KANSAS CITY, MO. — A fashion business in downtown Kansas City is giving future fashion designers the tools they need to succeed.

Rightfully Sewn works with up-and-coming fashion designers and local social services to teach marginalized women how to sew and start their own business.

“Either immigrants, refugees, single moms, women who are coming out of abusive situations,” Interim president Cynthia Westbrook said.

It’s been Kechena Richardson’s dream to be a fashion designer since the eighth grade and now, she’s living her dream and taking her business to the next level thanks to Rightfully Sewn.

“This is where I came from, this is what’s possible, and you can do it too,” Richardson said.

A new partnership with Alphapointe, a nonprofit supporting the blind, is further expanding their resources to hopeful designers.

“We have a lot of folks that come from Pakistan…northern Africa,” Westbrook said. “Many go on and start their own businesses, so at the same time they’re learning not just about the sewing, but about the culture and we’re working together to give them a skill.”

Richardson’s success has landed her as Rightfully Sewn‘s designer of the year. She’s also an influencer for Joann Fabrics and recently got invited to Paris fashion week.

She says none of it would be possible without Rightfully Sewn.

“Nothing’s easy in life so it’s just a matter of however hard you want it, work ten times harder to go and get it,” Richardson said. “Regardless of your situation whatever it looks like, whatever the odds may be against you, just don’t stop.”

Rightfully Sewn is hosting a Future Fashion Seminar at the Little Theatre on November 30 from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.