Spring 2018: Kid’s pants manufacturing

Next Friday, our Spring 2018 event officially begins. Friday is somewhat anticlimactic because people start arriving as early as the Tuesday, or even Monday, prior. It is an exciting time, lots of positive and young energy fills the place up. And, many hands make light work of all the set up that is involved in organizing an event of this magnitude.

So let’s meet the pre-production team who volunteered to organize the projects we’re undertaking. Left to right (back), Rhonda, Celeste, Emily, Melanie. Front row: Lisa, Sammy and Courtney. This crew was unusual in that nearly everyone (except Courtney from Canada) was local. We did have two people from out of town but they had to cancel for pre-production (they’ll be here for production). It’s very affirming that we had so many local residents this time, first time ever.

Our crew had the task of testing several pant styles for suitability in our environment. Specifically, these were the criteria they had to fulfill:

  • Create an industrial engineering work study to determine the number of operations, sewing time per operation and type of equipment will we need.
  • Analyze the sewing skills we need to train for and finalize a plan to manage the challenges of an unknown workforce.
  • Assist with cut order planning (calculating yields), creating the master schedule to order goods, final costing, and generally learning how to manage production soup to nuts.
  • Finalize the sourcing plan to include the costs and inventory we need to complete the project.

So, no small feat.

Notes on upcoming Fall 2018

There has been scattered discussion among stakeholders about doing something different for Fall 2018 when we traditionally make coats. It has been suggested that the upcoming event should be invitation only, invitations primarily extended to alums of previous events. This could be seen as exclusionary but we are testing a whole gamut of changes in how we do things and for assessment purposes, alumni have something to compare with and ideally, they’d have a better idea of what is working and what isn’t as we look forward to Spring 2019.

The other idea is that we will begin to hold a lottery for registrants. Reason being, our slots fill so quickly now that many interested candidates never get the chance to register in time to be considered. So, the latter is also a possibility. I’m not sure how long I should keep registration open for the lottery -maybe a month?

So, this is all that has been happening around here. There is much more of course but as I am remiss in posting, one can draw inaccurate conclusions. Attendees post a lot of photos and such to Instagram. Search with the #abqfi hashtag for a more complete picture.

And to remind you, our 501c3 charitable status was approved in January 2018. We welcome whatever support you can provide. Call if you like.


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Video of Fall 2017 Boot Camp

I have a treat for you. Documentary film maker, Ramona Emerson, of Reel Indian Pictures, came by during the Fall 2017 Boot Camp to shoot some footage. Ramona’s latest film is The Mayors of Shiprock. You can see this on PBS; October 19th, 2017 at 7 pm NM PBS Channel 5.1. It will also be broadcast on WORLD Channel on November 6, 2017.  Enjoy!

Thoughts from a Boot Camp Attendee

Gwen sent me an email detailing her impressions of our last event. She agreed to allow me to publish it in the event that it answers questions someone may have about attending. For what it’s worth, we are technically full but several people haven’t paid their deposit, meaning if you registered and paid, you could get in. Onto Gwen:

Hello Kathleen!

First of all, thank you! Thank you for allowing me to attend this Fall’s coat making bootcamp. I had such mixed expectations based on hearsay from previous attendees that I was honestly psyching myself out about it all leading me to be very afraid and nervous. However, upon getting myself settled and into the work week, all of my fears disappeared.

Second of all, I have nothing at all bad to say! I truly enjoyed myself and will most definitely try to attend when I am able!
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