Learn about the inspiring story behind Garnish - as part of the GeoBeats series on inspirational businesses.
I have a lot of customers who have really changed the way they dress and therefore the way they think about themselves. So that's always really a rewarding experience.
When I was little, my mom taught me how to sew, and I loved the challenge of sewing, I loved the hands-on aspect, and when I was in High school, I started off a polar fleece hat business. I was a ski racer and people just started buying them off my head. That was sort of my first introduction to having a business.
When I moved to Portland, I got a job with one of the larger clothing manufacturers here in town. It was a great experience, I learned a lot. I learned about costing my garments, I learned about construction, learned about fit. But I wasn't actually doing the designing and so was not quite as creative as I was looking for. They were very very nice and gave me a 3 months leave of absence to work on my business. At which point I really started develop the idea a little bit more. So I started this as a way to really challenge myself and have a creative outlet.
We have a couple of things that are really unique about our business. We offer a wide range of sizes that usually boutiques don't offer, from 0 to 20. We offer our sizes in a more body conscious, positive sizing system that we have developed to really try to promote loving your body any size. We also do in-house alterations. We work hard to get a really specific fit for people.
Everyday I come in I really enjoy being in here. You never know who's going to walk through the door. People really appreciate a piece for a special event. A lot of people come in and buy a dress for there 40th birthday or maybe a 20th high school reunion, because they want to feel good about themselves. And to be able to provide that is really an inspirational thing for me.