Carla, Susan & Beth - Charlottesville Dress Company
Founded by the three partners Carla Quenneville, Susan Stimart and Beth Pizzichemi, the Charlottesville Dress Company is a bespoke clothing line that features richly colored natural fiber fabrics for sourced from the Netherlands, Paris, Thailand, and other places around the world. Only the finest fabrics are good enough for our customers, and only the most flattering colors make the cut. We measure, cut, assemble, and produce our garments by hand so they get the most attention to detail that they possibly can. Just like in the culinary world, as the adage goes, "homemade always tastes better", we believe that the skill and experience our team brings to creating garments is similar to an experienced chef making a dish just like grandma used to make (and possibly better!). Our mission is create local jobs in Charlottesville by provide an industry sector accessible to recent refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq and Honduras and provide income women for economic independence. A dress bought from a fast fashion retailer that focuses on price over quality simply will not last as long or look good for as long as one created with the time and attention that a garment made by a skilled hand will. We curate our seamstresses and tailors for the best quality workmanship and we train for meeting our standards.
Our Name, Charlottesville Dress Co is meant to support our community of Charlottesville by creating jobs for recent refugees coming to the US from Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere under support from International Rescue Committee. Our operation's goal is to give jobs to local refugees who landed here in Charlottesville and perhaps have language, transportation or childcare barriers to employment. Everything in our collection is made in Charlottesville, at prevailing wages, as a cottage industry. It's a means to help a refugee transition into a job in the US, and keep garment construction skills a viable industry in the US.
We believe in helping women toward economic empowerment and even with our designs, to help women to feel positive about their specific body shape. 1000 Women Project helps us accomplish one of our goals to help empower women economically by giving resources for better equipment - the clean cooking stoves.
On the best, worst advice ever given, "a college professor discouraged me from taking a semester abroad by saying, "you're short, you're a woman, you need to get your degree and get a job." While I did work as fast as possible to finish my degree and get a job, his lousy advice did inspire me to travel the world and learn about places and cultures outside of my own."