“The dresses are machine made, but the smocking and embroidery are done by hand,” explains Gallery co-owner Mark Rosasco. “An order of nuns, the Good Shepherd Sisters, operate the center where the dresses are worked on by disadvantaged girls and women who live nearby. The goal is to teach them marketable skills.”
The mantra of the Gallery is “profits with a purpose,” and most of the products are sold online. Mark’s Gallery partner Clare Warner (pictured with dresses) and his wife, Barbara, do get out in the community with the dresses from time to time, as they did recently at the Menlo Park Downtown Block Party, where the quality of the dresses caught this reporter’s eye.
“We had great success with the dresses at the Gamble Garden Tour this spring,” says Clare. “It is hard to get the word out, and the photos online don’t quite convey that the smocking and stitching that goes into each dress.”
The workshop in Bangkok is not large, and only the best sewers get to work on the dresses. They are paired with Kissy Kissy sweaters, which Mark takes personally overseas.
Top photo by Irene Searles; worker photo courtesy of Kasumisou Gallery