We Made This Program Graduation

by Rose Dreisbach August 28, 2015

We Made This Program Graduation Ceremony - August 27th, 2015

“I dream for my children to have higher education and find employment that they care about. I dream this for myself also, and want to show them it is possible. It’s hard work,” says Daralneima, a Sudanese refugee and graduate of the We Made This sewing program.

Pictured: Program Coordinator - Allie (left), Graduate - Daralneima (center), Instructor - Tin Tin (right)

Knotty Tie partners with the African Community Center’s We Made This program, which teaches recently resettled refugee women how to sew, and provides assessment and certification for those with pre-existing skills. While volunteering with ACC in college, Knotty Tie's President Jeremy Priest observed that while many of the refugees had notable sewing skills, the greatest obstacle they faced was obtaining meaningful and sustainable employment because of language and cultural barriers. This is where Knotty Tie Co.’s partnership with We Made this provides a beneficial and long lasting solution.

The mission of We Made This is to unlock the courage and creativity of refugee women through a multicultural sewing community by activating leadership and building sustainable partnerships. Many of the resettled refugees that work at Knotty Tie went through the We Made This program and came with high recommendations for their work ethic and positive attitude. We are also partnering together to build a specialized training for those students wanting to master specific skills needed to succeed at Knotty Tie Co. that will make their transition into employment here a seamless one.

Recently, we had the privilege of attending the summer graduation ceremony at We Made This, witnessing seven resettled refugee women receive their diplomas and certifications. While a number of the women were moving forward from the beginning into the intermediate class, two of them have successfully completed their full certification and are ready to move forward into their futures and search for employment opportunities. The beauty of We Made This is that it is a community of women from very different backgrounds, countries, histories, and religions that share the very common experience of being a refugee. A strong bond is formed through the understanding and respect that they are all learning and creating a new life for themselves and their families in the USA. Many of the women come to the program with little to no english skills, fearful of forging their way without the comforts of home, often afraid to take public transportation, and practice the few English skills they do have. Through the training, friendships are built, a community is born, and the women leave empowered, with a family of friends and mentors standing behind them.

Pictured: Graduates receiving their own machines upon graduation!

Daralneima, one of this classes most promising candidates, beamed brightly as she accepted her certificate, and was recognized for going above and beyond in training while simultaneously working a weekend job and caring for her eight children. A vicious war in her home country of Sudan, drove Daralneima and her family to a refugee camp in Kenya, where they lived for many years before moving to America. While Daralneima’s bright smile and personality emanate though the room, it’s her quiet confidence and unwavering hope that demands your attention and admiration.

At Knotty Tie Co., we desire to collaborate with others to successfully fulfill our mission of hiring skilled resettled refugees, which is why we are especially excited about our partnership with We Made This, and for the opportunity to celebrate a new class of graduates. Most refugees are allowed few choices about how they live and what they do, and we want to give them the opportunity to choose meaningful employment that gives them a sense of purpose. At Knotty Tie Co., we want all our employees to pursue their dreams, whether that is going to school, becoming leaders of their communities, or developing skills as talented sewers. We believe that empowered people transform their families and communities and are able to successfully take on the challenges facing both their home and host countries.

Rose Dreisbach
Rose Dreisbach


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Face Masks 

Adult Standard Adult Small
5" x 9"
Fits most male adults.
4.5" x 8"
Fits most women and young adults.


Neck Gaiters 

Regular Small
9.5” x 14”
Fits most men and those with larger heads.
8.5" x 14"
Fits most women and kids.




Skinny Knotty Classic
2.25" wide 2.75" wide 3.5" wide


Standard Long Extra-Long
58" long 62" long 66" long


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Ages 10+


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Comparable to 0-14 in Women's sizing
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31" wide at the waist
36" length
Comparable to 16-26 in Women's sizing
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35" wide at the waist
39" length