THE ONLY RACE THERE IS-IS AGAINST TIME...
WHO I AM
I was born in Japan and my family is from Kumamoto-Japan, South Carolina and Nigeria. I am a citizen of earth however my mother always changed her ethnicity everytime I asked her - the lesson was its matter. (read again) and she also says I was born from an egg in space (she says shes serious).
I sewed my first pair of jeans in 2006 and have always been a teacher (math, art, design)- my neighbor knocked on my door one day and said that her husband just left them and her son (13) was wildin out. I told her thats exactly what happened to me and bring him over. I was sewing that day and told him to pick stitches out and if he was hungry. He started bringing his friends over and I began teaching them and it never stopped growing.
The name came from a joke with a long good story that has truth to it.
I have had shops, been around the world and worked with your favorites but nothing beats teaching and making the factory grow bigger.
With my own family it is more real than ever and I put my all into this to complete the vision and share my heart with you.
PERSONAL WORKS DISPLAYED IN
THE TEAM AND CONSULTANTS
(BEHIND THE SCENES)
Social Entrepreneurship + Textile Sustainability + Educator
Dr. Ulasewicz is a Professor Emerita of Apparel Design & Merchandising from San Francisco State University. She connects, engages, educates, and inspires others regarding the need for sustainability and justice within a circular textile and apparel system while respecting the planet and its people. Dr. Ulasewicz is an active member of ESRAP | Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Practices and STRAC | California Statewide Textile Recovery Advisory Committee. Her research, writing, speaking, and video production is aimed at understanding the true value of textile and clothing and the need for a circular clothing economy.
Denim Developer + Generational Manufactuer
His grandfather's knowledge of denim and jeans was a strong foundation for the family business. With offices in China and connections across the globe, his family has been able to create an incredible pipeline from sketch to retail. It's all just a phone call or flick of the wrist away. As a true family man, he has passed down his passion and love of denim to each generation that follows. His expertise and dedication to making quality products is second-to-none, shining through in every piece they create. With generations now working together on this shared vision, it’s no wonder that the brands and factories are respected throughout the world.
Garment Industry Expert + Educator
Lana Hogue is an experienced business professional and educator with over two decades of experience in the garment industry. Passionate about helping new businesses grow, she has worked in a multitude of roles such as designer, seamstress, patternmaker, quality inspector and many more that has allowed her to truly understand the industry firsthand. Highly knowledgeable in every product category from menswear to home fashions to uniforms, she can expand upon an idea/product but apply the practicality behind it to create it and profit. Lana also speaks fluent Spanish and semi-fluent Cantonese, helping facillitate key industry relationships.
Tech, Development, Creative Direction
Zain is a pioneer of today’s digital landscape. He has used his innovative skills to help others create their own paths in the ever-evolving world of web3, and to make a name for themselves as entrepreneurs. With his experience as the first designer at Instacart and Y Combinator, Zain has helped many aspiring entrepreneurs transform their dreams into reality. His passion for helping others reach their goals has also extended to Rapper Donnis, who was featured in Time Magazine thanks to Zain's guidance. From surviving level 3 avalanches to creating success stories, Zain is an excellent consultant and mentor who can provide valuable advice on how to stay ahead of the game and achieve success today.
Denim Guru, Master Pattern Maker
Mr. x is a true denim expert, having been in the industry for decades and developing several patents along the way. His wealth of knowledge doesn't only encompass denim, jeans and sewing but also extends to understanding how to make a product exactly as you want it to be. In his spare time, Mr. x enjoys being on his boat and enjoying the great outdoors. He also finds joy in sewing when he has the opportunity. Despite all of this positive energy, Julian has been continually contacting him since 2008 and causing disruption to Mr. x's life. Fortunately, by relying on Mr. x's wealth of experience, we can ensure that these disruptions are minimized going forward, allowing him to continue living his life.
Reuben Barnes-Levering Ly
Investor, Printing, Wholesale + Green Energy
Reuben has created an impressive printing empire that is constantly growing throughout California. His ability to turn art into a successful career and social venture, while also maintaining his integrity, speaks volumes of his entrepreneurial spirit and ambition. Currently working with Solar Energy he is taking a break from the industry to give back and use his knowledge and insight to create a better system for factories, production and tommorrow. His success storie proves that he truly knows how to scale businesses up - even ones with rather large goals. And thanks to his experience, more brands have been able to reach their dreams faster than ever before and your will be the next one.
The youth are always in need of guidance, assistance and advancement. Drugs, war, atomic bombs, self expression, depression, etc etc. Holy Stitch! exists to educate, empower and employ the youth of today to evolve from being solely consumers and to become the Social Exrepreneurs and producers of tomorrow via the Sewing Machine, Tech, the Arts, Community and innovation. Standing upon the pillars of food/clothing/home/culture/education/family and freedom.
How do you actually and effectually capture and sustain the youth into positive change?
Since 2008, combining the structure of a school and a factory Holy Stitch! has created over 8500 students, interns and apprentices age 13-31 learn how to make jeans and become their own brand with a social and moral compass. Our graduates have gone on to top universities and corporations with continued success.
In 2011, San Francisco's new mayor announced plans to "clean up" downtown by creating a new corporate "dot com corridor" and arts district. To prevent displacement of residents, The Luggage Store Gallery brought together over 100 artists and activists to consider utopian aspirations and plot alternative futures for the city. The resulting exhibition, Streetopia, was a massive anti-gentrification art fair that took place in venues throughout the city, featuring daily free talks, performances, skillshares and a free community kitchen out of the gallery.
By doing a live installation of sewing in the window, Holy Stitch! broke the paradigm and drew attention and the window extended into the rest of the shop.
May 2012 saw the opening of Holy Stitch! at 988 Market Street, which was followed by a move to Twitter in June of that same year. 2013 saw another move, this time to 1186 Market Street, where Holy Stitch! remained until Covid-19 hit. Being just one block away from Powell and Market street + Supreme meant that Holy Stitch! was right in the middle of street life, tech life and commerce being an oasis in a blighted area.
A dream is a nightmare also, dont forget that... and that picture there is the portion of the core apprentices. We have lived together, helped each others families and made some highly regarded pieces. I have had to sleep in the factory and they were right there with me, rather we were together.
Young Thug in Dubai wearing a full Holy Stitch! outfit
EXPERIENCE + VALUES + INTEGRITY
Holy Stitch! has been a part of the industry for 15 years, bringing a unique perspective as the internet grows and people take more control of their resources. The pillars upon which Holy Stitch! stands are FOOD, CLOTHING, HOME, EDUCATION, CULTURE, FAMILY, and FREEDOM. It is important to know who produces the food we consume, and it is equally important to consider the origin of the clothing we wear.
The industry is small, and Holy Stitch! operates within a niche within it. Success in this industry is based on relationships, and the fact that Holy Stitch! has been able to thrive for so long is a blessing. There is a void in the market for a company that can bridge the gap between knowing one's suppliers and factories, and providing education on what constitutes quality clothing. Holy Stitch! aims to fill this void by providing a designer who can speak the customer's language and translate it into high-quality, well-designed clothing.
Over the years, Holy Stitch! has been able to provide exceptional service to its clients, and is now bringing that level of service to the consumer market. There are no secrets at Holy Stitch!; the company is all about access, sharing, and trust, which can be hard to come by on the internet. As a result, the doors are open to anyone with an idea for a clothing line, though exceptions may apply, hopefully you are the exception to the rule.
A video made by High School interns telling about Holy Stitch!
In the future, Holy Stitch! aims to become a factory fellowship and a leader in fashion education. Imagine Willy Wonka's factory, but for clothing and art. Holy Stitch! will not only provide jobs, fun, and high-quality products, but it will also give tours and implicit lessons on life values to youth. The company will strive to be as off the grid as possible, using bikes to power batteries for clothes, and will incorporate virtual reality technology to enable global collaboration and education.
This is the fourth generation of Holy Stitch!, and the company is now focusing on digital initiatives before reopening the factory. Holy Stitch! has already made a positive impact on the industry and society through word of mouth, and now it is time to take its message to the masses. The company is currently securing funding to find the right space and situation for its vision.
The future is bright for Holy Stitch!, and the company looks forward to having you join the journey. The only gift that Holy Stitch! asks for is your presence. Together, we can make the future even brighter.
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