Local Highlights

Get to know Local Artist in Action: Katie Leeman


Katie Leeman’s Philadelphia based design studio, Riverside Tool & Dye, is proof that tie-dye is more than just a trend. Using Japanese dyeing techniques, Katie hand-paints and hand-dyes a wide array of clothing and home goods, from silk dresses to bedspreads.Our first Philadelphia home, Common Civic, features several of Katie’s hand-dyed pillowcases, bringing a pop of color and local flair to our coliving suites. Keep reading to learn more about Katie and see her work in Common Civic.

Get to know Katie Leeman

First things first, introduce yourself!

I’m Katie and I own Riverside Tool & Dye 🙂

You started an amazing textile design studio, clothing, and homegoods brand here in Philadelphia! Can you tell us more about the origin story of Riverside Tool & Dye?

Thank you! It was all started when a friend gave me a Shibori dyed scarf. I was instantly hooked. Within a week I had ordered dyes, fabrics, and turned my house in to a studio.

Where do you draw your inspiration from for your collections?

It’s more instinctive, I’ll get hooked on a color for whatever reason and build out around it until I can get it out of my system.

If you could only use a few words, how would you describe your work?

Color therapy

What’s the biggest hurdle you’ve overcome so far in starting your business?

I’ve been pretty fortunate for the most part but juggling the work/personal life has been challenging. There doesn’t seem to be enough time for both.

You’re not shy when it comes to using color in your textiles. What advice would you give to someone who wants to break out of the “all-black” urban uniform?


What’s your favorite local spot in Philly?

Standard Tap

What’s your favorite place?

100% the beach.Thanks Katie! To learn more about Katie’s work and Riverside Tool & Dye, head to her website.

Explore Common Civic

Common Civic is our first coliving home in Philadelphia. Located in Fairmount aka the “Museum Area”, Common Civic offers private bedrooms in fully furnished shared spaces, amazing amenities (hello furnished rooftop!), an awesome community, and everything else that comes with being a Common member. See more of the home and book a tour today!


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