Here are comments from the six days that 24 people from a dozen brands and organizations spent together making seven stops and attending the AAPN Charlotte Regional Conference. Of the 24 attending, 16 were women.
We are often asked why we do not do these tours for college students. The answer is many are already working with colleges, but no-one is working on raising the Apparel IQ of those in the industry already working. Ron Roach's entire idea behind this tour was to make those who learn from him better understand how knits are manufactured.
Our related focus is on women, specifically the 66% of our tour that was women, working to make them smarter, to empower them, to show them our support network! This is why a core of AAPN women members have formed the career professional mentoring they are calling AAPN(Women).
We received great feedback comments from virtually everyone attending. Here's just a few of them.
Charlotte Regional Conference
I really enjoyed Barbara Zeins' presentation on costing. It was very helpful and I passed this information to my sourcing department.
Please include this in next year's tour as well with bonus points if you can find a speaker can make it snow on command again.
It was great to hear two very passionate and highly respected individuals in the apparel world. It was also great to be able to talk to other suppliers that were there and not present for the tour. I think this is a great opportunity for those of us who do not get to attend many conferences and help with exposure and what is on the forefront of the minds who are deeply rooted in the textile industry.
I thought Barbara Zeins was amazing and she is my new role model. She provided a lot of valuable information we can take back to our companies.
Carolina Mill Tour V2
Contempora nailed it. The hands-on session was super cool, especially for people brand new to this part of the fashion industry. The quality session, watching Nancy manually repair defects – no one has ever described such a thing to me. I didn't even know that was an option!
The booklet is also a great keepsake and I really appreciate that they listed the names, titles, and email addresses of everyone involved in hosting the tour.
Loved Contempora’s open forum tour, with people actively involved on the floor every day, stopping/starting and opening machinery to show us the inner workings. The Contempora group was passionate, eager to show and tell what you know – not what you sell.
Great value from the class with Alex, with a take-home kit of swatches that not only highlight how that construction was made, but additional swatches and pick glass to examine on our own.
It felt as if Contempora was investing in us, better equipping us for our own careers. The tour was useful and I will long remember it.
The session with Mr. Patrick (Patrick Yarns) was very informative (especially with the taser and the glove absorbing it)
I immensely enjoyed hearing from Mr. Patrick and would have liked for that portion to last longer.
Our guide at Carolina Cotton Works was super informative even when we ask questions of how to resolution color variance issues we see within or company. Really was grateful they gave us a booklet of all the terminology in regards to the dyeing process. This was great to bring back to my team to show them a step by step process.
I felt thoroughly informed of the CCW dyeing and finishing process. I liked dividing into small groups for the tour. We asked lots of questions and our guide, Leslie, could answer them all. This is very helpful for me as I use fabric that is finished at CCW. I feel I made a great contact for my future business needs and can articulate dyeing questions.
Wow, the CCW team know what they are doing. Fascinating and the handout is a keeper.
Amazing tour of Milliken. It was very informative on where they are heading as a company with all their new innovations
Blown away by their gallery. They were very informative and great hosts.
Our Parkdale guide was extremely informative and gave good illustrations. I also enjoyed see the technological innovation that they brought into their facility to be more efficient.
My favorite tour !!!! The president was a true visionary! He chose to tackle issues surrounding the textile industry by adapting instead of fighting the change! Cotton waste was donated to local farmers – shows how committed they are to their community!
The President of Parkdale is truly passionate about what he does and it shows!
What fun and what information. Cotton in, 7 miles to Moon of yarn out. Highly enthusiastic. Clearly on top of their game.
Excellent facility! Very clean, organized and the tour guides were very knowledgeable. The robotics in this facility were the best part.
Hamrick was very fascinating since it was the only mill that did weaving. I enjoyed the thorough explanation of how they prepare the bales of fiber all the way to the weaving process on their automated line. I also enjoyed how they explained industry terms, because some of the things I was not clear about what they meant.
Hamrick Mills has a very old school mentality and I think that has helped keep them valid for so many years. They are not a flashy company, but a company made up of hard-working, knowledgeable people who really love the trade.
A&E was very hands on!!! I think throughout the week, that's one of the biggest things that separated the good tours from the "just okay" ones. They also had literature for us to take away
Great tour! Associates are bright and knowledgeable and our guide showed us all processes and carefully answered all questions. The educational lesson in the classroom was great, too, because not many people know much about thread manufacturing.
I liked the quiz we took on what type of thread should you use in what products. I appreciated having Jimmy Summers, the clean water engineer, speak.
Love the hands on experience A&E gave us! They helped educate us in the types and content of threads that are best suited for certain products. They allowed us to handle their product and even break it! It is amazing all the active colors A&E has in their library! Everyone at A&E was super welcoming and knowledgeable. It was interesting to see the “behind the scenes” in the dye house at A&E and how everything was operated and controlled via a central computer system.