Since meeting her Indiegogo goal last April to open the Charleston Garment Manufactory, which offers technical expertise and creative consultation to local fashion designers, seamstress Heather Rose has been working out of her small studio, helping her clients with pattern drafting and design specs, as well as providing very small production runs. She’s also been offering beginning and advanced sewing classes on a one-on-one basis.

But as of last week, Rose moved the Manufactory into a larger space in North Charleston — which means that more sewing classes, more production, and hopefully, more production jobs for locals are in the works. “I would love to create a business that employs seamstresses, skilled machine operators, and help bring that industry to Charleston,” she says. “Over the next three years, the plan is for all my clients to be able to have their clothing produced here.”

It’s all part of Rose’s original purpose in setting up the Garment Manufactory: to elevate the quality of design in Charleston and cultivate the local fashion industry so that talented seamstresses, pattern drafters, and designers don’t have to leave the state in order to make a career. Charleston Fashion Week, she says, has already been a major help toward that end. “It’s responsible for bringing fashion back to Charleston, and it’s helped keep designers in the state,” says Rose. “If you want to be in fashion, you think immediately New York or L.A. We need to create a regional fashion scene that’s unique to the South. That will take time.”

Find out more on the Garment Manufactory website at

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