The Interview: Part Two
When we first began searching for someone to sew for Threads by Nomad I was given contact information for a business–Alterations by Grace. Grace, the owner, is amazing! She is from Thailand and has a desire to see refugees and immigrants thrive here in the United States. Impressed with Grace’s talent, I sent a young refugee woman to Grace to be trained in hopes that she might eventually be able to help in the production of our garments. Unfortunately, it did not work out due to family commitments. Despite my disappointment, Grace assured me that it wouldn’t be a problem; she knew someone. “He is very good and requires no training.” I asked her to make the introduction.
I met Hayder at the Starbucks in Target. He came with his son to help with translation. I explained what we were trying to accomplish. He seemed to understand, but did he really? Then he showed me his work. My jaw dropped! It was amazing and far beyond my expectations and even my dreams! Moreover he belonged to the refugee agency we partner with, Interfaith Ministries. I explained to Hayder that the next step was for me to evaluate his actual work. We agreed to meet at Grace’s where he would construct a garment of my design from start to finish.
I had concerns though, culturally speaking. How would Hayder like working with a woman? How would Hayder react to my jovial, sometimes sarcastic way of relating? How would Hayder understand that we were just beginning? Oh, Nell, “Ye of little faith!” As our relationship began to develop, I realized Hayder may just be the tailor for us!
When we arrived at Grace’s for the trial, Hayder was waiting…on time! A very good sign! He immediately set about creating the design I had for him. I watched as he cut and measured. Then he turned the fabric and I thought, “Oh my gosh! What is he doing?!?!” He looked at me out of the corner of his eye and I saw a twinkle. He was messing with me!!!! Then I realized he was actually making a bias trim. We both laughed out loud without exchanging so much as a word between us!
When did I know Hayder was a real possibility? When he criticized the fabric. As well he should; it was a trial piece–I wasn’t about to spend money on the finest of fabrics! He was not happy with the feel and the lay of fabric. True! When I made my daughter’s wedding dress, one of the tests was to pick up the fabric and sway it back and forth to watch how it moved. Hayder did the same and was not pleased with the result. Good job!
Here was the clincher for me though. We decided to give Hayder two of the prototypes to complete for the investment launch. (More on that later.) He did not have a serger at home, so he came to my house to borrow mine. He also did not have a really nice pair of fabric scissors. I have had only two in my lifetime (literally) for sewing. Good fabric scissors are extremely important! I let him borrow mine, but if you are a seamstress you know that nothing but fabric–not even paper!–must ever touch a pair of sewing scissors. With fear and trepidation I handed my treasured scissors over to Hayder. I couldn’t resist a warning, “This is ONLY for fabric!!! No paper!!!” Hayder, with a look of shock, vigorously shook his head back and forth in agreement.
It was clear to me, Hayder is the man for the job! We could not be more excited to have him on our team.