Super fun gifts for all ages.
Great store with LOTS of unique items for the upcoming holiday. I took my niece there who was home from college and she did all of her holiday shoppi
San Francisco, CA
Therapy was one of the first stores I happened upon after relocating from Chicago to San Francisco. We could walk to the original location on Valencia from our house in Bernal. It was my happy place. After we moved to Dallas, Therapy continued to be my go to place for gifts and clothing whenever we came back to visit. Fast forward 5 years, and we’ve moved back to the Bay just as Therapy was opening a new location in San Carlos! My daughter and I went in recently, and it instantly felt like home again. Marcus, was incredibly kind and helpful. It’s one thing to appreciate what a store has to offer, it’s another to feel appreciated when you shop there. Thank you for hiring the best of the best. Shout out to Marcus and Miriam, and everyone else who have made this store a success!
Such a fun store. I thought the merchandising would be too broad, but they totally nail it. I go every week. And Marcus is the best. Amazing place and people. We are lucky they branched out to San Carlos.
San Carlos, CA
This store is the best combination of weird, fun, and fabulous. You can find a gift for ANYONE here–from books, socks, snarky magnets, beautiful jewelry, clothing, toys, cards, bags–the list goes on. The staff is incredibly helpful, especially Jing (Hi Eva!) and we also learned that 10% of sales are going to Second Harvest today. So good people selling delightful goods and donating to a good cause. Can’t beat that. I plan on being a regular customer.
El Granada, CA
Stumbled upon this cute store while we waited for dinner reservations. Amazing inventory! Includes something for all age groups! Had a great conversation with the owner. She was a complete sweetheart. Got a water bottle and a free beanie! Couldn’t recommend this place more. My boyfriend and I will definitely be back.