How It Works

Repair Public is an exercise in community resourcefulness.

The basic idea is to encourage people to learn how and/or where to fix broken items instead of tossing them into a landfill and buying replacements. The participants and facilitators are local community members just like you. You bring a broken item that you want help repairing as well as a willingness to try to fix it. There will be repair facilitators on-hand to help you figure out how to fix your treasure, each with one or more areas of specialty. We’ll have various tools available for use, as well as some basic supplies like screws, tape, glue, wire nuts, needles, threads, and probably appliance cord with some plug-ends. With all these ingredients, we intend to repair the heck out of whatever you decide to bring in (see What to Bring).

The main, key point is that if you bring it, we want you to try to fix it. We want you to tap the hammer, turn the screwdriver, fasten the clamp, solder the wire, sew the thread, or iron the knee patch. Don’t worry, we’ll help you! This isn’t intended to be a free service center, and we don’t intend to compete with local service businesses. Among our goals are to get people past the intimidating notion that fixing things is beyond the ability of most people, and to impart as much confidence as skill. We also want to build humility, and part of that comes from knowing when an item has in fact been used or broken past its useful life. We hope you’ll get all of that at a Repair Public, but we’re fine if all you walk away with is your toaster fixed.Successful repair of desk lamp

The eventual goal is to see these events happen at least multiple times a year in multiple locations up and down the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts, including Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties.

Though we run essentially the same concept, we’re not a member of the Repair Café network. We might go that route at some point but for right now, Repair Public is its own thing. Among the differences: most Repair Café listings operated by the same person or group seem to be limited to a single location; Repair Public will go up and down the three counties of the Pioneer Valley in Massachusetts. We might be a little nuts like that.

We are your peers, we are your community, and you’re stuck living with us anyway. Why not fix stuff together? Did you know “solder” is pronounced “SAW-der”? I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t figure that out until my 20s. English is so weird.

Thanks for stopping by.