Women Entrepreneurs: Carolina Torres of Carolina Soma

Carolina Torres goes against the fast-fashion trend, giving her customers special, unique creations that reflect their personal style. At her store, Carolina Soma, Torres is living a dream that started in childhood in Argentina.  

“I loved to play with all the Barbie dolls and one of my aunts loved to sew,” Torres said.  

Those first doll dresses started a passion that continued as Torres became a teenager and started creating her own pieces. 

Carolina Torres, founder and owner of Carolina Soma

“When I graduated from high school, my idea was to study architecture,” she said.  

Plans changed and Torres stayed closer to home, where she studied fashion design and then opened her own business. It was a natural fit for her and for the location, where slow fashion is the norm.  

“In Argentina, it’s very common to have custom-made dresses, especially for evening,” Torres said.  

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When she fell in love and married, Torres sold her business, moved to the United States, became a mother, and spent years moving with her husband’s job from state to state. Eventually, she settled in Greenville. By 2019, it was time to bring her own work back to life. She opened the store and then quickly had to contend with the upending of life that came from the pandemic.  

“It was kind of a roller-coaster ride, but I am still here helping my clients and I love it,” Torres said. “I don’t feel like I’m working.” 

Torres offers her customers several options. She does carry some off-the-rack pieces, though 90 percent of the items in the store are made in-house. Those items can be altered as needed.  

“We create two collections a year only,” she says. “We do slow fashion and we create eveningwear. They’re one-of-a-kind pieces most of the time.” 

Some customers come to her for bridal or evening wear that is custom and unique, crafted just for their special occasion. For those clients, Torres can design something based on their style – and help them determine that style if they are unsure – or she can offer several designs from which they can choose.  

Carolina Soma shop on Pendleton Street in the Village at West Greenville.

Torres and her small team are making magic for customers. Torres says it is a privilege to be able to create her vision, even though the business side is challenging. Like other small business owners, she fills several roles.  

“Sometimes the workload is very high,” she says. “It’s part of what it is to be an entrepreneur. And fashion designers wear many hats. But what I love most is when I have a client and they come and say, ‘I cannot find anything that I like, or I don’t know what I like, nothing looks good on me.’ Listening to them and helping them to find themselves again, wearing a beautiful gown – it is so rewarding for me because you see how their face changes and how they feel better with it. Then they try a dress that we designed together, and they see that come alive. I love that! Sometimes it’s hard and very stressful to find something that you look good in, that you like, that you feel comfortable in. And usually, it’s very emotional too. Being there for that kind of moment is always a privilege.” 

Learn more at carolinasoma.com.  

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