First of all, congratulations to Bruce S. of Brooklyn, NY! He's the first randomly selected winner of the Discover Lehigh Valley Contest. The next winner (of a $200 Visa gift card) will be selected Monday, May 24.

Now that that's taken care of, the next Lehigh Valley celebrity discovery that we'd like to share is ...

Born and raised in Claussville, graduate of Northwestern Lehigh High School, designer for Ralph Lauren, "fashion savant" of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and founder of the PERFECT clothing line, Carson Kressley.

“My favorite Lehigh Valley discovery involves the two things I love the most - horses and shopping. In that order!


So for the horse part, I was so lucky to grow up next door to my grandparents legendary Kressley's Pony Farm in rural Orefield. When I was five or six years old I thought everybody had a couple hundred ponies roaming the farm fields next to their homes.

Discovering horses and riding took me to the wandering dirt roads and trails of Northwestern Lehigh County on both the family farm near New Tripoli and Blue Gate Farm, where I started to ride competitively. Winning a world championship title this past year at the World’s Championship Horse Show in Louisville, KY, is a long way from the Valley but that’s where I got my start and I cannot think of a better place to have grown up!

Now for the shopping part. I haven’t lived in the Valley for a long time, but some of my fondest memories growing up were the once weekly shopping trips to the big city of Allentown.

It was there with my Mom that a four-year-old budding fashionista discovered the retail joys of the Allentown Farmers Market (where I could always charm the Amish sales ladies into free tastes of yummy Lebanon Bologna, honey or fresh made cheese), the bustling lunch counter at Woolworths at Crest Plaza Shopping Center, and the motherload, Hess's downtown Allentown flagship.

That store was a treasure trove and it was run by true merchants that employed designs and featured merchandise that would have made you think you were at Bloomingdale's or Neiman Marcus!  It’s gone too, but it planted the seed that made me the stylish shopper I am today. Thanks, Hess's!”