When Libby Alexander and Mae Martin opened Common Threads in Boulder last fall, their intent was two-fold: On one hand, it would serve as a business tailored to Alexander’s design background, and on the other, it would provide an outlet for girls from AIM House, a local youth residential mentoring project co-founded by Martin. And that’s exactly how it’s unfolded: As a retail business, the consignment clothing boutique sells brand-name used clothing, as well as other hand-made items by local artists. But it then offers access to its own Bernina Sewing Lab, where AIM House interns – and the general DIY public – can design and personalize their own clothing and accessories.
“The idea behind the consignment store is that you can buy something old and make it new,” Alexander explains. To that end, Common Threads offers an array of classes in the lab (including a currently hot series of summer fabric art and fashion camps for kids and teens). So, for a song, you can pick up a blouse in a fabric you love, take a class where you’ll learn to alter it into something unique and personal, and then go on your merry way. And in its short life, the shop is not only blazing a green retail trail in Boulder, but has already made the New York Times! (Go here to see). Doing it yourself just got way easier, Boulder.
Visit Common Threads at 2707 Spruce Street, Boulder; for details log on to www.commonthreadsboulder.com or call 303-449-5431.
- Susan Froyd