In 2008, Don Pedro lost his job. So many companies were going bankrupt that year, especially in the fashion industry, and the company where he was working ended up closing. He knew he needed to get another job as soon as possible so he started applying for different positions. But companies weren’t hiring, they were only laying more and more people off. He realized then that the only way he would be able to survive would be to start his own company—so he opened up his own small cut and sew facility. Don Pedro wasn’t interested in mass production. He had little interest in companies that wanted cheap work done—80, 90 cents a piece, he says—making shirts, sweatpants and dresses that would fall apart after just a few washes. Instead of making thousands of items at a time for brands looking to pump out garments, he committed to working only with companies that were making small runs of items with much higher quality. When we met Pedro, we were interested in working with a contractor that would produce runs of 10 garments at a time (“You know, only really big orders,” he laughs). Pedro and his team of 4 dressmakers were the perfect solution. In those early days, we’d talk often about our shared vision of a sustainable fashion industry. We were very much in sync about a business model where everyone wins. We dreamed of joining forces but our production needs weren’t big enough to justify. As time moved forward, demand for our dresses grew and so Pedro hired more dressmakers, eventually growing his team to 21 seamstresses.
Finally, last summer, we brought Pedro and his team under the Christy Dawn umbrella, adding health benefits and paid vacations to their compensation packages.
We are SO lucky to have Don Pedro and the feeling is mutual. “Christy Dawn,” Pedro says, “is OUR company. From the dressmakers, to Christy, to the customers, Christy Dawn couldn’t exist without the entire ecosystem. It is something that each one of us takes great pride in. It is such a blessing to work with like-minded folks who genuinely care about people and the planet."