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I run a small business here in Madison, WI. My entire company is me, one part time steamshop manager, one part time office manager and a part time social media consultant. I work 60+ hours a week at a job that I love. A job that has been harder than hell to do in this economy. I make a handmade product that has taken hours to perfect the design and each and every kilt that I make is done with care and attention to details. From washing the fabric to sewing on the buttons - I work that kilt into my vision of an awesome piece of clothing. I fret about the fabric being just right; a bad dye lot of black that looks green is not acceptable and costs me a ton of money to replace. I check my stitches to make sure that they will last so that your kilt will last. Quality is everything to me - and I will not ship out a kilt that does not meet my high standards. This business is my name and my reputation.
When you are asked to support small businesses, it is completely about the people and the family involved in the work. I have two kids to raise and my office manager is a stay-at-home mom with her young son. We give up a lot in order to gain what we can with being self-employed. It isn't an easy job but it is worth every moment. I am working to carve a tiny space out for my kilts in a marketplace run by factories that can do it cheaper and faster.
Yes, you can get a t-shirt for $5 at Target and that is one type of shopping (that I do as well - how do you think I clothe two growing pre-teen boys!). But I hope that when the time comes to buy a quality item that will last you for years - you make the choice to support a small business instead of a factory. My kilts fit every body type out there because I personally tailor each one as I sew it. I calculate the number of pleats to fit the hip measurement and hand pleat in the waist size so there is no gaping or bunching as it is worn. No factory will do that. No factory can take the time to make each kilt a single one-of-a-kind item that is only yours.
I rarely soapbox - but these are the times to decide what is important to you. Thank you for supporting my small business - you have my heartfelt gratitude.