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Stitch by stitch, metro organization hopes to restore KC as a fashion capital

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It takes Ami Beck three to four hours to make one of her small custom leather bags.

“I spend a lot of time on the details,” she said.

As business continues to grow at Dolyn Bags,she'll need a seamstress to help her put the bags together. That’s where Rightfully Sewn comes in, providing her connections, sources for materials, and even a potential lifeline for seamstresses.

“I`m getting a lot of wonderful things from Rightfully Sewn and eventually I hope that morphs into a partnership and a lot of seamstress training and help for production of my bags,” said Beck.

Rightfully Sewn is an organization in Kansas City that recently started with a multi-faceted goal.

1) To grow local designers' businesses
2) To help at-risk women by giving them the career skills to become commercial seamstresses
3) To help Kansas City return to its former glory as a fashion and merchandising capital.

At its height, more than 8,000 people were employed by companies in the Kansas City Garment District.

“I do believe that we can, but we have to develop a market, and we have to develop a cut and sew workforce,” said Jennifer Lapka, founder of Rightfully Sewn.

Jennifer Lapka started Rightfully Sewn when she saw a need to promote the production of designers' products in Kansas City.

“I just really believe it`s time to bring all those projects back to Kansas City,” Lapka said.

She also saw the need to introduce a skill to women who are at high-risk of falling back into a dangerous lifestyle. That's an aspect that speaks deeply to Ami Beck.

“I have a big heart for women in general and the community to be able to form a cycle that benefits my business and other women in the community, is literally everything I`ve been wanting to do for years now. So it`s huge for me,” said Beck.

To find out more, go to this website.