Local business owners Tina Dixon Spence (Buddha Babe) and Stella Singleton (Needles & Bolts) are announcing a new collaboration for the summer months! 

Needles & Bolts will host Buddha Babe summer camp for kids in their new Maker Space at the corner of Germantown & Meehan Aves. Read on for more details of how these two businesses will work together to offer something special for the community.

MACDC: How did this collaboration come about?
Tina: Last year, I had popped into Needles & Bolts for some Eagles fabric to make a pillow for my son, and Stella and I started chatting about all things business, particularly the challenging times that so many of us have been enduring but not necessarily sharing publicly.  

Since then we started checking in with each other regularly, I source special fabrics for my kids’ workshops, and we swap informational resources as they come across our desks. Having a network of fellow businesswomen to confide in, commiserate with and bounce ideas off of has been a lifeline. Naturally, when I started to think about life after Emlen Street, conversations with Stella and other NW Philly shop owners were a part of my daily routine. 

The idea to collaborate with Stella on summer camp as I continue to build out Buddha Babe’s next iteration came from a local artist/friend, actually–and I thought she was crazy for suggesting it!  But then I mentioned it to Stella and was met with genuine enthusiasm and we immediately started planning to make it happen. I think that we are both genuinely excited to be able to cross-support each others’ businesses by way of sharing space, customers and resources.

Stella: I couldn’t agree more with Tina. Our collaboration came about organically through our shared passion for business and our desire to support each other during challenging times. Tina and I have developed a great relationship over the past year, exchanging information and resources to help each other’s businesses grow. When Tina approached me with the idea of collaborating on summer camp, I was immediately on board. I believe that by sharing space and resources, we can create a unique experience for our customers and cross-promote our businesses in a meaningful way. Our collaboration is an example of how businesses can work together to create something special for our community.

MACDC: What will be the same about camp this summer, and what will be different?

Tina: Last year we ran camps by “theme” weeks, and while they all were amazing and fun, what I noticed was the biggest hit was the fashion camp weeks (so much so that we ended up expanding them)! So this summer, it’s all fashion (and accessories) for all levels, and we will be keeping our signature end-of-week runway shows for families. I’m looking forward to working with more upcycled denims, a new romper pattern, and an array of the latest bag styles (I personally can’t wait to get into the shoulder crossbody)! 

N&B does a lot of work in the garment space, and I’m excited to be in the good company of expert instructors who can filter some of that knowledge down to our young sewists and really enhance our project plans and designs. Plus, there’s all things needlework, which is Stella’s specialty! Look for much of that skill to be taught to campers throughout every week. 

Stella: If you asked me in the past year when we were going to start offering kid’s camps, the answer was always never! But with this collaboration, it’s the best of both worlds – we get to host one of the most popular kids camp programs in Philadelphia and share our beautiful new Maker Space, which offers more room and resources for campers to get creative! I’m excited to be partnering with Buddha Babe for summer camp this year, and I think the focus on fashion and accessories is going to be a hit with returning and new campers alike. 

MACDC: Who is staffing the camp?
Tina: Buddha Babe is staffing the camp, with a return of some of our favorite instructors and a few new guest instructor surprises! Staff from Needles & Bolts will also be involved on specific days to lend their expertise to a specific part of a project.  Also this summer, we will be hosting our first ever Junior Camp Counselors, a chance for current Buddha Babe students aged 12-14 to work alongside us as peer advisors and gain valuable experience as they prepare to move on to Junior Counselor positions at their respective day or overnight camps. 

Stella: We’re hoping to share our resources with campers as well – it really comes down to what they want to sew and what they want their week to look like – we have a roster of crazy talented instructors who are excited to dip in as guest instructors where needed.

MACDC: Where can folks sign up?
Tina: Find out more and sign up at the Buddha Babe Events website!

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