Affordable one-of-a-kind apparel and accessories (for men and women) make the Red House one of the hottest places to grab garbs designed and produced by local artisans and younger talent under professional guidance. “You can buy off the racks; choose your favorite fabrics and trims and have items made; or make your own” offers Red House Executive Director Andrea Coffey.
Much of the Red House inventory is sold on consignment. Other pieces are professionally “remade” constructed from cherished used clothing that no longer works for a customer. Frequently jean skirts are reincarnated from worn or now-too-tight jeans. Discarded suit vests become snazzy new statements of style. Coffey calls them “eco-urban.”
There’s also the “wow bag.” One look at any of these and the first word that pops from any customer’s mouth is, “wow!” (hence the name). These striking fabric carry-all’s with multiple dimensions and fabric appliqués make the well-known brand name cloth bags from last seem awfully boring.
The Red House is as much boutique as it is workshop/sewing circle. Classes are Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. and Wednesday evenings from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Fifteen dollars covers personalized instruction at any level and all materials and equipment. Some classes are organized around a theme like “1,2,3 handbag” or, suggests Coffey, just bring in your spent hoodie and embellish it into new life.
Red House has been operating since the spring of 2008. Occasional Red “house parties” present live music and refreshments and are free of charge. These festivities take place every other month, so customers should call for specific details.
Perhaps best of all, Red House profits help support the youth development work of the non-profit, Breakfree (also headquartered at the Red House). Since 2005, Breakfree has partnered with schools, foundations and community groups to promote entrepreneurial and design skills among urban students. Instead of just hanging out, youngsters are motivated to see a project all the way through concept, planning, fabrication and marketing phases. With the encouragement of professionals and volunteers, Breakfree channels energy into desirable futures.
3733 Midvale Avenue
East Falls 19129