It has been a while since I wrote you an update. I am squarely in transition over here straddling the mostly solo work of the blouse project and early efforts to build a larger, more collaborative effort to bring textile jobs back to West Virginia and Appalachia. This contrast is stark as I shift from conversations with partners on creating an advanced green sewing training facility pilot to solo work finishing the last muslin for the Founder’s Circle project.

I will be honest (because that’s what you always get from me here!) – this last Founder’s Circle client muslin has been painstaking. My ego told me that I needed to finish this last one all on my own – but I kept getting stuck and then berating myself for getting stuck – why can’t I figure this out on my own at this point! I kept heaping on all the emotion of wanting to get to the end of this project and getting all snarled up on the last pattern.

So finally – late last month I reached out to the woman who has been guiding me through the made to measure pattern making – an industry veteran by the name of Annette Wallander. And go figure – through her generosity, and reaching out for help, we were able to finish the last of the custom patterns, which I am sewing up this week.

Alongside this work, I have begun to work with Sew Co. to get the home sewer they are working with ready to receive the final round of blouses, once the last two muslin client samples have been finalized.

Thank you for your patience and support with this process.

I am marveling at how much of our world’s problems can be solved by coming together and working together. Alongside the smoke polluted air, and the wars, I feel this bubbling hope of a new kind of work for me and so many of us, that is shouldered by many hardworking, dedicated people throughout the state. A work where we see results and experience all the challenges together. Where victories and setbacks are things that we share in. And the wins are so much bigger than they ever could have been on our own. But most importantly – we work as part of a community that supports each other day in and day out – through the bad weeks and the good, sustaining our hope and vision for a better future – where our work doesn’t hurt the environment (and sometimes helps it!) and we feel the momentum of energy as more people go back to work to build a prosperity we can all partake in.

Go, fight, win.

Reid