The success of sewing
Kathy McKnight Pietrowski never thought she could accomplish the unthinkable. The mother of three daughters, not fond of the fashions that were available to those girls on the market, she took matters into her own hands. What started as an interest in making a difference for her children turned into a successful business endeavor.
“I started making children’s clothing and I sold the very first thing I ever made,” said Pietrowski. After realizing that people wanted to buy everything she made, Pietrowski liked the idea of having her own business and learned to sew in order to make that dream happen.
For the girls
Wanting little girls to feel special, the first of the KPea Originals started with a lot of dresses and leggings that were brightly colored. “Clothes are designed to make young girls grow up a little too quickly. We just want them to be little girls a little longer,” explains Pietrowski. She also wanted clothes that were comfortable since she knew kids would be more likely to wear them. “Our dresses have cotton spandex so they are like wearing t-shirts,” said Pietrowski.
This is Pietrowski’s eleventh year in business and she admits it is her life. “I have zero hobbies; I sew, run my business and have four kids so I am busy with a staff and taking packages of completed clothing to the post office to be mailed,” said Pietrowski.
Her storefront in Elmore is also the workshop. “It is cool because people can come in and shop but also see us cutting, sewing and shipping which is fun.” Pietrowski prides herself on offering a different experience, where people can see things being made in America.
While there are many local clients that shop the brick and mortar store, there is also a sizeable KPea Original online inventory. “I think that buying stuff that is made and sewn here is great. It is good for everyone because it keeps money in the local economy and the people that sew for me sew from home with high quality fabric, making good products,” said Pietrowski. All drafting and patterns are original. “I did not study this in school, we just learned how to do it as we went along,” said Pietrowski.
Easy does it
Operations are quite simple. “I like the business model where I sew a dress, take a picture of it and sell it,” said Pietrowski. Social media has been an asset for marketing, reaching clients as far away as Japan. The styles change constantly. “We loaded an animal themed line last night and they were all sold in about an hour,” said Pietrowski. Her oldest daughter is 12 and although she is still young, she is interested in the business and Pietrowski believes she will likely take over one day. “They sew a little, just not necessarily in a straight line yet,” she comments.
To learn more about this stylish and unique clothing line for girls, visit kpea.co.
What’s your favorite activity to do with your family/kids?
We love going to the Zoo together!
What’s your go-to activity when you finally have a few minutes to yourself?
Honestly, when I have time to myself, I go for a walk. We have a great walking trail in Elmore. I love to walk, clear my mind and pray.
What’s your favorite Toledo hangout?
We love eating at Registry Bistro. We often go with friends for a night out.
Describe your life in five words.
My life is crazy, fun, fast-paced and full of color.