Winsome Goods has a mission to produce sustainable, natural and durable clothing
Kathryn Sterner opened her own women’s clothing boutique with a mission of using sustainable fabrics to make approachable clothing.
Sterner is the founder and designer behind Winsome Goods, which she opened last December in the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood. In a 1,500-square-foot retail and production space, Sterner stitches together her own apparel, including one-of-a-kind pieces that are available only on the store’s racks.
“I care pretty heavily about keeping things really accessible and versatile. I want garments that people can incorporate into their own wardrobe that don’t necessarily set the tone or what the style should be,” she said.
Sterner, a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s College of Design, got a large-scale view of the fashion industry and trends as a designer for Target. On the side, she started the Winsome Goods brand in Northeast Minneapolis’ Thorp Building where she rented out a workspace with several other artists.
Moving to the storefront and making Winsome her full-time job was a “leap of faith,” she said.
Now Winsome has grown, rolling out two collections a year on top of a year-round basics collection. The boutique specializes in apparel made from natural fabrics or, occasionally, reused synthetic fabrics. Because they’re made in house and work isn’t shipped overseas, there aren’t pollutants from excessive transportation and Winsome’s seamstresses are paid a livable wage.
Sterner describes her designs as minimal, durable and well-fitting. Winsome will tailor its pieces in house and most pieces are machine washable. On top of its original pieces, the boutique offers a curated selection of vintage denim — Winsome doesn’t offer many of its own pants or bottoms — and other pieces. Prices range from $90 for tank tops or shirts to $450 for winter outerwear.
Winsome’s most popular piece is the Covil dress ($190), a reversible washed silk dress that can be worn several ways by tying off sections. Sterner said her sales are evenly split between online and retail shoppers and selling to other shops in the United States and Canada, but the boutique is the only place to find Winsome’s limited or one-off pieces.
“We have things in the storefront here that will never be in any other shop across the country,” Sterner said.
Winsome will host an open house on Sept. 13 as part of Fashion Week Minnesota, which runs Sept. 7–15 across the Twin Cities. Sterner will give a talk about the fashion industry’s effect on the environment and shoppers.
Winsome Goods, located at 201 6th St. SE, is open 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m.–5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed Monday.