Palmetto Made: A hat maker's dream

By Dean

CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) - There has been a recent push to buy "Made in America." ABC News reports that 200,000 jobs would be created if every family spent just 64 dollars this holiday season on items "Made in America." But what about products that are{}"Palmetto Made?"

It all starts with an idea, a dream, a{}passion that can turn into something bigger.

In the shadows of the Ravenel, just a click from I-26 traffic, Leigh Magar has made quite the climb.

"It started through my love of hats. I always loved them, worn{}them, very passionate about hats," Magar said.

With the push of a button and{}the twist of a switch, Magar puts the pedal to the metal and starts to stitch.

Magar has sewn together quite a successful business. Over the last 15 years, she's designed, produced and sold hats in downtown Charleston at Magar Hat Works.

"It's important to know where things come from and how they are made and the process of how they are made. Especially now, times are tough and people need jobs and I believe in supporting local," Magar said.

Needless to say, Magar's work receives top-billing world wide. A big seller on the world wide web and at Barneys in New York.

Vanessa Basto lives in Manhattan. She's a regular customer and says Magar's work{}measures up.

"There's nothing like this in New York," she said. "When I come to Charleston, I can walk into this wonderful historic home and speak to the hat designer."

With an eye for excellence, Magar's business plan is a perfect fit as the push to buy local starts to cut{}into products made overseas.

"It's like a local shopping movement and I think it is starting to happen.{}People are starting to think about what they are buying and are more interested in the process and the experience of shopping locally," Magar said.

Magar sells up to 300 hats and year and she employs one person seasonally to help with her hats.

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