Butcher's Sew Shop weaves virtual and in-person learning together

Butcher's Sew Shop in Philadelphia is finally able to teach classes in person again. The pandemic forced a pause on in-person learning, but the desire to learn was always there.

Video Transcript

- Our special series Philly's Comeback continues now with the owners of a craft studio getting back to their passion.

- They're finally able to teach classes in person instead of through a computer screen. "Action News" reporter Maggie Kent is in South Philadelphia with that story.

MAGGIE KENT: It was only two weeks ago that the choir of sewing machines stitching returned to Butcher's Sew Shop. In-person learning took a pause, as did so many other things during the pandemic. But the desire to learn was still there.

JEFFREY PATRICK: Sitting at home during the pandemic, it gives you time to think. How can I better myself? You know, how can I recreate myself?

MAGGIE KENT: For shop owner Mali Petherbridge, reinvention was the route for survival.

- I kind of see us as almost building up a whole new base of students from this past year. [? Show ?] your next slide.

MAGGIE KENT: Zoom classes, at-home DIY kids, mail subscriptions burst open the doors of Butcher's Sew Shop and brought the learning to the kitchen table.

MALI PETHERBRIDGE: We have people as far as Hawaii joining our virtual classes. So in that way, I think it really has strengthened our business.

MAGGIE KENT: Emily Coleman taught quiltmaking online, a skill she picked up from Grandma.

EMILY COLEMAN: Honestly, it's made me a better teacher. I've learned how to say everything five different ways.

MAGGIE KENT: Now 13 months into the pandemic, after a number of closures, a staff furlough, and two PPP grants, Butcher's Sew Shop is back buzzing. With in-person learning, after school, and virtual school camps returning.

MALI PETHERBRIDGE: I really see us maintaining this hybrid model of virtual and in-person learning.

MAGGIE KENT: Butcher's Sew Shop says they're going to be busier than ever in this summer, especially with camp season on the horizon.

[SEWING MACHINE SOUNDS]

[? To ?] come back, thanks to ingenuity and a lot of creativity. In South Philadelphia. Maggie Kent, channel six "Action News."