My name is Kindal Dolph and for the past couple of weeks, I have been fortunate enough to hold a Public Relations internship here at Connecting Threads. At a time when most seventeen year olds begin to feel a bit of pressure on them to start making life-altering decisions and mold into the person they are suppose to become, I always stood out. I knew for a long time what I wanted to be and was so confident in that that I knew I was going to do everything possible to become her despite the difficulty. Fortunately, I entered high school and was soon after approached about applying for a position in the Clark County Skills Center Fashion Merchandising Program here in Vancouver, Washington for my junior year. With seizing opportunity being so important to me, I knew immediately the help it would give me in eventually pursuing my career path as an editor at a fashion magazine. This being said, I could have never predicted the outcome of my experience. My passion for both writing and fashion only made me hungrier to begin working and hopefully inspire other people to chase after their dreams (as cheesy as it may sound). From day one in the class, my instructor, Mrs. Archer, made it clear that she would do everything possible to assist us in obtaining our futures, even if it meant altering projects and assignments to help us get the most value from everything we did.
Though many of my classmates had never used a sewing machine at the start of the first semester, we ended December with a pillowcase project, dubbed “Operation: Pillow Talk“, that tested our (extremely basic) knowledge of how one worked. Together, we created beautiful “burrito style” pillowcases which not only showcased our own personalities but also helped others and gave us great time management experience (if you have never made a burrito pillowcase, it’s a super fun project and requires only a few easy steps). After a month of hard work, we finished them off with a French seam and a nice press, then sent them off to troops stationed in Kuwait. It was a great feeling of accomplishment to finish everything, even if it got stressful at times. The process made me feel extremely proud despite never really having experience with sewing prior to this. Many other students were in the same boat as I was, and the improvements we made shined through with that project. With some kids wanting to go into fashion design, this sewing project was the perfect starting point. We also had the chance to create dozens of mini gift bags, filled with treats and toys, to be sold at Christmas bazaars with the proceeds going to military families. Following the production of at least one hundred of these bags, we had learned, above all, the importance of quality and consistency.
As the school year winds down to a close, the Skills Center students are asked to start thinking about internship opportunities. Most of my classmates were placed in retail, as you might suspect, to give them a better sense of working customer service in the fashion industry. But I was worried I wouldn’t gain any experience in the areas I really needed, and Mrs. Archer knew that. I began searching for places I thought would fit me, but in a town like Vancouver, I didn’t know anything was out there. I was then approached by my teacher about something very interesting, and that was (you guessed it) Connecting Threads. After looking through the website and reading the blog posts, I knew I needed to be there. A couple of phone calls and emails later, I was being interviewed for an internship. Grateful does not even begin to explain how I feel about working with such an enthusiastic company and I am so happy to be able to say I’ve been a part of it.
Now that I’ve told my story, what projects got YOU into sewing and/or quilting?