I’ve just learned some information that makes me feel much less constrained in sharing with you my commercial life.
I make the sewn products for my husband’s company Hello Wood Products, a Montessori manufacturer. We do classroom furniture as well as the Montessori educational materials, both traditional and truly innovative. We work with other designers to bring their materials to the market as well as doing our own designs. We ship internationally. We are both the manufacturer and the retailer, selling from our website and traveling a rigorous schedule annually to Montessori conferences across the United States.
We have a factory. It used to be a “shop” but now it employs a minimum of 15 people. HusPartner has the greatest toys ever a Wood Man could wish for: a full blown wood processing plant (planer, joiner, cross cutter, panel saw, 5 head molder), a laser cutter that cuts everything but vinyl (see Don’t Cut Vinyl on Your Laser Cutter), CNC router, spray booths, and now a dot matrix color printer that will print full color on wood, plastic, glass and leather, materials up to 6″ thick. We do all our graphics and drawings in house; we’re a hands on kind of place. Out of the over 1000 things we offer only a handful are not made directly by us in the factory.
I used to do all the puzzle cutting on a scroll saw. It’s a lot like sewing except the fabric is heavy and hopefully flat, and you have to use your whole body to make the saw cut on the lines. Now we cut all the puzzles with the laser cutter and every piece is 100% accurate and interchangeable from run to run.
I still have to drop my needle and turn into a woodworker or truck driver when the need arises. Ah, variety…!
Here’s a few of the things I sew for 3 and 4 year olds:
Dressing Frame Panels from left to right: 3 Large Buttons Panels, 1 Tying, 2 Separating Zippers, 1 Big Snaps and 2 Lacing Lessons:
Here’s the frame that holds the panels. Do you want practice using a separating zipper?
At the moment this is my favorite but I’m in such a navy and white mood:
Purple is my favorite color though
Big Snaps Lesson
The panels can all be removed from the frames and washed with 9% bleach solution. All the frames are the exact same size and the panels interchangeable on the frames. They are meant to last for years in the classroom.
I used to use some very fancy stitches and machines to make these but have greatly simplified in the past year, to keep the production expenses and headaches down. Perhaps my bout with cancer clarified the goals for me: I need to make things and like the work, too.
So this is how I support my garment sewing habit 🙂
Now you know.