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In Pictures: Silk-screening at Peach Berserk's new studio

Fashion designer Kingi Carpenter moves from storefront to in-home space

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Fashion designer Kingi Carpenter, owner of Peach Berserk, recently moved from her storefront on Queen Street West in Toronto to a large studio in her home. Here she is silk screening with her interns Katrina Ramjohn and Jade Braithwaite. She hopes that customers won’t think she has gone out of business because she no longer has a retail location.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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Even though she has given up her storefront, Ms. Carpenter still sells the same custom-made dresses and accessories in wild colours and hand-screened prints. Working out of her home gives her a more relaxed and cost-effective environment. She still has employees – three full-time and five part-time, with six fashion co-op students.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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Ms. Carpenter no longer pays $10,000 a month in rent. Today she pays about $3,000 for her combination home and studio. ‘If you’re busy worrying about your rising bills, it takes away from your creativity,’ she says. But giving up her storefront might have left some customers wondering whether she went out of business. She wants to convince people that her business is alive and well, and for customers to feel just as comfortable shopping in her home as they were in the retail location.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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Ms. Carpenter, who wrote a step-by-step guide to silk-screening that was published in 2009, wants to boost Peach Berserk’s sales to where they once were with a prominent storefront. Sales revenue today is about 60 per cent of the $400,000 she used to make annually.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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Here Ms. Carpenter experiments with images of cats.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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Her eclectic studio features ‘theme walls’ of kitschy art.

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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All in all, working in a studio at home gives Ms. Carpenter a certain amount of freedom. ‘I get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, work on my own terms, live a great lifestyle, spend more time with my kid and have really interesting fashion in Toronto.’

Jennifer Roberts/The Globe and Mail

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