Only in the last 80 years have women started to represent part of the manufacturing workforce in the U.S. In the grand scheme of things, 80 years isn’t long at all. We have years of necessary changes ahead of us if we want more equitable communities in the U.S.

We comment on this topic as a women-owned screen printing shop. Traditionally, women in screen printing has meant arts and crafts rather than a serious occupation. It was even seen as extremely unusual for women to be in the manufacturing workforce at all pre-WW2. As of today, it’s still rare to find a female-run, commercial printing shop. 

On the bright side, women currently run many companies in the manufacturing industry. That being said, there are still many disparities, many of which extend far past the realm of assigned sexes. 

For women in this industry, opportunities exist for creating a successful career with the satisfaction that comes from running your own business. As the owner of a female-run print shop, I feel it’s necessary to encourage other women inspired by entrepreneurship in a creative field to consider the opportunities of running your own print shop. This is especially important due to the lack of representation in this field, and many other leadership roles.

In sum, we believe diversity is beneficial for any company regardless of the industry. Bringing in different perspectives can help a company grow and thrive!

As a small business, we view our ties to the local community as being a key factor in our success. Events, internships, workshops, and many other options allow us to grow and maintain these ties.

One such example comes in the form of our head of shop upkeep: Lisa Sansevere. Lisa found employment with us through a work placement program at the Oregon Supportive Living Program (OSLP). Since its formation, this non-profit organization has followed their mission of empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We at Threadbare highly value the opportunity to work with such a stellar program, even Boss Lady Baker (or, as some people know her, Amy) is a member of their Board of Directors!

The opportunities for community involvement don’t stop there. Through local high schools and non-profit organizations such as Connected Lane County, Threadbare has provided internship opportunities and screenprinting workshops to well-over a dozen students throughout Lane County.

A summer screen printing workshop we offered to high schoolers throughout Lane County back in 2016.

From a humanitarian perspective, having businesses be involved in their local community is imperative to ensure that all of us have opportunities for growth rather than a select few. From a purely-business perspective, these internships, workshops, and partnerships with local organizations has also provided us with an abundance of word-of-mouth advertising and, with regards to internships, a lil’ bit of free labor. All-in-all, this is something that benefits both the business and the local community!

If you’re interested in the work placement program offered by OSLP, here‘s a link to their webpage that provides more info. and contacts. 

If you’re interested in providing internship opportunities, we highly suggest checking out Connected Lane County. Here’s a link to their webpage that provides the application as well as further info.