Alphapointe, one of the nation’s largest providers of rehabilitation services and employment for people who are blind, and Rightfully Sewn, which provides specialized seamstress training and products, announced a partnership to amplify the efforts of both non-profit organizations.
Rightfully Sewn was founded in 2015 by current President Jennifer Lapka with a mission to provide seamstress training for people with obstacles to employment. Ultimately, the organization seeks to enrich the specialized workforce in the area to reestablish Kansas City as an epicenter of garment manufacturing. Rightfully Sewn will become a subsidiary of Alphapointe with the partnership expanding on Alphapointe’s existing garment-related capabilities based at its Queens, N.Y., facility, while providing potential growth opportunities given the high-quality products created by Rightfully Sewn.
"I was intrigued by Jennifer's concept since our initial meeting five years ago and have been impressed by Rightfully Sewn's rapid development and growth," said Reinhard Mabry, President and CEO of Alphapointe. "Rightfully Sewn has strong brand recognition and meaningful relationships with funders and community leaders. But, most importantly, it has provided true benefit to the community through impressive programmatic outcomes for the individuals it serves. Alphapointe is excited to share our expertise to magnify and scale Rightfully Sewn’s impact. Simultaneously, its operations will provide new workforce training and employment opportunities for our employees and clients as well as prospects for apparel sewing contracts we previously declined to pursue."
Rightfully Sewn launched as a fiscally sponsored project, which is a pragmatic way for a non-profit organization concept to test a market to determine if its services are actually needed and if its operations can be financially sustained. As the organization reached its five-year anniversary, Lapka considered the best options to continue Rightfully Sewn’s mission-driven work.
"Becoming a subsidiary of a well-established non-profit like Alphapointe is the best path to continue advancing our mission," said Lapka. "As I was preparing to launch Rightfully Sewn, I sought the advice of many non-profit leaders, including Reinhard Mabry from Alphapointe. I was drawn by their model to empower individuals through specialized training and employment opportunities, while strengthening domestic manufacturing. What Alphapointe does is precisely what I wanted to achieve through the fashion industry. Five years later, I am deeply excited about the alignment of our organizations and the ability to grow our missions together."
The partnership between the two organizations will begin in the Fall of 2020 with Rightfully Sewn maintaining its current location in the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City.
Alphapointe is the national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering people with vision loss to achieve their goals and aspirations. Manufacturing tens of millions of products annually, Alphapointe is one of the largest employers of people who are blind in the U.S. with more than 400 employees, more than half of whom are blind or visually impaired. Alphapointe also provides comprehensive vision rehabilitation services to thousands of children, adults and seniors annually. Founded in 1911 and headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., with a facility in Queens, N.Y., Alphapointe’s business lines include plastics, micro-molding, office products manufacturing and sales, textiles manufacturing and sales, janitorial products, contact center services and retail stores at military bases in Missouri and Arkansas. For more information, visit alphapointe.org.
About Rightfully Sewn:
Rightfully Sewn creates jobs and opportunities in Kansas City through the business of fashion with a seamstress training program, fashion designer professional development program, and small batch production services. Rightfully Sewn offers pattern making, sample sewing and cut-and-sew services to emerging and established fashion brands. With more than 20 clients thus far and its own line, Rightfully Sewn has been manufacturing dresses, kimonos, athletic wear and, during the pandemic, more than 40,000 fabric masks for healthcare and non-profit entities in the Kansas City area. Their atelier, located in the Crossroads Arts District, opened in 2018 to provide design space and production equipment for all of its operations. To learn more, visit rightfullysewn.org.