Elmore woman finds success in clothing design - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Elmore woman finds success in clothing design

Kathy's designs are unique, which lends to their popularity. Kathy's designs are unique, which lends to their popularity.

ELMORE, OH (Toledo News Now) – An Elmore entrepreneur started her own clothing line two years ago and it has exploded beyond her expectations.

Kathy Pietrowski started K-Pea Original, which now sells across the country and the world.

"We design kind of outrageous girls' clothes…actually really modest, really frilly, kind of wild patterns," Pietrowski said. "And we make it in the USA."

She started making outfits for her daughters in a small bedroom of her home, which turned into making outfits for friends, then complete strangers – across the country.

"I hired almost everyone I knew and trained them all to sew," she explained. "We kept hiring more people, cutting more fabric, buying more so we could make more."

In her first months of operation, Pietrowski only made about $600 per month in sales. She's now making upwards of $40,000 a month in sales. When she uploads a new design, it sells out in minutes.

Pietrowski said she owes her success to the style of the clothes themselves. Most of her items are limited, and some people have gone as far as producing knock-offs of her designs.

"It's unbelievable, and you have to understand that, for the first year of my company, I mostly sat alone in a bedroom, sewing as fast as I could," Pietrowski said. "I was never a cool dresser…I still feel like I can't put together a very good outfit, but if you want me to design a dress? It's totally different."

K-Pea Original makes clothes for girls a year old to about 10, but they're expanding to include necklaces, quilts, and clothes for ladies. And it's all made locally by her 25 employees.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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