AUSTIN — AUSTin, Texas — There are plenty of reasons why the job market for designers is improving, but the biggest may be the rise of cottagecore clothing.
Cottagecore, a specialty clothing store that opened in 2007 in a brick-and-mortar space in downtown Austin, sells designer clothing and accessories and was started by a woman named Michelle S. Healy.
She said she wanted to make a more affordable way for designers to make their clothes.
“It’s a bit of a niche market, so it’s been kind of hard to find a place to shop,” she said.
But as designers flock to the state to find work, she has been expanding.
In January, she launched a boutique called The Designer Suite, in a building that once housed a clothing store.
In February, she opened her first online boutique, designercottage.com, and she plans to open more brick- and-mortars across the state this fall.
She hopes the boutique will provide designers with more options and a better price point.
“We can bring designers back to the area, because there are so many different places that can cater to them, so we have a lot of choices,” Healy said.
Cottons like the Designer Suite have become more popular because they are more affordable than designer clothing.
The designers can make a commission on every piece, and it costs less than $50 per piece, Healy explained.
The price of designer clothing has also increased, as has the amount of inventory.
“With the cost of production, the cost per piece and the quality of the fabric, there’s definitely been a big increase,” said Karen Ragan, who owns designercottons.com.
The cost of designer garments has gone up dramatically in the last five years.
Ragan said she started selling designer clothes in 2010.
“The trend was really, really hot, and the trend was kind of getting really, very crazy,” Ragan told CBS News.
She had the same problem with her original store, and decided to open a boutique.
“There was this big push toward the luxury brands and the designers were starting to move in, so I decided to just start out and just kind of do what I always do,” Ragen said.
“I’m a pretty hard worker, and I always did my best to get out and do what’s best for my business,” Ragon said.
Designer clothing can be pricey, and a good selection can be hard to come by.
There’s also a growing trend among designers for their work to be sold online.
“Online sales are more than just fashion, it’s about bringing in money, and that’s really the core of the business,” Healey said.
She sells designer garments on Etsy, which is a marketplace where designers sell their clothes directly.
Healey started her own store in 2012, called designercafe.com where she sells designer clothes.
In July, she announced that she would open another boutique, called cottonshoes.com that sells designer shoes, accessories and accessories.
The website also has an exclusive deal for designers who can’t be found online.
The brand is called Cottinshoes, and Ragan will sell the company to Healy for $40,000 a year.
She plans to sell more clothing online.
There are so much different kinds of designer clothes, Ragan explained, that she is trying to find the right mix.
“As you look at a range of fabrics, you have different pieces that can be worn on a specific occasion, so the type of dress you are wearing, it might be something that would be a little more fitted on a formal day or something a little bit more tailored on a date,” she explained.
“And the type that’s designed specifically for a specific person is something that we want to really focus on.”
The Cottoneses’ brand is a great example of how designers are taking advantage of the growing trend.
“If you go to Etsy, you see all kinds of stuff, but if you go on Etsy and browse the designers you can see so much more than you can on the internet,” Heady said.