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The Sewing Labs Awarded Kauffman Foundation Inclusion Open Entrepreneurial Grant

July 29th, 2019
Contact: Eileen Bobowski, Executive Director
The Sewing Labs
Cell: 816-379-0682 Email: Director@thesewinglabs.community  Kansas City, Missouri

For Immediate Release: The Sewing Labs, a community learning center for the sewing arts, is thrilled to announce it has been awarded a Kauffman Foundation Inclusion Open Grant to support their new entrepreneurial hub, The Sewing Salon. The Sewing Salon will provide an unconventional entrepreneurial hub for marginalized and at-risk women to develop their sewing businesses.
Executive Director with The Sewing Labs, Eileen Bobowski, says “We believe a unique aspect of The Sewing Labs is that it provides those who fail to thrive in loud or demanding workplace environments with a quiet training space for entrepreneurial activities. Our hands-on training provides personal attention and active listening, which is a more successful path to economic success for traumatized, recovering, disenfranchised individuals, and culture-shocked immigrants. Some of these women cannot find jobs in the workforce for a variety of reasons. An entrepreneurial “Sewing Salon” will enable them to become more self-sufficient” and overcome the barriers to employment.
The Sewing Salon will be based in the urban core, near the Historic Northeast immigrant and refugee communities, and located in Kansas City,  drawing participants from across the metro area.  The people and organizations benefitting most from this program are currently unskilled unemployed individuals learning sewing as a trade, and area employers who have a difficult time locating skilled seamstresses. We are approached almost daily by the general public and business seeking seamstresses to ‘make’ goods for them. There is clearly a demand for trained sewists in our community.
Eileen says, “We are incredibly grateful for The Kauffman Foundation for this award. This grant will allow us to teach entrepreneurial candidates all aspects of running a sewing business, to provide oversight and assistance as these entrepreneurs begin to do work for hire and provide opportunities for income production through contracted short-run manufacturing.”  This entrepreneurial incubator will be equipped with a variety of industrial and domestic machines, notions, and tools. Entrepreneurial candidates in our program will fabricate custom goods in short runs, or start an alterations business, for example. This program will provide entrepreneurial candidates with a furnished workspace during training, and perhaps a rentable workspace for startup operations once their business is launched. We believe having tools, equipment, and the support and oversight of experienced seamstresses will make it easier for the entrepreneurs to start and grow a sewing business.
The Sewing Labs staff and volunteers bring a widely diversified field of experience in the sewing arts, spanning from corporate employment to arts to retail sales to entrepreneurial ventures.  This dedicated and experienced group of individuals have a legacy of successful enterprises unmatched by other organizations. The team of brilliant, highly talented, skilled, and innovative women brought The Sewing Labs (formed January 2016) through the start-up phase and have grown it to serve area agencies (Don Bosco, LinkWorks, and Operation Breakthrough) and urban core community at-risk entrepreneurial candidates.
The Sewing Labs, is a 501c3 community learning center with the mission:  “To inspire hope in populations of women marginalized by generational poverty, addiction, incarceration, immigration or other life-challenges, through job skills training in the creative sewing arts, and networking.” The Sewing Labs is based in Kansas City, Missouri. For further information visit: www.thesewinglabs.community and connect with us at www.twitter.com/thesewinglabs and at https://www.facebook.com/TheSewingLabs
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful. The Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and uses its $2 billion in assets to collaboratively help people be self-sufficient, productive citizens. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with us www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn
Link to Kauffman article: https://bit.ly/2SBZ5qm