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Sew It Sell It was an idea that combined my love of sewing with a desire to give back to my local community in a creative way. 


The goal of Sew It Sell It is to supplement youth in our communities with creative, practical and business management skills that they can continue to use on their own outside of the program.


Beginning as a Knoxville-based 4-week camp-style initiative in the summer of 2019, the first Sew It Sell It program served 15 children, ages 8 through 15, none of whom had prior sewing experience. Students began the program by designing a product and then conceptualizing a microbusiness  around it. They pitched their idea to a panel of judges for feedback and then transitioned into the production phase, where they were assigned a specific quantity to produce. Finally, they worked on branding and prepared their products for distribution.  Along with designing and sewing, students attended several workshops led by local business professionals and entrepreneurs, as well as university faculty. The concluded the program with a market day and closing ceremony. 


Four years later, with community support and a number of institutional funders, the program continues to grow. It has received local as well as national media coverage and maybe one day will be duplicated in other communities.

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