I can’t speak for anyone but myself but I’m facing 2017 with trepidation, mostly due to the uncertainty of our political and social climate. On one hand, a proposal for the elimination or renegotiation of international trade agreements can ostensibly benefit domestic producers -but at the expense of consumers who will then have less to spend on our stuff. Imagine the specter of increased tariffs; the dramatic cost increases for everything from phones to fabric, may well evaporate any opportunities a domestic manufacturer may have. Who can say what will happen?
I have resolved to make our social contributions more visible in hopes of inspiring you to do the same. Resolve to do something to make someone’s life better every week. Hitting “Like” on Facebook doesn’t cut it, please get out into your community and do something at least one hour each week. And if you’re not a joiner or lack a plan, you could do something as simple as picking up trash around your neighborhood. I admit you might feel silly or exposed but soon enough, your strength of purpose will over come any reticence you might feel.
Every week, we spend one day in the factory, sewing for the public good. Since last year, that means that we are making TNR trap covers. TNR stands for Trap, Neuter & Release. It is a process of stabilizing feral cat colonies. Volunteers trap cats and then have them neutered (usually with donated funds). Once this is done, the cats are released to their original location. The cumulative effect is that feral colonies stop growing and eventually become smaller through attrition. But I’ve gotten off track; we open the factory every Saturday and volunteers learn to use the sewing machines to make the trap covers. You can read more about that here. And yes, I have my own feral cat colony at the factory. I had them all fixed last January. This year, we made them a nice house out of the buttonholer shipping crate. It even has a windbreak, yay me. Recently, I officially adopted another colony I found. Once one of the cats weans her kittens, I’ll get them all fixed. For now, we just visit when I stop to feed them everyday. My husband said we’ll never be able to take another vacation again.
Moving on. The factory is doing well enough that we haven’t needed to institute a minimum and continue to get opportunities to bid on new jobs -that could include you, don’t be shy. As ever, we provide pattern and sampling services and of course, training for entrepreneurs and technical people. Increasingly, we’re having more people who want to come to visit our model factory as they’re interested in starting their own sewing factory. I can’t tell you how happy this makes me.
A mention about our apparel manufacturing boot camps -the S2017 event (March 2017) filled quickly. If you want to be included for next Fall, I recommend getting on that site’s mailing list because I am not posting that opportunity here in a timely way.
I’m sure there is something else I meant to tell you but don’t remember that now. I’ll leave you with this thought: our path in the new year may be challenging with some of our citizens more disadvantaged and being maligned -we must act with compassion and dignity. Resolve to do something every week to make your community better and stronger.