About Us

We’re a passionate team of designers and developers who can help you navigate the wild west of apparel design.

The frontier of apparel creation: no two design processes are the same, and there’s no roadmap to follow. We’ve heard story after story of people trying to go it alone or wearing too many hats. What follows are communication mishaps, high production minimums, factory delays, unexpected costs, etc, only to be disappointed with the end product. The good news: these complexities of bringing garments to life are ones that we, frankly, love.

So whether you simply have an idea, a sketch or a finished product that needs reworking, we’re ready to dive in and bring it to the next level. We’re excited to join you on your journey.

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Kim Ortengren:    founder + creative director   Kim is the founder and Principal of Wallace James Clothing Co. In her decade plus of experience, she has implemented scalable paths to success for a variety of established and startup brands, including Donna Karen, Spyder, L.L. Bean and Crane & Lion (of which she co-founded). She brings to her clients an expertise in apparel design, efficient product development, supply chain logistics, raw material development, and all matter of foreign and domestic production. In her free time – which admittedly she has very little of – Kim enjoys time in the Maine outdoors with her two dogs (Pinkerton & Phife), her furry horse (Smokey) and her less furry husband (Clark).

Kim Ortengren: founder + creative director

Kim is the founder and Principal of Wallace James Clothing Co. In her decade plus of experience, she has implemented scalable paths to success for a variety of established and startup brands, including Donna Karen, Spyder, L.L. Bean and Crane & Lion (of which she co-founded). She brings to her clients an expertise in apparel design, efficient product development, supply chain logistics, raw material development, and all matter of foreign and domestic production. In her free time – which admittedly she has very little of – Kim enjoys time in the Maine outdoors with her two dogs (Pinkerton & Phife), her furry horse (Smokey) and her less furry husband (Clark).

 

 

 
Hop:    lead sample seamstress   Hop Nguyen, a proud Vietnamese-American, inherited her talent from her family of skilled seamstress growing up in North Vietnam. As Lead Sample Seamstress, Hop brings 25 years of experience to Wallace James. Hop's intuitive eye for detail and her ability to analyze patterns, construct each prototype with unparalleled quality, and document her process for others to replicate is what makes her an integral part of the Wallace James family. Hop works tirelessly to engineer perfection and ensure each Wallace James client receives the very best of her many talents.

Hop: lead sample seamstress

Hop Nguyen, a proud Vietnamese-American, inherited her talent from her family of skilled seamstress growing up in North Vietnam. As Lead Sample Seamstress, Hop brings 25 years of experience to Wallace James. Hop's intuitive eye for detail and her ability to analyze patterns, construct each prototype with unparalleled quality, and document her process for others to replicate is what makes her an integral part of the Wallace James family. Hop works tirelessly to engineer perfection and ensure each Wallace James client receives the very best of her many talents.

Kitty:    Sample Seamstress & Small Batch Production Manager   Kitty Hudson Smith is an unabashed textile geek. Born on a farm surrounded by sheep, wool, and natural dyes, she spent her childhood digging through the local dressmaker's scrap barrel – and thus, a passion for fibers was born. Kitty operates out of Wallace James' sample room, where she cuts and handles cloth, stitches small production runs, organizes the fabric library, and manages the many small details that bring a garment to life. At home, she knits, gardens, listens to a lot of bluegrass, and mends everything from antique textiles to her daughter's hard-worn leggings.

Kitty: Sample Seamstress & Small Batch Production Manager

Kitty Hudson Smith is an unabashed textile geek. Born on a farm surrounded by sheep, wool, and natural dyes, she spent her childhood digging through the local dressmaker's scrap barrel – and thus, a passion for fibers was born. Kitty operates out of Wallace James' sample room, where she cuts and handles cloth, stitches small production runs, organizes the fabric library, and manages the many small details that bring a garment to life. At home, she knits, gardens, listens to a lot of bluegrass, and mends everything from antique textiles to her daughter's hard-worn leggings.

Eleanor Fink:    director of product   Eleanor Fink comes to us by way of Wisconsin, and brings a range of experience to her position as Director of Product. After individual stints in branding, merchandising and styling positions, Eleanor is happy to have found a role where all those worlds collide. She is responsible for on boarding new clients, and helping to ensure they find success through out each phase of the garment life cycle. Whether it's sourcing raw materials, costing, technical sketching, technical package build outs, pattern problem solving or logistics – Eleanor wears many hats and loves every one of them. When she's not in the office, Eleanor is usually off on a Maine adventure with her (soon-to-be) husband, Joe.

Eleanor Fink: director of product

Eleanor Fink comes to us by way of Wisconsin, and brings a range of experience to her position as Director of Product. After individual stints in branding, merchandising and styling positions, Eleanor is happy to have found a role where all those worlds collide. She is responsible for on boarding new clients, and helping to ensure they find success through out each phase of the garment life cycle. Whether it's sourcing raw materials, costing, technical sketching, technical package build outs, pattern problem solving or logistics – Eleanor wears many hats and loves every one of them. When she's not in the office, Eleanor is usually off on a Maine adventure with her (soon-to-be) husband, Joe.