I started Wolf & the Wildling from my own home two years ago, carefully hand making every item of clothing from start to finish while also juggling motherhood. I understand firsthand the satisfaction and the frustrations that can come from being a machinist.
I knew that as Wolf & the Wildling continued to grow I would need to outsource work but I did not want to hand the work over to a factory. Even if the factory had fair working conditions I just couldn't imagine the tedium of repeating a few stitches for 8+ hours every day. I wanted each garment to be completed from start to finish by one person.
Some of the most talented machinists in the world stem from China. A machinist is an artisan and I wanted to work with a community of women who could feel the satisfaction of creating the whole piece from start to finish. I also wanted to create an environment in which they could work from their own home, around their own schedules and family commitments.
Machinists often get back problems and other ailments associated with long periods of work. Our community of women can choose when and how often they would like to work while also being paid more than double the wage of a machinist from a factory environment.
When I travelled to China to find the best artisans, I found myself immersed in a small community within the Ningbo province on the outskirts of Cixi. An absolutely beautiful community built over picturesque canals and waterways.
I met with Jessie and her mother Sue who welcomed my idea and made me feel incredibly at home. It was at this point that I knew I had found my path.
Sue had worked within a factory for most of her life, starting out on the factory floor as a young girl and working her way up the ladder to become lead machinist and pattern maker. As orders for Wolf & the Wildling clothing lines continue to grow, Sue and Jessie will help us expand our team and give other talented machinists the opportunity to work from the comfort of their own home, away from the factory environment.