Interview with Nora
Our company is staffed by amazing people who bring integrity and a hard-working ethic day in and day out. We are a small group, with the mission of creating garments so our fans can navigate environments warm & comfy. For this weeks newsletter, the week after mothers day, we thought it was only right to feature Nora who is a recent mom of an 8-month-old named Rudy. Her son can be seen on our Instagram page @crescentdownworks wearing a bright-red monochrome CDW baby bunting. I hope you all enjoy the interview!
What is your title at Crescent Down Works and what do you do?
I am the Cutting Room Director. I do all of the patternmaking and cutting of every garment we make! I layout the pattern pieces for each garment in the most efficient manner (we call this a marker), roll the fabric, and cut the pieces out using an electric rotary or stack cutter. I make marks on some of the pieces for quilt lines, or other guides for the sewers with an awl. I assemble and group cuts together that are similar to maximize efficiency. For instance, we may have 5 different clients ordering a DownSweater in size Small, and I can cut all those pieces together. I think one of the largest cuts I’ve done was close to 80 jackets at once! I work closely with our Production Manager, Lam, to be sure she is aware of orders that have customizations.
Tell me about Rudy!
Rudy Dove is my 8-month-old sweetheart of a son and CDW's resident baby! He comes to work with me a couple of days a week. He just started crawling this week! Rudy loves smiling, eating hummus and scrambled eggs, and fighting sleep! It is so wild to see him learn and experience things for the first time. I love learning what he likes and witnessing his small, but strong personality develop.
How long have you've been interested in fashion?
Fashion has been a creative outlet and interest of mine since 6th grade. That’s the age I first remember being allowed to pick out my own outfits (rather than dress in a matching outfit with my two younger sisters, thanks Mom! – haha). I picked out a patchwork Esprit brand sweater for picture day in 6th grade, I still remember it, and wish I could find one on eBay! That’s my earliest sartorial memory. It didn’t cross my mind that I could make a living pursuing this interest until I was almost 10 years into my career as a social worker and took evening sewing classes at Seattle Central. I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa, which was awesome! But fashion was thought of as frivolous, it took a long time for me to overcome that narrative and see it is as a viable, fulfilling career.
Where did you learn?
I got my AA in Apparel Design at Seattle Central College. I would not be here if I hadn’t completed that program. I also learned so much from my predecessor, Nina. She enabled me to be successful in this position.
Who are some of your inspirations?
Women. All women. I don't really have a list of specific people in mind; every woman in my life. I'm really in awe of nature. It is my ultimate source of inspiration.
What do you in enjoy about Crescent Down Works?
Let me count the ways! I love the physicality of my job. Being active, on my feet, doing heavy lifting, and having a tangible product to show for my day’s labor is really fulfilling. I love working in a production setting. The diversity of skills used and variety of work keep my mind feeling sharp. CDW specifically is my white whale. I met Nina while I was in the apparel design program, and knew after hearing about her job, that I wanted to work at CDW. I love that we are a woman owned and operated business. I love that we have been made in Seattle since day one. I appreciate that CDW is not fast fashion. Our pieces are investments. We do not come out with new pieces every season. We offer our time-tested classics. It feels great when we have clients reach out to have us repair a piece they have had and been wearing for years and want to keep using. The fact that we offer customization and low minimums make us really unique. It also makes my job really fun. I enjoy interpreting our client's design ideas and figuring out how to make them a reality. CDW has been so supportive of my journey to motherhood. I feel incredibly valued and know that the flexibility and support they have offered me is exceptional.
What are your favorite styles and favorite piece CDW has made?
My favorite style is always changing. I think it’s influenced by whether I’ve been cutting a lot of a particular style. Right now I’m really excited about the color blocked pieces we’re working on with Free City - stay tuned! We have worked with Amsterdam based artist, Parra, several seasons. I'm always really jazzed about their projects. He designs amazing, custom printed fabrics we use to make jackets.
Outside of fashion and being a great mother, what else do you enjoy?
So much! I love sewing and at one point in time made most of my own clothing. Reading; recently read and loved There, There, The Golden State, and The Mars Room. I appreciate looking at art, especially sculpture. I really value the outdoors and prioritize getting outside. As a family, we take Rudy on hikes and have camping plans for the summer. My husband and I have a permit to summit Mt St Helen’s in August, so working up to that will be a summer goal. We also visit a different National Park each year and are going to Yosemite this fall. Nature is definitely one of the things that drew me to living in Seattle. I love exposing Rudy to it, and sharing it with him, even at this very young age. I hope for him to value, respect, and to defend it in his lifetime.
Favorite lunch place near work?
We are so lucky to have many delicious options nearby! The porchettea sandwich at Salumi is legendary. The burgers at Meg’s are just right, and only $3.50! Wow. I'm more of a carnivore than I thought! My other go-to's are the kale Caesar salad at Grand Central Bakery, the cherry chocolate cookies at London Plane, and coffee or grapefruit granita at Umbria (I’m sad to learn they are no longer offering the grapefruit flavor).