By Tracy Kimball
The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.)
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Entrepreneur Liz Carlson started out in the fashion business with a sewing machine on which she taught herself how to sew. Now, years later, Carlson has 11 employees — all women — who unpack the tractor trailers full of merchandise, ship orders and manage her company’s website and social media.
When Rock Hill small business owner Liz Carlson opened her Rock Hill boutique with a cutesy Southern name, she never expected more than 1 million people to visit her store.
Three years after hatching her clothing line Southern Fried Chics, the 38-year-old single mother has 1.3 million people viewing her products online and receives orders from all over the world every day.
“I still wake up every morning saying ‘wow,'” the Rock Hill native said from her 6,000-square foot distribution center on Ebenezer Road.
The former Rock Hill High School student, who dropped out in ninth grade and began working at age 15, said she started to make her daughter’s clothing because she felt children’s fashions were too “grown-up.”
She bought a sewing machine and taught herself how to sew, sitting on the floor, cutting and ripping apart seams when it wasn’t perfect.
Soon, mothers started asking her to stitch a few outfits for their own tots.
“A light bulb went off in my head,” she said.
She launched a children’s clothing line “Chatti Patti” and sold her designs to boutiques.
Ten years later, Carlson took a handful of her designs for adult women to the Southern Women’s Show, and they sold like hotcakes.
That’s when Southern Fried Chics was born.
“I knew I could make it happen,” she said.
Carlson opened a small boutique in a tiny strip of shops on India Hook Road next to a gas station in 2013, and began selling products from other designers and manufacturers with her own designs in the mix.