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SOUTH SALT LAKE — The CEO of a local and unique quilting company wants to help refugees by hiring them to make quilts.
Emily Taylor founded Stitched — a website where people design and buy quilts — and launched it in March. For about eight years, Taylor has volunteered in the refugee community and said she has come to understand they need employment and education.
“With my company Stitched, we could have shipped our labor overseas and produced our quilts overseas, but because I am passionate about helping refugees and I know that many of them have the skillset that I need to make quilts, so I thought, ‘You know, If I’m going to do this, I want to try and be a positive impact in my community,” Taylor said.
Taylor has employed one refugee so far, and said she is fantastic. The employee, a woman named Esperance, is a refugee from Rwanda and owned a sewing micro business in Africa. She tried to open up a shop when she came to Salt Lake, but it didn’t take off, Taylor said.
Currently, Esperance is a student at Salt Lake Community College.
“I think that we can employ people that provide the flexibility that they need to raise their families and go to school or whatever they need,” Taylor said. “So we’re very flexible with people, and it works out that consequently our employees are very, very happy with us.”
If her business grows, Taylor hopes to hire more refugees. Stitched launched a Kickstarter campaign* to raise money.
“Quilts represent and provide comfort and security. Unfortunately, there are many people whose lives have been anything but comfortable and secure,” according to the Kickstarter page. “To help accomplish our mission, Stitched quilts are made by refugees living in our community.”
Taylor said she hopes to train refugees to use a sewing machine and a longarm quilt machine. Refugees may apply by contacting Emily Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*KSL.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.