Our charity status was approved!

I’m pleased to announce that our IRS application for 501c3 status was approved in only 3 weeks. I’d heard it can take up to 2 years for approval so we were very pleased that our commitments to assisting needy New Mexico kids and increasing economic development through training entrepreneurs in factory management, was recognized so quickly.

We appreciate the support of all of our participants and the manufacturing community. We are grateful for the donation of sewing machines, tools, goods, marketing, and of course, money. If you’re looking for information on how we can support you, see Manufacturing Boot Camp or call us during regular office hours.

If you know you can’t participate in the world’s only clothing manufacturing boot camps but would like to underwrite the project or sponsor a scholarship, you can do that too. Please let us know if you’re providing a scholarship so we can notify the benefactor of your generosity.

We’re becoming a Not for Profit! And, a 2017 Summary of Good Works

At the end of this year, we want to provide an update to everyone who is interested in the ABQFI community and mission.

Our mission is to produce first quality sewn products for donation to charities and underserved communities in New Mexico; these products are made by volunteers during events that we host twice each year. We call these events “Apparel Manufacturing Bootcamps”, during which volunteers may experience everything from design through final inspection in a real factory environment.

To date, here is a list of the bootcamps, the number of volunteers, and a synopsis of the items produced and donated:

Boot Camp EventVolunteers
Fall 2015435104 coats
Spring 2016830270 house dresses
Fall 2016525105 coats
100 cat trap covers*
Spring 2017722100 pants
360 napkins**
Fall 2017629100 coats
86 pants
75 Cat trap covers*

Total: 5 camps including 4 pre-production camps


>100 volunteers

Including many returning alumni


Total Production:

309 coats
270 house dresses
186 pants
360 napkins
175 cat trap covers

Read More

Success! Fall 2016 Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp

Above: L-R, Faith, Susan, Jamie, Eric and Jane. This is what 100 coats looks like.

Late in coming, here is a report of the apparel manufacturing boot camp that was held over Labor Day, 2016.

We, the project organizers, feel that this was our most successful event yet. Attendees agreed, rating it 4.95 out of 5.  100% said they would recommend this event. 95% plan to return (the lone exception has a factory to run and can’t get away). I’ll include some comments from attendees at close so scroll down for those.  We successfully completed 70 coats in 4 days. We had inspected, inventoried and hung the last 30 coats by 11 AM the following morning. The most dramatic indicator of success was the very low defect rate, namely 4% and these were very minor details such as a label needing a corner tacked down. Contrast this with our first boot camp in which only 3% of our coats passed inspection. Yes, we were too embarrassed to admit that our defect rate was 97%, some errors being quite grave. We did fix them all before delivering them to our “customers” but it took 4 of us, about 4 week ends to do it.

We didn’t have a dream team this time; we actually had half the staff (22) of the first event. Here is a break down of our attendees: Read More