Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp: building manufacturing in America

This is the guiding concept of my business. I included the above in the introduction of my book (The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing) in 1996. For many years, I was the object of public ridicule; most people didn’t even bother to conceal their contempt of my ideas. It stung but I kept at it. Maybe they were right then, but you know, they’re not now.

Thankfully, the issue today is the resurgence of sustainable manufacturing within the United States of America. Problem is, it’s not the same climate it was in 1995 when I started my business. In the olden days, if you wanted to start a factory or apparel manufacturing business of your own, you got a job in a factory until you figured it out. Today, you can’t find a factory to get a job in -so how do you learn? In a nutshell, that’s what we do. We teach manufacturing with two goals in mind. The first is to benefit needy people in our community. The second is to give entrepreneurs an opportunity to experience the workings of a real factory. To be sure, one isn’t wholly prepared after this experience but it is certainly an eye opening, trial by fire, immersive learning experience that opens a new world.

Care to join us? Sign up for the Fall 2016 session, manufacturing children’s coats.

First Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp Delivery

Front and back view of the coat produced at the apparel manufacturing boot camp in Albuquerque's sewing factory.

Front and back view of the coat produced at the apparel manufacturing boot camp in Albuquerque’s sewing factory.

At this late date, I realize that I never posted photos of the coat delivery.  Before I forget, if you’re interested in the technical end of it, to include an explanation of the quality and safety features we designed into each coat. see Design of the Child’s Coat -Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp, Fall 2015.

As I was; the packaging and inventory control ended up being more work than we imagined.

Eric and Violet Ahmie packaging coats from Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp

Eric and Violet Ahmie packaging coats from Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp

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Contributing to Feral Cat Colony Support: The TNR Project

Sue_Jen_TNRIn keeping with our mission of immersive hands on sewing factory training, and supporting social initiatives in New Mexico, we’ve taken on the production of trap covers used in the capture of feral cats. For those who don’t know, TNR refers to Trap, Neuter & Release. By trapping and neutering feral cats, colonies become stable and neighborhoods are safer (in many places, cats are also vaccinated against rabies). The traps require a cover to create a cave-like environment -because, as we know, all cats love cardboard boxes– that will attract the animal but also keep them calm once the trap is sprung. Keeping a feral cat calm is an imperative. When I trapped the feral cats (7!) at the factory last January, several of them injured themselves quite badly because the covers were loose towels thrown over them. That experience is how I learned of the great need for these covers. Read More