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

Spring 2016 Boot Camp, update #1

We’re moving right along, gearing up for the design portion of the boot camp which takes place Feb 25-29, 2016. Oh, I should mention that we filled all of those slots but we still have 7 openings for production which takes place May 27-30, 2016. Again, we’re making 250 house dresses for elderly ladies (more info).

Before I forget, one of the assignments our designers have is to host an open house for the Albuquerque community. We don’t have a set time yet but it will be in the late afternoon to early evening of Sunday, February 28, 2016 at our factory located at 410 Old Coors Dr.

Today our designers received their assignments and a schedule for their four days here and I’ll tell you a little about both.

First is that I decided that we will be taking a field trip on the morning of our first day. Everyone will meet here at the factory at 6:00 AM so we can leave by 6:30. I’m providing a hot breakfast and coffee beforehand (the factory has a full kitchen). We will be driving 90 miles northwest to Cuba NM which is where our “customer” lives. After getting some guff from internet-land, I decided that our crew needed a reality check. For the record, this is it:

Cuba NM (pop 735) is a very poor village. The per capita income is only $11,000. Really. There is no money for anything, the infrastructure is in tatters. For example, everybody worries about snow days but in Cuba, they worry about mud days. They get plenty of snow but mud is the killer. They have to cancel school if the mud is too deep for the school buses to get through. People who are fortunate enough to have jobs, have to time their arrival and departure for when the mud is hard enough to drive on. Once spring hits though and the mud doesn’t freeze… people are often stuck at home for days. For some people, or rather many, it is a hardship but bearable as many are subsistence sheep herders (yeah, there are still places like that in the United States). At the same time, they have macro nutrients (beans, potatoes) but very few micro nutrients (green vegetables). This causes many health problems; the worst are obesity and it is common for elementary school aged kids, to lose all of their teeth by middle school.

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Spring 2016 Boot Camp dates finalized

Finally, the dates for the Spring Boot Camp have been set. You can find out all about it here but for now, here are the highlights:

Project: House dresses.

Our project will benefit needy seniors because once we feed, house and medicate the elderly, they are pretty much forgotten. Specifically, elderly ladies with challenging economic circumstances. Each woman will receive a minimum of 2 if not 3 dresses. Again, the core focus of this project is to benefit socially and economically fragile individuals in our community. As before, we WILL deliver FIRST QUALITY goods. Poor people get a lot of crap; they deserve the dignity and respect of our best efforts and we will deliver nothing less.

  • We will deliver a minimum of  240 house dresses
  • We will design a minimum of 3 styles.
  • We will develop styles that compliment limitations such as arthritis, limited range of motion, disability etc.
  • We will have a minimum of 3 colorways (I’d prefer 6)
  • All colorways must be sewn with the same color thread.



The project will take place in two sessions, design and production. If you register for the design phase, you are also included in the production boot camp.

  • Design phase: February 26-29, 2016, Fee $400, 6 slots with 3 reserved for New Mexicans.
  • Production phase: May 27-30, 2016, Fee $250, 24 slots available.

Go here for more on this project. More news will be forthcoming.