People We Admire – Molly Hemstreet

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Each month – we’ll be highlighting a new person that inspires us. First up, Molly Hemstreet.

We admire Molly because of her innovative leadership in the North Carolina textile industry. She is the founder of Opportunity Threads, a worker-owned cut and sew cooperative based in Morganton, NC. Molly’s vision was deceptively simple: “to create good solid sustainable products and help people build good solid sustainable lifestyles and livelihoods.” In 2008, Opportunity Threads began with volunteer labor, one client, and one sewing machine. Over time, Molly and her co-op members have built Opportunity Threads into a thriving business with 17 workers in a 4,000 square foot building. New members join the cooperative as the business grows. In addition to providing more workers with living wages and benefits, Opportunity Threads’ long-term goals include adding more worker-owners and strengthening their business, developing their own product line, and continuing to support the worker-owned movement across the Southeast.


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