The Place For Alterations

Kathy Dagel
Co-owner, Wrap It Up Alterations

Please tell us about your business. We are an alteration shop located on Rice Street in Lihue. We primarily alter ready-to-wear clothes. I do not do anything from scratch, but I do alterations from prom dresses to zippers and hems, as well as sewing on regular patches to jackets or other clothing items.

What is your price range? Everything is a little bit different. Our most basic alteration is our hem, which is $12. On jeans with the ragged bottoms, we do an original hem on those for $20. It’s a wide range and depends on what they need to have done.

Why did you start this business? My daughter Candie (co-owner) lived here first and she encouraged me to come. She said there’s a need for me on the island as the service for alterations is rare. That’s what got me here in the first place.

How did you get started in this business? I learned how to sew when I was in high school. My older sister started a shop in Montana, and I worked for her for awhile. Then I went to work for Dillard’s, which is like Macy’s. I worked for them a total of 20 years. After 10 years working for them in Helena, I moved to Las Vegas, where I managed the hem and alteration shop there, which handled all four of the Dillard’s merchandise in the area. I also worked for dry cleaners and helped them out with alterations throughout the years, so I can pretty much run the gamut of anything anybody might want to have done.

What kind of machines do you use? I have a Viking and a Serger. I also have a hemmer, so I can do a blind hem, which is really good on prom dresses or formal wear.

What makes you get up every day and go to work? I actually love what I do. Moving to Hawaii has increased that. Kaua’i reminds me of my home-town in Montana. The people are so awesome in this community; they’ve just been so helpful. Everybody is so happy to have me here and that makes me feel really good, and like I’m really helping out the community by being here and being able to provide this service.

What’s the most challenging aspect of your business? Trying to keep up with what’s going on – the trends and different things because clothing changes from year to year. It’s also challenging finding supplies on Kaua’i.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your job? When people come in and are just so thrilled with what I did. I had a lady come in who wanted to have her pants lengthened. I added more denim to the bottom of them and she was so happy, to the point of almost tears. That is really rewarding. We hear “I’m so glad you’re here” almost daily.

Why do you like to sew? I can lose myself in what I’m doing and allow my mind to wander. I enjoy the challenge of trying to make something better than it was or mending something so that it doesn’t look like it’s been mended.

Do you offer any other special services? Aside from the alterations, we also do custom gift wrapping for weddings or Christmas or any other special event. We also do a lot of costuming, like Renaissance costumes.

Wrap It Up is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

4373 Rice St., Lihue 634-9868