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Published June 13, 2024

Local clothing brand Pink House Project arrives in Southeast Como

The small business looks to bring handcrafted pieces to the University area.
Image by Sam Haines
Pink House Project logo

A new addition to the Twin Cities clothing scene arrived in February with the launch of Pink House Project in Southeast Como.

The independent brand provides a collection of original acid-washed shirts, denim apparel and long-sleeved tees. Pink House Project looks to build on its early momentum by bringing original clothing to the University-area community.

Despite the recency of the business’s launch at WaterWave on Como Avenue, owner and founder Sam Haines said customers have responded positively to the custom-painted pieces from the Pink House project so far. Haines hopes to expand on that promising initial reception.

Frank Seeb, from Minnesota sneakerhead event Seebs Sneaker Swap, said he loved his custom-painted denim shirt.

“I was very honored to receive one of the first Pink House Project denim shirts. When Sam reached out, I knew I wanted a pair of the Air Max 1/97 Wotherspoons painted on the back,” Seeb said. “Sam brought that dream to life.”

Haines designs the denim shirts and jackets himself and includes a little pink house on the foot of a mountain bed in their first denim release. Their acid-washed black tees have a walking, smiling house on the back with the phrase “everyone is welcome” printed underneath the design.

Haines grew up in Paynesville, a small town in central Minnesota, and initially pursued an electrical degree at Lake Superior College in Duluth.

“I moved to Duluth, into a seven-person house that happened to be pink,” Haines said.

A surgery kept Haines from raising his arms comfortably above his head, ruining his electrical school plans and paving a new path for the clothing designer.

“I soon switched my career path to graphic design,” Haines said. “In this time, I painted my first jacket, knowing I’ve always enjoyed fashion.”

Haines’ roommates first began to wear his jackets in 2020. Thinking nothing of it, Haines decided to paint one for himself the same year.

The Pink House Project moniker hints at Haines’ friends’ championing of his creativity. He said the support Haines felt from his roommates in that pink Duluth house furthered his passion.

Haines held on to the jackets for two years, looking for options to further his brand as a small-town upstart.

“I decided I was done with freelance art and contacted a store who was more than welcome to try selling the jacket. WaterWave absolutely loved the jacket and their store owner wanted one for himself,” Haines said.

WaterWave, located in Southeast Como, promotes and sells clothing from local small businesses. In February, their offer opened the door for Haines and his Pink House Project. As of now, WaterWave is the only physical location to buy Pink House Project clothing.

“I came into contact with a couple of local artists who were interested in a custom piece. Now I have over 50 jackets printed,” Haines said.

Haines and Pink House Project held their first pop-up stand in the merchandise station for WaterWaves’ City Takeover show at the 7th Street Entry on Feb. 16. The items sold at the show featured denim shirts and jackets that were custom-made by Haines to include the names of WaterWave artists, the First Avenue wall of fame and more.

Pink House Project team member Donovan Doffing said the strong messaging drew him to the brand.

“Pink House to me represents an inclusive place for all to thrive creatively as a community,” Doffing said.

You can find PinkHouse apparel on the Pink House Project website and Instagram. Custom jackets can be purchased at the WaterWave store as well.

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