BEHIND THE SEAMS: Workshop Manager

Welcome to our first installment of Behind the Seams, where we give you a closer look at the finer details of Looptworks – The people, our passion projects, the things that inspire us, and the amazing surprises we find along the way that lead to our best work. Today we're getting to know our Workshop Manager/feline herder Mandy.  

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Hi! I'm Mandy and I'm the Workshop Manager at Looptworks. I herd cats and put out fires. (only slightly joking ;) I'm responsible for streamlining the manufacturing process for Looptworks. Over the last several months, COVID has pushed us to focus on mask and protective gown production so my role has also shifted a bit but as we get through this, I'll be able to get back to refining our production chain.  

Where did you go to school and what did you study?

I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology where I studied Fashion Design with a specialization in children's wear. 

How did you arrive in Portland?

NYC was increasingly becoming expensive but I still wanted to enjoy living in a place that didn't require constant driving and Portland was a great fit. So here I am!

What about Looptworks initially piqued your interest? 

I thought it'd be a lot of fun being creative with finding uses for the excess materials we find. It's almost like a puzzle. As somebody who comes from a background in manufacturing, soft goods in particular, I saw a LOTS of scraps be thrown away. I think it's great that we are able to give new life to those materials that would've otherwise be sent to landfills. 

Favorite looptworks product?

I like the colors in the new Sideshore Collection. The silhouette and lines that they have are sharp. The strap design in The Commuter is really innovative, how it transitions from handbag to backpack is so cool.

How did you get into sewing?

I started sewing when I was 16 and cosplay and Anime were big factors in guiding me down the path. I no longer get into cosplay much but I still spend ample personal time sewing. 

what other creative outlets do you enjoy?

I do embroidery, cross stitching, I sew. I used to be really big into planners. I make a lot of stickers. I make a lot of things. Just crafting in general. I like to work with my hands. 

Is there anything that you'd love to work on or with that you haven't had the opportunity to do so yet?

I would love to work in home decor. I've made pillows and things like that but I think it'd be a lot of fun to do upholstery on furniture. Just building out the look of a room or home would be fun. 

Who would play you in a movie and what would be the title?

Sandra Bullock starring in This Hot Mess! haha. 

What was your first job? did you learn anything that you apply at looptworks?

My first job was a cashier/illegal pharmacy tech in my early teens. I learned that companies are willing to break rules provided nobody is watching. haha. Fortunately that's a non-issue with Looptworks. 

Would your 8th grade self be pleased with where you are today?

Yeah! I love what I do and where I am. I'd be happy to report back all we have accomplished. 

If COVID disappeared for 24 hours starting tomorrow, how would you spend your day?

I'd have my wedding! 

any advice for aspiring textile designers?

I actually got my foot in the door of this field while working as a metal finisher. They had a really small sewing department and word got out about my background so I was quickly moved to a sewing coordinator position and it just snowballed to where I am today. Just take those opportunities when you find them! 

Anything you are looking forward to with looptworks?

I'm looking forward to spending more time connecting with businesses on how we can streamline their chain of production. Discovering new materials to work with while reducing waste.