Riding Jacket and Denim photo by Maria Brubeck

Riding Jacket and Denim photo by Maria Brubeck

I am writing today with an update on the Riding Jacket. It has been a tough process. Sew Co. in Hendersonville is about half way through the sewing of the Riding Jackets. The reason for the delay – the pattern we are working with was made to produce the blazer at a much larger factory, where there are tools that cause the fabric to shrink, which Sew Co., a boutique sewing operation, is not using. This only looks to be a problem in the arms due to the way the trim pieces come together, but it will make the fit on the arms look too large. Sew Co. is adjusting for this, but it has caused the production of the muslin prototypes to take much longer than expected.
 
We also had a distortion in the length of one of the garments that we are looking into. A couple of lessons learned from this process: it has been extremely difficult to coordinate this process from several hours away in Durham, NC. The success of our product depends on each piece coming together accurately, and initially this will mean measuring, checking, counting and recounting to understand where things are or are not working. I will write with another update once we are ready to fit the beta-clients.
 
The beta-testing has been a humbling process. Perhaps it is true that you don’t know how hard something is until you try. I could never have imagined how difficult this work would be, yet it is beautiful, exciting and wildly challenging all at once. Trying it out, makes this beautiful dream that much more real.
 
Thank you very much to those of you writing in with kinds words of support. Even though this is the most challenging problem I’ve ever worked on, somehow it is OK because I have a great community supporting me. The realization I began to articulate in last week’s post: community support will be the thing that allows us to move WAY OUT past our comfort zones to try our hand at big problems. This realization gives me so much hope for all the big problems that we need to solve.


Photo by Ganapathy Kumar

Photo by Ganapathy Kumar

I was reflecting on this idea this week: When we think of ourselves and each other right now solving these big problems – say, for instance, the widespread use of disposable plastics, climate change, access to healthy food, high quality domestic manufacturing jobs – we think of the person we are today solving these problems and it seems impossible. But what if the person we are tomorrow, with a solid community, and tons of support is much stronger than that person today. And what if it makes that problem much more solvable because the woman staring back at you in the mirror is much stronger than you could have ever imagined.
 
Find your community. Build your support. Start taking the action to lead us in the right direction with the faith that you will be strong enough tomorrow.
 
With gratitude,
 
Reid

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