This article was published in the Denver Post. By Jason Blevins.
RIFLE — Kelly Alford remembers the first time she sat down in front of a sewing machine and created something. She was just a child, but she says “my whole world shifted.” That shifting continues today as Alford and three other women, each with an equally fond connection to a sewing machine, labor to revive rural textile manufacturing in the U.S. But unlike the giant manufacturing plants of old, The Whole Works’ plan is to establish a network of rural outposts staffed with freshly trained sewers — ideally women transitioning off federal assistance — who can serve Colorado’s growing lineup of clothing, gear and accessories designers.