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Surely Sew

I can totally believe it has been a year since we opened. Every day has blossomed in it's own way, teaching me so much. I must say, compared to the year before it felt like the longest year of my life. Not in a bad way at all. Rhetorical Factory is just about the perfect place for me to create art and process all these awesome clothes. It has become so through extra efforts on top of running the store. My friend Phil Cheney has been a big part of that, helping me build the space in a way that works for it's purpose. We work a little at a time. With the experience of the past 11 months behind...

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Going Viral

What would it take to make Rhetorical Factory a success? Is something people often ask me, and the answer only comes in the form of more questions:What is Success? From the moment I set out to create Rhetorical Factory it has been successful. With a three-part mission statement I really have always felt that whatever I am learning and doing here is worth while. I am learning about business, being creative, and making waste into a resource. That has always felt like success, even when that meant sacrificing personal comforts. Possibly even especially then. What is Financial Success? Since we opened the flagship store last year, we have re-purposed roughly 1,500 garments. That is so much more than ever before,...

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Upcycled Fashion

For some reason Rhetorical Factory has been referred to by me as "recycled fashion" and hardly ever "upcycled fashion". In this niche industry of re purposed fashion, there is often a lack of terminology, actual words that describe what we do. It takes a conversation and lots of eye contact to turn someone on to the idea of "upcycled". I think that is why I never took on the term, because people know what recycled means and people want to recycle, right? Plus the RE goes with so much re-invent, re-imagine, rhe-torical....Well as it turns out, I have a feeling, people don't want their fashion to be recycled, unless they already know what upcycling is. Most people, and most people...

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How to Change your Family.

This is the the buying season of the year, remember to support what you believe in with the gifts you buy!Luckily Asheville as well as the internet is full of ethically crafted clothes, jewelry, tools, and art so it's easy and fun to shop with integrity. Especially the next two weekends.The thing about this season is we get to pass a little piece of our mindset along to those we love who are often outside this local community. Many of our families don't recycle, they go for quantity of gifts rather than quality, they expect us to eat mystery food and fit into the roles we assume in that family unit. It makes it difficult to spread enlightenment and encourage...

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Don't Cut Bluff

It takes action all over the place to consciously decide what our future becomes. Voting and campaigning is just one way to use our energy to make change, or resist it. Three years ago the state of North Carolina tried to sell the wilderness in the Bluff Mountain Area and the community rallied to protect it. It worked, and birthed the Bluff Mountain Music Festival and later the Arts Council. I know some of this because as I set out to write this article a woman came into the shop looking for a mason jar t shirt and noticed the stickers I have sitting out stating "Don't Cut Bluff". She noted she remembered those, like they were something old fashioned...

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