Once upon a time, there was a very talented seamstress who opened an alterations shop on King Street called The Rose Knot. One day, she decided to grow her business from simple alterations of hems, zippers and buttons into a manufacturing company that offers custom design and production for individuals and designers alike. And thus, the Charleston Garment Manufactory was born. Fashion designers from around the town danced and sang a happy tune as they now had a place where all their fashion design dreams could come true. Meet Heather Koonse, the master of manufacturing, and learn how she made the transition from alterations to garment production.
Q: What made you finally take the plunge to start this business?
A: While managing and operating The Rose Knot it became apparent there was such a need for development and production. I started to drift away from alterations and focus my attention on working with local designers. I soon realized with my skills I could easily transition my business from one group of services to another.
Q:How much money did you raise on Indiegogo to get started?
A: My original goal was $15,000,which I did meet. However after paying fees and providing the rewards offered we ended up with 13K which has already been spent to keep CGM running since the closing of The Rose Knot. That was just a drop in the bucket.
Q: What is the grand vision you have in store?
A: My vision is first and foremost to move out of house. I would like to get into a permanent facility where I can have the space to hire on more employees, purchase more equipment and be able to have the technology needed to make CGM happen and thrive!
Q: What can people/clients expect from CGM?
A: CGM is in the process of creating a full-service, custom design studio for men and women. CGM offers bespoke clothing for individuals made specifically for their body shape and size, custom clothes designed to fit their personal style. CGM will also be working with many local designers, offering product development services such as pattern drafting, pattern grading, production and more.
When you meet with Heather, the first thing that stands out is her genuine passion and concern to make your designs and business the best it can be. She wants you to succeed just as much as she wants to succeed herself. Her “everybody wins” mentality is comforting for any designer or customer that is entrusting her with their ideas. One of my other favorite aspect of Heather’s business is her ability to train and employ local seamstresses to work at CGM. This not only gives every garment personal touch, but also keeps the business in Charleston to benefit our community overall. It seems more and more companies are outsourcing to other countries and it’s refreshing to know that CGM is 100% made in the U.S.A. Heather Koonse has also worked with many charities including Cinderella Day Charleston program where underprivileged high school girls have a chance to pick out a prom dress and shoes for free. Heather offered free alterations to all in need.
To have one of your design dreams come alive, contact Heather Koonse to set up a consultation. Call 843-509-2785, email firstname.lastname@example.org or like Charleston Garment Manufactory on Facebook.