Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SewBiz USA: Sevier Skirts

When Suzanne Sevier Rowland explains the concept behind her business, it's just as unique as the product itself. Suzanne doesn't just sell skirts, she's offering a tailored experience for her clientele. Sevier Skirts, which she founded in 2004, boasts brightly colored designs with distinctive Southern flare

Ironically, Suzanne's journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur very much mirrors her brightly patterned products. A native to the Nashville area, Suzanne grew up with sewing as a hobby, but never intended to make a career out of her talent. She earned a degree in economics and went to work in the corporate world. But as Suzanne's website so perfectly puts it, corporate America just "was not a good fit." So from there Suzanne attended the Fashion Institute of Technology while working in one of New York City's iconic fabric stores, Mood Fabrics.

By the time Suzanne returned to Nashville to start her business, it was with a strong sense of design coupled with a passion for fabrics. Suzanne's love for her fabrics is evident in her warehouse, stocked full of bright jewel tones, mod-like 70's patterns, and fascinating graphic prints among many other unique fabrics. These aren't the typical styles you'll see in department stores; Suzanne's pieces truly respect the fabric without compromising the design.

Another custom feature of Sevier skirts is the way the company markets its products. Sevier Skirts comes directly to its consumers by working closely with local hosts to throw "Skirt Parties" in their private homes. These parties offer in-home consultations and fittings in the atmosphere of a cocktail party, so what results are all the luxuries of a boutique in the comfort of home. This is how Suzanne first started her business, and it's proved tried and true as it is still the primary source of new business for her company.

But what's perhaps most important, and perhaps unique, about Suzanne's brand is her attention to the fit of her product. When asked what is most rewarding about her career, without hesitation Suzanne replies that she loves “fitting a hard to fit body." Unlike most major retailers, Suzanne's brand respects the female form and caters to the fact that not one body is the same as another, much less able to be categorized into just small, medium, or large. Just like the patterns of fabric in her warehouse, Suzanne knows that figures come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. It's this attention to detail that sets Sevier Skirts apart from others in the field. When a customer invests in a Sevier Skirt it truly is a one of a kind, custom fit piece that is exquisitely tailored to the client.

Like all small business owners, Suzanne has weathered her fair share of challenges but also has found many rewarding experiences. She takes pride in creating jobs for individuals, but even moreso, enjoyment in helping them grow and flourish in the field. She's even created a custom training program she calls "Skirt School" to help her associates along.

So what's next for Sevier skirts? Expansion! Suzanne's brand is now active in 18 states and counting, not to mention opening maternity and children's lines. Sevier Skirts also boasts a strong online presence, as well as a fun blog to keep tabs on all the happenings going on in the workshop, as well as styling tips. With all these components in place Sevier Skirts is well on the way to becoming a nationally recognized brand. Suzanne Sevier's future is looking as bright as the fabric she uses!

Contributing writer for this Sew-Biz USA feature is Grace Kay. You can read Grace’s musings on music by visiting her blog, Project Goshen.
Photos courtesy of Sevier Skirts.

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