The Charleston Garment Manufactory Mission: Design Create Educate
My name is Heather Koonse. I have been a designer, pattern drafter, and seamstress for the past 7+ years. I am also the owner and creator of The Rose Knot, a clothing alteration shop.
The Rose Knot has become a hub of creativity so much so that I now spend time helping local clothing designers develop and produce their collections. My dream is to turn The Rose Knot into a design resource center for local fashion designers to develop, create and produce well-made clothing. This resource center will be called the Charleston Garment Manufactory. Many of the designers I currently work with are showing their collections at Charleston Fashion Week, which has become one of the premiere fashion weeks in North America since its founding in 2007. The Charleston Garment Manufactory will work closely with the already existing foundation of local designers to expand Charleston as a center of creativity, fashion and style, while strengthening community through education. I will educate future seamstresses and I will educate designers to elevate the quality of their work.
Phase I: The Idea
I would like to take The Rose Knot, a small sewing workroom and turn it into the Charleston Garment Manufactory, an educational center for clothing design and manufacturing. The dream is to create a resource for fashion designers and individuals to use in developing and producing their clothing. This resource center would offer the following services:
Sample garment construction
Sewing classes and workshops
There is an obstacle right now for independent designers everywhere. Independent designers must do everything themselves, from designing the clothes, producing the clothes and then selling the clothes. Small cities like Charleston, lack the infrastructure needed to support a growing fashion scene. Currently there is not fashion industry in Charleston, which forces designers to travel far distances to develop their designs. Another alternative is for designers to own a small company. This puts stress on their creative resources. Designers must rely on the fading cottage industry or do everything themselves. Not only will the Charleston Garment Manufactory strengthen the community by creating jobs, but will continue the education of a dying art and help expand Charleston into a center of forward thinking in fashion and style.
A portion of the money raised from this campaign will be used to renovate a building, located in downtown Charleston. Some of the funds raised will go towards 2 straight stitch industrial machines, 1 industrial serger sewing machine and professional fabric cutting tools. Most importantly, a portion of the money will go towards a training program for future seamstresses. The Charleston Garment Manufactory will employ 3 full time seamstresses, 1 full time pattern drafter and 1 production coordinator.
Phase II: Room to Grow
Once The Charleston Garment Manufactory is established there will be room to expand. The ultimate dream is to create a full on manufacturing facility. This manufacturing facility will specialize in the production of women’s and children's cut and sew apparel for a larger number of local and regional designers. The goal is to grow the company to employ 5 full time seamstresses, 1 sample sewer, 2 cutters, 2 pattern drafters, and 1 production coordinator. The manufacturing facility would offer all of the same services as listed above but would include:
Cut and Sew woven apparel
Cut and Sew knit apparel
Lets Dream Together
I want to thank you for all of the support I have received during this campaign. This dream would not become a reality with out the support of each and everyone of you. If the Charleston Garment Manufactory inspires you, please tell a friend about this project. I am looking for help of all kinds, whether it by a donation of money, time, or possibly a future employ of the Charleston Garment Manufactory. Don’t you love the idea of living in a place where you can find clothing designed and made right in your own town?
Music in video Courtesy of Chris Zabriskie, Ergo Phizmiz & Margita Zalite, Albert Benzler and Fred Van Eps, Alastair Cameron, Peter Johnston, Alaclair Ensemble
Music in video Courtesy of
Chris Zabriskie, Ergo Phizmiz & Margita Zalite, Albert Benzler and Fred Van Eps,
Alastair Cameron, Peter Johnston, Alaclair Ensemble