Scissor Clothing owner Kate White started sewing when she was 10 years old. Her mom got her a sewing machine when she wanted to do a project.
“By the time I was a senior in high school, I was selling my clothing,” said White, who now owns a clothing store in downtown Atascadero.
Scissor Clothing opened at 5880 Entrada Ave. in summer 2017, but White has had the brand since October 2008. White went from her hometown in New York to Manhattan to attend Fashion Institute of Technology, where she got a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005.
“After I graduated college, I decided to move west,” she said.
She moved home with her family for a short time and while working there she met her husband, Tyler Russell, who was from the Cali- fornia Central Valley. He wanted to move to the Central Coast to be a part of the Paso Robles wine industry. White said she didn’t want to live in the city, so this area was a perfect fit.
While Russell was pursuing a career in the wine industry, White was working at Central Coast Surfboards in SLO. They married in 2009 in California. They had their first child, Kingston, in 2011 and their second, Florence, in 2014. White enjoys hiking and crafting with her children.
After they moved to San Luis Obispo, White worked on her clothing line from her home. When they moved to Paso Robles in 2011, she kept a workspace in SLO by getting a space in the downtown behind a law office. She had a space in The Bunker, which she moved into in early 2016. With her family in the North County, she decided to move her workspace north when she opened the store in 2017.
“I wanted to move [my workspace] closer to home,” White said. “I just started coming to Atascadero for random reasons and started walking around.”
White found her space on Entrada Avenue when she and Russell were walking around the downtown and noticed a sign in the window that hadn’t been there before. Though she doesn’t get as much traffic as similar businesses a block away, as her store is situated between a martial arts studios and San Luis Ambulance.
“First and foremost, this is my workspace so any traffic is a bonus,” she said.
While White has primarily been selling her clothing line exclusively out of her storefront, she recently launched a storefront on her website, ScissorClothing.com, and she is seeking a distributor out of the area.
The entire Scissor Clothing line is produced by White in the North County from concept to final product. The only thing she doesn’t produce herself is the fabric she uses. However, she puts a lot of thought and research into the fabric she chooses to use. White describes the clothing line as comfort-driven and sustainable.
“In the last two to three years, I’ve edited what I use for fabrics,” she said, adding that while she’s changed the fabrics she uses to those that are sustainable, she has also changed how she cuts the fabric. “I cut everything small batch, one at a time. I have almost no fabric waste. At the end of the day, the only thing that goes in the trash is the lint from my serger.”
The fabrics she uses are more neutral and include linen, cotton, denim and organic cotton. When selecting fabric, she first goes for organic and natural dyes.
“In the next year, my plan is to use all organic cotton,” White said. “It’s our responsibility to take responsibility for what we do to the planet. The fashion industry is high on waste and polluting the environment.”
White decided if she were going to be a part of the fashion industry, she was not going to be part of the problem.
“The fiber and fabric and how I cut things have changed dramatically over the last two years,” White said, adding that her clientele has been supportive.
The pieces that she produces are what she considers essentials and can go from season to season. In addition to women’s basics, she also makes custom men’s button-down shirts that are geared toward dressy work shirts. Those shirts are perfect for her husband, who is owner and winemaker for Nelle and Cordant wineries in Paso Robles.
White’s store sells her clothing line, vintage men’s and women’s clothing, along with apothecary, jewelry and art. She chooses what she sells from the store the same way she chooses what fabric to use.
“I love how what I have in here is special,” White said, adding that what she looks for in the brands she stocks are those that are smaller and locally made, just like Scissor Clothing. “I’m a stickler on ingredients and everything in here is very cleanly made.”
The store is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m to 5 p.m. White also opens the store for most of the special events that happen downtown.
To learn more about Scissor Clothing, contact White at email@example.com or via Instagram.
Heather Young is a freelance writer specializing in travel, wine, food and feel-good stories about people doing good in their communities and world. Find her on Instagram @travelswithheatheryoung