Most people start a business because they had an idea that they fell in love with and wanted to see that come to life. As difficult a process as getting that idea off the ground is, maintaining growth and success brings a new world of challenges. Keeping a business open is a true labor of love, and Susan Mocarski continues to have an undying passion for her business, Cleverhood.
Mocarski’s business has made much progress since I last spoke to her in September 2017 (motifri.com/cleverhood). Last year was their best year yet, and things seem to be trending in the same direction for this year. They are gearing up for spring production and preparing to be vendors at local, national and international events. They also moved a few blocks away from their previous location.
“Our lease was up after three years,” Mocarski says of their decision to move, “and we needed a different office configuration to better accommodate our shipping operations. We love our West Side neighborhood and neighbors, so we made a concerted effort to stay as close as possible.”
While the new location is more of a design space than a store, Cleverhood does host special events and parties, which they always open to the public, welcoming as many people as possible. They also are open to visitors who schedule an appointment via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To stay ahead of the curve in the outergarment industry, Cleverhood has been launching new stock while continuing to promote older merchandise and push their most popular product, the Electric Houndstooth. They recently launched their new Lab Series, which are composed of specially designed garments that are made locally, within a .1 mile radius of their office. Mocarski is happy that this cuts down on their carbon footprint.
“We have a ton of new stuff this spring,” Mocarski adds proudly. “We hired a new amazing sewist and she has been instrumental in helping us engineer some cool new gear and allowed us to develop our design lab. We have a new fully reflective smart looking unisex trench coat, and Italian wool cape with some very cool magnetic fasteners and a line of Cleveraks that are windproof, waterproof, self-stowing, ultra lightweight and have a ton of storage.”
Cleverhood continues to be proud that they produce their apparel locally, but sell it all over the world, including Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. They have their manufacturing and shipping processes down, which gets customers their products sooner. They have a team of three full-time and five part-time employees. Most live in Providence, with the exception of one who lives in Boston.
The entire staff love being part of the process of manufacturing and selling their outerwear. Mocarski says that they are always designing, whether in their local design space or out on the road at events. They are a team with much poise and ambition, striving to make the best products possible.