Meet Team Knotty: Featuring Bems


A vicious war in his home country of the Democratic Republic of Congo drove Bems and his family to a refugee camp in Uganda. Instead of letting this defeat him, he was determined to make a life for himself there, and was successful in opening his own company designing and creating all types of clothes. “I love the language of fashion,” he says about his passion for the business he ran for many years. When he moved to America, he was working in a hotel, but lacked the joy and purpose of meaningful employment. Upon hearing about the We Made This sewing program at ACC, he went everyday just to spend time sewing, what he loves to do most. “I want to be here. Whatever it takes, I want to be here,” he told Rachel Cox, Program Director at ACC We Made This. After an assessment of his skills, Rachel provided Bems with a certification and recommendation, a difficult but invaluable asset to acquire for recently resettled refugees looking for long term career opportunities. Soon thereafter, Bems was hired as one of the first two refugee employees at Knotty Tie. Taking his innate creativity and initiative to new levels, Bems set the standards for our manufacturing staff, and continues to lead and coach new employees added to the Knotty Tie family. His unique fashion sense and fun personality adds just the right flair to our team.

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