Sewing Academy Looks to Boost Nashville Fashion Scene (Forrest Sanders, WSMV - Channel 4)

Posted 09/02/2015

A ribbon cutting Wednesday marked the opening of the Catholic Charities of Tennessee Sewing Training Academy.

The academy is a collaboration between Catholic Charities, the Nashville Fashion Alliance and Omega Apparel Inc. Some local brands and shops say the arrival marks a major turn in a growing Nashville fashion scene.

"Nashville's growing, and the community art scene is growing," said Jamie Frazier of local clothing brand, Jamie and the Jones.

The door outside Frazier's building simply reads, 'The Studio'. With sketches on the walls and yarn on the tables, what's inside is a central spot for Nashville fashion. Shutters and Shuttles weaves fabric for the Elizabeth Suzann brand in a space shared with Jamie and the Jones.

"A lot of people are moving here and bringing these incredible businesses to Nashville," said Frazier. "Many stars and publications come to Nashville and start taking notice. Like I said, a lot of the creatives were already here. It took us a while to come together as a community."

Frazier said the opening of the training academy proves the city's job opportunities for creatives goes beyond music.

The academy at the Catholic Charities job training center will teach students to sew as a professional trade with the goal of adding a thousand new fashion industry jobs to the city in five years.

"The good news here is jobs," said Mayor Karl Dean. "The other good news here is fashion. I think in the future, Nashville is going to become a prominent city for the fashion industry, and I think we're going to see that in the next few years."

"I think we're the only Nashville shop that sells only US-made goods," said Courtney Webb of Hey Rooster. "We've been limited to about six or seven brands locally that we bring into the shop."

Webb believes the academy can only mean good things for local retailers too.

"It'd be wonderful if there were 20 or 30 brands that were all made locally and created jobs for people," she explained. "There are careers, there are creative careers, and there are careers where you can make a life making something and knowing how to make something. The sky's the limit from here because people believe in the idea, and they believe in us as a community."


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