Citizens' suggestions needed for sewing projectBy ALEX McRAE
A group of local citizens exploring the possibility of reviving Coweta’s textile industry is asking local citizens to suggest which garments would be best suited for local manufacturing.
Don Chapman, one of the group’s leaders, said, “Our group is very excited about the project and we think the ingredients are in place to open and operate a viable sewing business in Coweta County again. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the textile business here at our disposal and think the project can succeed.
Chapman’s group is meeting Thursday, and he said he would like to have any available suggestions as soon as possible. Those wishing to offer suggestions can reach Chapman at 770-712-8603 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
“If you have a suggestion about a successful product that can be produced here, we want to hear from you,” Chapman said.
The idea is to provide jobs, develop people, and put out quality production under the label of “Made in America!”
A year ago, Chapman’s friend Sharon Tennison, the founder of the Center for Citizen Initiatives (CCI), put her brain to work on how the sewing industry might be brought back to America. With experience in starting an apparel manufacturing company in the 1970s, and a second apparel operation in Russia during the 1990s, she realized that bringing the sewing business back home was not rocket science.
Tennison created the plan and pushed the idea. Don Chapman, a board member of CCI, brought both the idea to local leaders and former textile workers and executives. All agreed Newnan would be a perfect place to begin the experiment.
If the Newnan model becomes successful, it will be promoted to become the template for other cities. An educational campaign is planned to expose the Newnan model nationally, Chapman said.
At ground-level, the goal is to train and develop new seamstresses, pattern makers, designers, and managers then provide employment for them in the production center.
This ambitious idea includes “high-spirited, pro-bono contributions from local citizens, mentors for trainees, in addition to classes aimed at building hard skills, soft skills, nutrition and parenting sessions, entrepreneurism, and career planning,” Chapman said.
But what is needed now are ideas about what to sew.
For anyone interested in knowing more about this prospect, as a volunteer or a participant, “we want to be in touch with you,” said Chapman.