MiVT: Red House

Published: Mar. 15, 2021 at 1:34 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 7:41 PM EDT
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WEYBRIDGE, Vt. (WCAX) - Nestled up in the woods of Weybridge, you’ll find two Arizona transplants -- Matt and Britt Witt.

“Approximately 10 years ago we quit our jobs in Arizona, living definitely an unfulfilling life and moved here with no job prospects, no semblance of an actual plan,” explained Matt.

They came to Vermont looking for a simpler life, something out in the woods where they could set their roots-- a true Vermont experience.

“A little red house with a wood stove going, and we found exactly that in the village of Shelburne. Bought that house, and Matt went to work, and I stayed at home with the kids. To supplement income, I sort of started making little bags, aprons, all kinds of different stuff,” Britt reminisced.

They’ve since moved their Red House operations to their current space.

A significant adjustment from desert life, Matt and Britt found they had to adapt their day-to-day to the weather.

They did it with waxed canvas -- Britt bought a yard of it for personal use when they first moved here.

“And it became just a natural organic extension of what we were needing,” explained Matt. “It did start literally with like a lunch bag for me when I was in an office and a tote bag for us to take to markets.”

That’s when they realized the waterproof material is rigid enough to withstand Vermont’s elements but timeless in aesthetic. So, they began offering their creations to others.

“Vermont is the foundation of this brand and of this company,” said Matt.

You’ll notice they’re not pumping out new designs all the time. These bags aren’t intended to be flashy. They’re practical but appealing.

“The company really is constructed on Britt’s talent. She really is the one who has the very necessary skill in what we do,” explained Matt.

We watched Britt work her magic.

“Sew it inside out and then flip it around and then it’s ready for leatherwork after that,” she explained.

Leatherwork is Matt’s domain. That, and the behind-the-scenes work. This two-person team says they’ve perfected the work split.

While their bags are available in a handful of shops across Vermont, most sales come from online as these bags are made to order.

“We think it creates this specialness to each order, each order really is made for its intended recipient,” said Britt.

“Yeah we’re not just pulling something off a shelf, we receive it, we produce it and it goes out,” said Matt.

Made to order, and made in Vermont.

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