FLORENCE — Faye Davis’ small frame is teeming with experience, but she’s living in a town that has almost no use for her expertise.
Davis, who recently celebrated her 61st birthday, spent 45 years honing her sewing skills in the once prolific garment factories in the Shoals.
“I graduated from high school on a Friday, and I started in the factory the next Monday,” the Zip City resident said. She was following in her mother’s footsteps, a common occurrence when garment factories were in their heyday in north Alabama.
But her skills were pushed aside as manufacturers shipped sewing jobs overseas.
Now, Davis is leading a small-scale comeback, because of a new clothing line developed by fashion designer Natalie Chanin.
A. Chanin is a machine-made line from Alabama Chanin, which previously dealt exclusively with handmade, hand-sewn garments. Alabama Chanin was founded by Florence native Natalie Chanin and is dedicated to local design and production, as well as sustainable manufacturing, using local artisans to handcraft each piece.