Cleve Biz Gives Boost to Local Designers

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Kimberley Osborne-Milstein’s studio says a lot about her latest fashion endeavor, Textile Republic. The studio on the third floor of her suburban Cleveland home is bursting with colorful patterns, fabrics, belts, and ribbons.

With a degree in fashion merchandising and design from Ursuline College and experience as a model, Osborne-Milstein has more than 20 years in the industry. Eventually, “I wanted to be more upfront in the design element of fashion, so I started my own line,” she says.

Her goal was to create items with unique and worldly patterns. But what she found at trade shows seemed repetitive and boring. Her solution? To solicit pattern ideas from freelance designers and artists via the internet.

With business direction from her brother Brian Osborne and the digital design skills of Cleveland Institute of Art grad Kathleen Smith Waters, she launched Textile Republic about six months ago. The online business serves as a retail outlet for functional items like picture frames, belts, or luggage tags — all imprinted with unique patterns by the freelance designers who have answered the call.

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