Dance Happy Design in Aston hit it big in December when American Eagle’s sub-brand, Aerie, started online sales of the studio’s handmade canvas tote bags, writes Ronnie Polaneczky for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The bags sold so well that Aerie has ordered more for 2020.
Noteworthy is the fact that one of Dance Happy’s co-founders, Julia Tyler of Wallingford, has Down syndrome.
Co-founder Emily Scott hired Tyler to work part time at her small boutique called Compendium, formerly in Swarthmore, now in West Chester.
Tyler was completing a special needs program at Strath Haven High School and was looking for work. Community Integrated Services (CIS) approached Scott to see if Tyler could help out at Compendium.
Tyler started out unpacking, tagging and hanging inventory. Her CIS job-support coach, Liv Helgesen, who has an art background, taught Tyler how to place silk-screen images on to canvas, which Scott then sewed into sale items like tote bags, pillow covers, and table runners.
In 2016, Tyler, Scott and Helgesen created Dance Happy Design, so named because Tyler loves to dance.
Revenues were not huge, but the product line was growing, as were Tyler’s abilities and sense of independence.
Read more about Dance Happy’s tote bag success here.