Clothing designer looking to locate a production facility in Rifle
Citizen Telegram Editor
A high-end dress designer is in preliminary talks with Rifle area officials about potentially locating a clothing production facility in the city and employing up to ten people.
Maggie Burns, founder and head designer of Marie-Margot Couture, is a Grand Valley High School graduate and Colorado native. She creates couture gowns for weddings and special occasions, according to her web site, mariemargot.com. Focusing on high-end “heirloom” dresses, her designs have been seen on the red carpet at the Academy Awards.
Burns said she thinks Rifle is an “attractive” location for what she needs and has contacted officials at Colorado Mountain College, which operates the GarCo Sewing Works facility in downtown Rifle. Students are taught sewing skills with the intent of helping them land jobs.
“I know they have had quite a few people signed up for sewing classes there,” Burns said. “I’d like to talk to the instructor there and see what’s what. So I’m really still trying to figure out what’s available.”
Colorado Mountain College spokeswoman Debbie Crawford said college officials had not yet spoken directly with Burns in person, but looked forward to the opportunity.
Burns said she would not be operating a “sweat shop” as many people might view a facility that makes clothing in Third World countries.
“It is complicated, because that’s who I compete against” when it comes to cost, Burns noted. “As much as people like to say they want to buy local, when it comes down to it, they’d rather buy at a K-Mart instead of something that’s made in the U.S.A., and for many reasons we have to charge more.”
Currently, Burns outsources her clothing manufacturing in the Denver area, but is not able to match the price point she needs to meet current and future demand.
Burns said she does not plan to move from the Denver area to Rifle, so needs a qualified manager to oversee the work that might be done in Rifle.
“There are a lot of fashion designers in Denver that want to increase their production, just like me,” she added. “So its conceivable the work there would not just be my stuff.”
Burns said she is not sure how large of a building she might need in Rifle and hoped to have “serious discussions” with local officials to help her move toward locating a production facility in the city.
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