A few years ago I threw out my all-time favorite “nice” shirt. It was just a cotton shirt from Uniqlo (clearly I don’t dress up much). After years of wear it had finally pilled beyond repair and stitches were pulling from the hem. I think I actually threw the shirt in the garbage. The thought never even crossed my mind that there was another place it could go. It was too worn out to donate to a thrift store, and I did not yet know about the miracle of Ridwell.

Fast-forward a couple of years and now I know that not only can I mend my own clothes, but they usually hold
more sentimental value post-mend. So where does one learn to do something like this? I was lucky enough to have a sister who became interested in darning and sashiko-style mending, and she showed me the light.

It seems like there’s a world of people out there who have broken or worn items and another world of people who have the know-how to fix things. Wouldn’t it be great if their worlds could collide? Even if only for a single day? Maybe items you love could get fixed, maybe you could make someone’s day by salvaging their favorite dress shirt.

As a local small business owner, I have met a ton of people over the last two years. So many of these people are incredibly talented and many of them have at least one common goal: erase the fast fashion and disposable mindset we seem to have adopted and make better use of the things we have. Do you know how hard it is to find the perfect pair of jeans? Or a favorite kitchen knife? Or a bike that seems to match your personality to a T? We don’t want to get rid of these things because of a hole or a dull blade. We want to fix them and keep right on using them.

If preserving some of your favorite belongings appeals to you, I want to help. We are getting some of our talented local community members and business owners together for a day of fixing things. Maybe they can teach us a few tips so we could fix items ourselves in the future. Come for knife sharpening, jewelry repair, clothing mending and more. Bring one to two items in need of repair. Please limit items to small repairs or be prepared to wait or be referred to another local resource. All services will be offered free or by donation. We will have lots of great information about local businesses and community organizations that will help you with repairs in the future or places to learn more and expand your own skill set.

The Fix-It Fair will be held on Aug. 26 from 12-3 p.m. at Ohio Street Work Studios. If you are interested in donating your time to help with repairs, or if you have any questions, please reach out to me at pumpedbham@gmail.com.