Now a member of our production team, Ryan Laine began working at Alabama Chanin in The Factory Café in 2016. Over time, she expressed interest in the making process, and she transitioned to the cutting department where she cuts the garment patterns for our hand-sewn garments and DIY Kits. Ryan was born and raised in Florence and has a degree in teacher education from Athens State, a nearby university. She is a yoga teacher in the community, and her calm and methodical practices are apparent in her daily work at Alabama Chanin. (And our fabric shelves are very organized!) When daily tours come through the space, Ryan always has a kind smile as a greeting to our visitors. Ryan has helped further utilize handling of fabric scraps in her department and enjoys creative outlets in many different mediums. Learn more about Ryan and her work at Alabama Chanin.

AC: What do you enjoy most about your job at Alabama Chanin? Has your role changed since you started?

RL: I started my work at Alabama Chanin serving in the café. Now I am in production, where I enjoy being behind the scenes. It’s fulfilling to be a part of the process of making garments that people are excited and proud to wear.

AC: What drew you to working at Alabama Chanin?

RL: I wanted to work for a local company. During the hiring process, I learned of Alabama Chanin’s deep commitment to responsible production methods and sustainable practices, which confirmed that this was the place for me.

AC: What is the one thing you are most proud of creating in your personal life?

RL: I get a lot of personal fulfillment putting my own spin on a piece of work that inspires me. I’ve made a drawing of a concert poster, painted my own version of Van Gogh’s café, and I love to do acoustic covers of favorite songs.

AC: What is your favorite thing to make (or favorite part of the making process) at Alabama Chanin?

RL: I spend most of my time cutting fabric, which I find very meditative.

AC: What is your first sewing or making memory?

RL: As a young girl, I enjoyed making potholders, friendship bracelets, and finger-crocheted garland for the Christmas tree.

We’ll share more of our team tomorrow on the Journal as part of our Fashion Revolution series.


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  1. Ellen Smith

    I remember Ryan’s pleasant presence in the cafe last May when I attended a workshop at the factory. It makes me happy to think of her working with the fabrics now. Happy cutting, RYAN.