I am pleased (very nearly thrilled) to announce that the next round of our Chore Coats will be made by Sew Valley, a small Cincinnati company that seeks to bring manufacturing (and its skills) back to the Midwest.
We found Sew Valley in a funny way. My wife, Lucy May, wrote a story about them for WCPO-TV in May 2018 and told me all about her visit there. At the time I was interested because Sew Valley was co-founded by Rosie Kovacs, who also founded the Brush Factory, a design/build furniture shop in Cincinnati. I’ve been a big fan of her work for some time.
Then our manufacturing facility for Chore Coats flaked on us this summer. So Tom Bonamici and I began searching for a new facility to make our coats. I found one in Tennessee. Then Tom called me and said: “Have you ever heard of Rosie Kovacs?”
Within a week I toured Sew Valley’s facility on Cincinnati’s West End, which is on the ground floor of the National Flag Co. It’s an old facility. The huge Sew Valley space is filled with restored vintage sewing machinery. And I got to meet Rosie in person for the first time.
I think it’s a perfect fit. Sew Valley is dedicated to reviving nearly lost production sewing skills. They do excellent work. And Rosie is a force of nature here in Cincinnati.
Right now we’re moving all our patterns, materials and buttons (how is it we own thousands of buttons?) to Sew Valley this week so they can begin production within the next couple weeks. If all goes well, we should open pre-production ordering in a week or so. And – I saved the best part for last – I think we are going to be able to keep the price the same as on our previous runs of chore coats.
When production cranks up, we’ll shoot some photos and video. In the meantime, here’s an Instagram post of them working on our chore coat sample.
— Christopher Schwarz