Elise Edson and Ali Kutner had not met in person prior to Sunday, but thanks to the internet and some diligent research, they collaborated at this weekend’s clothing swap at Kutner’s Bohema on Ridge Avenue in Roxborough.
Edson, of Somerset, N.J., had relocated to the East Coast from Los Angeles, where she used to hold clothing swaps at her house. But she found the homes in Central New Jersey to be too spaced out to have a clothing exchange in an accessible location. That’s when she found the Philadelphia Clothing Swap online, and her additional research led her to Kutner’s Bohema.
“People can bring clothes and trade with other people,” said Kutner of the free clothing exchange.
Kutner has operated Bohema, a women’s consignment shop that features vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories, for three years. The clothing exchange on Sunday was free of charge, but Kutner said she also offered some cheap deals on the bright, frilly and eye-catching inventory at Bohema’s, like the stores back room where one can purchase three clothing items for $10.
Kutner’s shop, with an interior of lush clothing, looks like a cross between a time machine and a kaleidoscope. The shop also features the work of local artists, an ongoing dialogue she too has cultivated through social media.
“In the beginning I had no idea, so I started with an ad on Craigslist, and 70 people contacted me within a week,”says Kutner. “Now I go based on referrals for consignment.”