"It is an important mission of Alabama Chanin to bring as much work as possible into our community and to our local artisans who are able to work from their own homes, run their own businesses, and be in charge of their own lives and families."
Natalie has spent almost two decades working with our artisans—hand sewers and seamstresses in and around The Shoals community in Northwest Alabama—to develop this unique program. Artisans use traditional hand-sewing methods that have been refined and modernized as part of our contemporary designs.
Alabama Chanin functions by contracting its work to independent contractors—our Artisans—who are licensed small business owners. Our Artisans first bid on each available project by offering a purchase price for the materials and a selling price for the finished product. Alabama Chanin awards bids based on production needs, quality, and the competitiveness of each bid. Once a project is awarded, Alabama Chanin sells the project to the Artisan—including all of the materials necessary for sewing, embroidery, construction, and/or completion of the garment or project.
If the Artisan completes the project by the agreed upon deadline and the project meets Alabama Chanin development and quality standards, the company will purchase the finished project at the prearranged bid price. Alabama Chanin may, at their discretion, agree to purchase garments at a reduced rate if an Artisan does not complete a project by the agreed-upon deadline or if they fail to meet quality or project standards.
This business model can be used for a variety of products and we hope that it inspires others to use artisan-based production methods for economic development in their own communities.