MARK LEFFINGWELL
Common Threads embraces recycling with new interior

A t Boulder’s Common Threads, reuse and re-

invention are core values — a fact the consignment shop is demonstrating this month with a unique interior remodeling project.

Since opening in a former Volkswagen repair shop at 2707 Spruce St. in 2007, Common Threads has embraced recycled fashions in more ways than one. Not only is 99 percent of the shop’s inventory consigned, the staff offers classes in areas including sewing, knitting and silk screening that help people breathe new life into old clothes.

It’s only fitting, then, that when owner Libby Alexander wanted to remodel the shop’s interior, she and her partners chose to use materials from a 60-year-old Longmont barn they found on Craigslist.

“We just knew we didn’t want to use anything new,” Alexander said of using decades-old wood, corrugated tin and other materials to give her shop a new look. “They were going to burn (the barn) for a fire department training. It’s really beautiful, old wood. It’s like, ‘You can’t burn it.'”

So far, Common Threads has new dressing rooms and a newly decorated front counter taken from the barn that stands near Longmont High School. The dressing room doors are doors that formerly swung on the hinges of an old horse stable that more recently had been “well partied in” by Longmont High students, Alexander said.

Alexander — along with decorator Kim Clary of High Street Shoppes, contractor Brian Norcross of Boulder’s Ultimate Upgrades and some dedicated Common Threads employees — completed the first stage of the work on July 6 and 7. Common Threads was closed that week while the shop’s landlord put insulation in the ceiling, giving the team two days for the major remodel work and one day to move inventory back inside after the owners of neighboring Alpine Sports let them store clothes there for free, Alexander said.

“Everybody has small businesses, and we all just try to help each other out,” Alexander said of the teamwork that has gone into the remodel. “Every board we used had hundreds of nails in it, and we had to bang out every one. It was fun.”

And the project isn’t finished yet, Alexander said.

Norcross is stopping by the shop every afternoon to bring more materials from a second, 100-year-old barn, and add little touches to the shop such as trim along the ceiling. Norcross, who does a variety of remodeling and general handyman work around Boulder, said Friday that he has thoroughly enjoyed the teamwork on the Common Threads project and loves the materials.

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