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

Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp -the podcast edition

I’m so excited to announce that the Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp was featured on the most recent American Fashion Podcast. Interviewed by Charles Beckwith, I’m flattered to share space with such luminaries as the CFDA, Ralph Rucci, Naeem Khan, Bob Bland, Richard Spiegel, Crispin Argento, Teri Agins, Lauren Sherman, and Timo Rissanen. Maybe the American Fashion Podcast is a best kept secret? In this episode, I dish on why I started the Apparel Manufacturing Boot Camp and how it affects growth in the industry today.