March 2021: Bonny Carmicino

The Colorado chapter invited ASDP president Bonny Carmicino to its March meeting.  After introductions, including our visitors, Bonny shared her vision for ASDP.  Her vision is based on the fact that many founding members are getting older and aging out of membership and that there is knowledge and information that is in danger of getting lost.  Meanwhile the market for sewn items is shifting to more awareness of sustainability and social media is becoming important.  Each of these issues can be viewed as new opportunities for growth of the organization.  In her presentation, Bonny identified five topics for goals:  online education, connection with certification program, apprenticeships, outreach to other sewing groups, and reducing barriers to membership.

Conference is an important component of education, but many members are not able to attend conference.  Online learning is important, especially videos, and is one avenue to transfer knowledge from our elders to newer members.  Both new videos such as the new Eye of the Needle on ASDP’s website, and links to recommended references such as YouTube and University of Fashion are being considered.

Skill certification is an important aspect of assuring quality of our products.  This requires more focus on letting people know how to get certification and where to find scholarships so that certification is within financial reach.

Related to education and skill certification are apprenticeships to train future members.  Bonny has established a task force to develop this new program.  In addition to technical sewing skills, ASDP needs to provide new members with the tools and resources they need to succeed.

Outreach to other sewing groups is important to increase awareness of ASDP and the value of membership in ASDP and to develop mutually beneficial relationships.

In terms of reducing barriers to membership, Bonny spoke of roadblocks to membership, such as requiring a tax ID when not all members need one for the type of work they do.  Also, updating language to refer to entrepreneurs rather than home sewers.

A spirited discussion followed with suggestions for presence on Instagram and Linked In, being sure to summarize benefits of membership for the public-facing side of the web site, developing implementation plans, and optimizing for web (e.g. Google) searches.

If you have additional ideas, or want to help make this vision a reality, contact Bonny at president@sewingprofessionals.com.

February 2021: J.J. Collier

The Colorado chapter invited former professional snowboard and design leader J.J. Collier to its February meeting.  J.J. has worked for Salomon, Ralph Lauren, Spyder, and other leading brands. He spoke to us of three major issues: the state of the retail sewing industry, new 3D graphics packages for draping designs digitally, and sustainability.

J.J. cited time to market as a key issue in the industry today and the future being direct-to-consumer marketing.  He reports that customers are becoming more aware of the sources of their garment purchases and their environmental impact.  These issues, coupled with the current limitations on travel to factories, makes him conscious of the need for local sewists and small shops to construct finite numbers of garments rather than the 3,000 unit minimum runs of many overseas factories.  He sees a future in Quality over Quantity, custom, and Buy Fewer Better.

J.J. also sees a shift from designers who simply draw, particularly in Adobe Illustrator, to designers who can use 3D garment drafting software such as CLO and Browzwear. The incredible rendering capability of 3D software allows the modern designer to draft, drape, animate, and create incredible storytelling tools.  J.J. says “This approach, coupled with smaller, more considered runs of lasting product, engaging, authentic storytelling and conscious sourcing is the future of our industry.”

For more information, or to contact J.J., see collierbrands.com.