American Made Since 2007

Kathy Park

Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I make argyle hose of wool yarn to match traditional Scottish kilts, primarily for highland dancers. Some colors I dye to match, all are custom.

Tell us about your business.

My children study Scottish Highland dance. As they moved up the ranks in competition I realized that I had the skills to make their costumes. Upon seeing a pair of my handknit hose a friend asked if I would make a pair for her daughter. A small business was born and I purchased a knitting machine. Although the machine makes the work go faster it is still an involved process. Design choices and yarn colors are the first step. The yarns are washed (or dyed), plyed and wound into balls. Each strand is placed in the correct hook of the knitting machine before the carriage is run across and the row is knit. After the hose leave the machine I spend another hour or so seaming them together. I package them in a lined drawstring bag with a lavender sachet and send them off to other parts of the USA, Canada, New Zealand and yes, even Scotland. BonnieToes is growing by offering other costume items. These items are made by other home based seamstresses, most not involved in Scottish dance.

What makes your business stand out?

I enjoy working in a custom market. Each item being made to the client's measurements to make the person look their best is very rewarding. I really enjoy the colors of the dancing tartans and the excitement that the dancer feels upon receiving a new outfit. I do become somewhat of a cheerleader for each dancer who wears my hose. When going to competitions with my children I look for my clients many of whom have become friends. Being able to share this unique form of dancing in the capacity as a mom and a business owner is a privilege. Being able to see the dancers that I helped outfit up on stage doing their best brings me a lot of joy!

What's the best business advice you've received?

The best business advice I have received was to keep my promises on delivery. In custom made work in a small market where everyone knows each other it is especially important to manage your schedule and meet your promises. Word of mouth reputation is everything.

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