Tie-dye family tradition is shared with Northborough community

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By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

Brenda Convery with granddaughter Emma, 2-1/2
Photo/JoAnne White

Northborough – Lifetime Northborough resident Brenda Convery brought a lot of positivity and smiles to people recently, when she shared her family’s love of tie-dying with the community. She displayed a clothing collection at the end of her driveway, and people were encouraged to stop by to choose an item free of charge.

The 20-year family tradition of tie-dying began when Convery’s adult daughters Brittany and JoAnne were young and involved in Girl Scouts. They all still tie-dye together and Brittany now shares the tradition in her preschool classroom.

Convery said that like so many people during the quarantine, she has been busy house cleaning and organizing.

“I realized my tie-dye collection was quite large,” she said. “The idea was part practical and part wanting to do something positive. I figured tie-dyes were colorful and cheerful, and a great way to remind people to keep smiling as we wait to get back to normal.”  

Convery decided to give away the almost 100 tie-dyed shirts, onesies and socks for free as a way of connecting with people. With a little publicity assistance from her daughters, the clothes rack was empty by dinnertime.

“I got a lot of positive messages on Facebook telling me it was a great idea, thanking me for doing it and it seemed people really enjoyed it,” she said. “There was beeping and some shout outs from the driveway.”

Convery is a familiar face in Northborough as she previously worked at FunCare, a kindergarten program located in the basement of Northborough Town Hall before full day kindergarten was offered, and later worked at Skribbles Learning Center. She currently is a support aide at Robert E. Melican Middle School.

She started wearing tie-dyes frequently and has made it a part of her Casual Friday attire. In addition to showing students how to tie-dye through the years, she has shared her craft at tie-dying events with different camp groups, summer school programs, libraries, fundraisers and birthday parties. 

“With the left over dye from these events, I would experiment with different color combinations and designs and accumulated quite the collection of shirts and stuff,” Convery said. “These would become gifts for family or co-workers’ birthdays, holidays, and baby showers.”

Convery even had a tie-dye themed wedding four years ago in her backyard and the favors were, of course, tie-dye shirts.

She is currently out of shirts and has to rebuild her collection before having a repeat event. 

“I did get a lot of messages from people asking about shirts, so who knows,” she said.