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November 6, 2018

Apparel design company Wallace James moving to new Portland space

Courtesy / Wallace James Clothing Co.
Courtesy / Wallace James Clothing Co.
Olivia Dwyer, a production seamstress for Wallace James, works in Wallace James Clothing Co.'s East Bayside location. The company is moving to 112 High St. to expand its ability to work with clients.

Clothing and accessory design and development company Wallace James Clothing Co. is moving Portland locations, from East Bayside to 112 High St., in order to better meet client needs and navigate expansion.

The growing company, which began in 2016, and was Maine SCORE's 2018 Innovative Small Business, is moving into 1,200 square feet vacated by gift retailer More & Co., which is moving to 106 Lafayette St., Yarmouth.

Wallace James was previously at 52 Cove St., a more industrial section of the city.

"While we loved [East Bayside], we realized that our clients really wanted to see a design studio separated from our production space," said Kim Ortengren, Wallace James founder and principal.

The new location, in the block between Congress and Spring streets, is "closer to the buzz of the city," while it also expands the firm's capacity for a broader range of apparel design products, ranging from trend evaluation, sizing, sourcing and development through final production, she said.

The business, which employs six, unites all steps of the clothing manufacturing process, from pattern drafting to sewing to customer fulfillment for small independent designers and apparel companies.

"Our new space is a design and sampling studio that will allow for our clients to dive into the branding, connecting sourcing [to the] consumer portion of their projects," she told Mainebiz Monday.

In an earlier news release announcing the move, Ortengren said that the decision to relocate was a logical evolution needed to meet clients' ever-changing needs in a fast-paced market.

"The new office environment reflects our agile design and development process, as we continuously work to enhance our concept to market platform," she said.

When considering new locations, she never considered relocating outside of Portland. "This area has such diverse talent and a nationally recognized community of entrepreneurs in the design, textile, food and marketing areas," she said. "We're proud to place ourselves among them, and we are excited to further expand our services to current and future markets."

Former 112 High St. occupant More & Co. is moving into 1,800 square feet in Lower Falls Landing in Yarmouth, in space that will allow a larger retail showroom, according to a news release from Cardente Real Estate.

The company plans to reopen in the new space at Thanksgiving. Eventual plans are to offer beer, wine and coffee to customers.

The store will share Lower Falls Landing space with Royal River Grill House, Lani Toscano Designs, Heartwood Essentials, Simmer Foods, Tree of Life Naturopathic and Midwifery Care, Landing Boat Supply and East Coast Yacht Sales.

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