We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelsey Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelsey, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Worldwide, garment manufacturing contributes to over 20% of all water pollution. It takes over 200 years for non-renewable fiber like polyester to finally decompose in landfills. Manufacturing a single pair of jeans produces the same amount of greenhouse gases as driving a car for 80 miles. When I learned these facts after graduating from fashion design school, I knew I wanted to do my part in the movement to change where the fashion industry was headed. I genuinely love creating clothing and have always had a strong passion for sustainability and the environment, and have built my knitwear clothing brand on the foundation of quality over quantity.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I chose to pursue Knitwear Design because of the renewability of using natural fibers and the ability to make clothing with little to no waste. I design and create one-of-a-kind garments on hand-powered domestic knitting machines, a slow and meticulous process. It took me months to source my raw materials from a place that I could be proud of due to their company practices. Happy animals = happy fiber! I truly enjoy interacting with those who visit my studio and sharing the importance of knowing where your clothes come from, what they are made of, and who made them. The majority of people have never seen a hand-powered knitting machine and are genuinely intrigued by what they see and learn. It is so important to share my passion for sustainable fashion and ethical manufacturing. It is incredibly rewarding to see people treasure their one-of-a-kind pieces that I design and create, because with every garment, I could possibly be changing the way a person thinks about where their clothes come from! The larger stores who focus on mass-manufacturing leave behind low-quality, low cost clothing that is filling our landfills at alarming rates around the globe. So for me, it is so encouraging to make quality knitwear and inspire others to read their labels, understand the importance of well-made clothing, and hopefully develop alternative buying habits for their closets. After all, there is no planet B!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would love to take my guests to some of the fun spots to eat and drink like 9th Door, Taste of Thailand, Bull and Bush, Grande Station and The Fort! Denver patios with Rocky Mountain views are some of the best perks of this great city. I also would want to share some of the historic places and classic brick buildings that Downtown Denver has to offer and of course Union Station. Biking or scootering around the South Platte to look at the art murals would be a fun way to get around between Cherry Creek and downtown. One half day could be spent hanging out at Stanley Marketplace with their fun variety of restaurants and shops where you can find things off the beaten path. Or a half day in downtown Golden where you can walk around to quirky shops and have a mimosa at Sassafras along Clear Creek.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to firstly shoutout to my unwavering and supportive fiance’ Casey Riley. He has been there for me always and has been nothing by encouraging. Also my parents who have believed in me and have helped me get to where I am now. I couldn’t have done it without them. On a professional level, I have recently reached out to a web designer and brand development businesswoman named Natasha Kai from RightPresentation.com who is helping me improve my website and online presence. She has been prompt, honest, and is helping bring my small business to the next level.
Desiree Johnson Photography