Friday, May 3 will mark the first in a frenzy of highly anticipated First Fridays in the thriving downtown streets of Phoenixville.
Come rain or shine, thousands of spirited patrons will put their workweeks behind them and swarm to the red-hot live music venues, galleries, craft breweries, restaurants and progressive new fashion boutiques of Bridge Street. If you happened to blink in the past year or two, you’ll be blown away by the almost cult like pride that’s taken over this once-tired mill town, and nowhere is that more evident these days than REFINERY — a small, forward-thinking fashion boutique located at 131 Bridge Street.
Nestled in the heart of P’ville’s Bermuda Triangle – a half-block area on Bridge Street best known for popular patio hotspots like Sedona, Iron Hill Brewery and The Great American Pub, REFINERY finds ways to create its own buzz, and stir up an energy and excitement all of its own. Last spring, shortly after their grand opening, they did so with the launch of their first-ever charity fashion show, a professionally choreographed event that played to a packed audience at the popular music venue, Steel City. The event raised money for The House, a local women’s shelter based in Phoenixville. Just last Saturday, they did so again with their Local Loves Phoenixville Launch Party, where dozens of local trendsetters lined up to be among the first to dawn REFINERY’s latest line of trendy, Phashion-forward limited release P’ville Pridewear, with styles for both women and men. With plans for select limited-release styles to be offered this Friday, and at upcoming First Friday events throughout the summer, don’t expect demand for the latest T’s, tanks and accessories to fizzle anytime soon. Not in this town, anyway.
REFINERY was founded in 2017 and is owned and operated by talented, hardworking, and inspiring local moms. The store concept meshes styles from emerging local designers and artists with popular mainstream brands like Free People, BB Dakota and Veronica M, and takes a bold, unique, and progressive approach to retail. Their website, RefineryCompany.com, describes their customer base as, “fun, creative, motivated and independent women who demand and command style,” adding “When a Refinery Woman walks into a room, records scratch, heads turn and jaws drop. [They are] bosses, hard workers, mothers, daughters, aunts, grand moms, friends, wives, caretakers, planners, dreamers and lovers.”
Trained staff stylists are quick to explain that it’s not just about the clothes and accessories at REFINERY, but how each piece can accent, enhance or transform a woman, and the confidence and spirit that exudes when something “just works.” Clients can feel at home and browse at their leisure, or can engage in a more personalized shopping experience. They’ll even host private shopping events after hours for certain individuals, groups and charities. Whatever the scenario, stylists are not paid on commission, and are encouraged to take an honest approach with clients. While some retailers might question why having a garment left on the rack is preferred to a paying client leaving with something ill-fitting or “just okay,” it’s a forward-thinking approach that seems to be working, as their clients keep coming back – and often with friends. There are other little personal touches as well. For example, it’s not unusual for a patient male companion to be greeted or rewarded with an ice cold beverage from one of downtown Phoenixville’s local breweries. For a smaller, frequently visited boutique like REFINERY to thrive, in-store and online merchandise rotates frequently, so you never know when something you can’t live without will appear on the sale rack.
Next time you’re in Phoenixville or have the itch for a wardrobe refresh, visit REFINERY at 131 Bridge Street, directly across the street from The Great American Pub – or visit them online and shop anytime at RefineryCompany.com.