When Sarah and Travis Kmita were looking for a great business opportunity, they had no idea they would find themselves owning Green Hills Seamstress, an alteration/gift shop in Nashville.
“I was a partner in a practice as a psychotherapist for about 13 years, and my husband is the CFO of an autism treatment center, so we both have experience running businesses,” says Sarah. “Although we didn’t specifically set out to purchase an alteration shop, we found out about Green Hills Seamstress and couldn’t pass it up. It was a very well set-up business with talented staff in a great location.”
She and Travis have kept the same gifted employees. “They not only do all of our fittings, but they also sew and are very knowledgeable about clothing,” she says. “Several of them even have their own clothing lines.”
The shop's staff also can repair items that some would never think would be repairable. This allows customers to recycle and upcycle their clothing and other items they love. “We get so many people that come in and need a zipper replaced on an item they don't want to throw away,” says Sarah. “We add patches to jeans to get more life out of them, and we’re even able to repair some purses and backpacks.”
The experienced staff can alter everything from casual to formal wear, such as bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos and suits. Bridal grown alterations are referred to Delia Weber, a former employee who now owns her own bridal alteration shop.
The shop works with a lot of stylists and many local clothing stores as well. “We do all of the alterations for Gucci and Athleta. Those brands provide complimentary alterations for their clothing.”
In addition to clothing, if someone moves to another home and needs drapes resized for new windows, or wants curtains customized, that can be easily done, too. In addition, the Green Hills Seamstress team offers beautiful custom pillows and drapes.
When Sarah was a therapist, she says she really enjoyed helping others, and being the co-owner of this type of business still allows her to do that, just in a different way. “There's nothing I love more than hearing ‘It fits perfectly,’ because that’s the result we're looking for. Sometimes people are not able to wear an article of clothing straight off the rack, and I think it's really empowering to know you don't have to settle for something that just fits OK.”
Although services are usually by appointment only, the shop does welcome walk-ins from time to time. “We like to provide our customers with undivided attention, and we find it runs a lot more smoothly and it's a better experience for everybody to have a dedicated appointment time with a dedicated person that's going to do their fitting.”
A unique part of the business is its boutique gift shop. “Our store is very different from many other alteration shops,” says Sarah. “It’s so beautiful and cozy in here. We have wonderful home goods and gifts, so a lot of our customers who need an outfit altered for a party or a shower can also pick up a gift for the occasion. Others just come in to shop.”
The couple, who grew up in Thompson’s Station and now live in Nashville, were high school sweethearts, are thrilled to be local shop owners. They also have two sons that keep them busy. “Graham is our 4-year-old and Quinn is 2, and we also have a 15-year-old cat named Rory,” she says. “We're always on the go. It’s rare for our social calendars to be empty!”
Services and Products Offered by Green Hills Seamstress:
- Alterations of casual and formal wear as well as some purses and backpacks
- Resizing and revamping of drapes and curtains
- Custom made high-quality drapes and luxurious pillows
- Gifts for the home
- Unique merchandise for women and men
- Seasonal and festive holiday items