our social justice mission

Years ago, when I first started my business, I felt the need to bury my past, to hope it never surfaced or became public.  Why?  Because there is a huge stigma against those that have serviced time or have been wrapped up in the criminal justice system.  I understand why, no one likes the bad guy. The problem is, often times the bad guy is someone just like you that made a mistake.  If you look at the facts, it's nearly impossible for any of us to go about our daily lives and not somehow break a law just enough to land you in the system, so really, it's a game of chance.  You can read more about this on the prison blog.

 

Anyway, in 2014, I had just finished my term as president of the Atlanta Modern Quilt Guild.   A member of this guild had gained knowledge of my past and threaten to expose me to the entire quilting community.  It was then that I decided if anyone was going to bring my past to light, it would be me.  So I did, and it was the best decision I've ever made.

The biggest struggle of someone with a conviction, no matter how minor, is finding stable employment and housing.  And they typically go hand-in-hand.  

Through building Sewing Doc Service & Academy, our mission is to train others in sewing machine service & repair, as there is a huge demand for these services, and yet no way to learn the trade.  Sewing Doc will eventually offer franchise opportunities for graduates of our program.

But we want to go further.  On my bucket list is the opportunity to get into the federal and state prisons to teach these skills before people are even released.  This is a long, long road, but one I strive for.

In the meantime, we are focusing on making Sewing Doc Service & Academy a viable, sustainable business.  Once we have our legs under us, we'll form our non-profit and build a scholarship program to help make this program possible for those that wouldn't have the means otherwise.  My vision is not just provide machine service education, but also life and soft skills for those wanting a better life for themselves, but lacking the skills to balance new life with their old life.

The decision to go public with our mission still isn't easy... I am very well aware that in today's climate, a business can easily go under when the social mission doesn't appeal to the consumer.  But this is very important to me, and much needed in our society.  So I am giving it my all.

Andi Barney

Atlanta, GA, USA

©2017 BY ANDI BARNEY

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