The idea behind The Collective Thread is to break down what divides us and work together for the good of communities around the world. In African countries, we are raising up strong African leaders and opening up a dialogue where Muslim and Christian women can work side by side. It's our goal to create stronger communities through training and work.
Whether you're in East Africa or St. Louis, you can make a difference. Help us combat gender inequality and poverty by donating to the The Collective Thread cause today.
There are so many ways you can get involved with our mission. We are always in need of financial donations. However, if you'd like to do more, consider helping in one of these other ways:
- Invite our founder, Terri, to speak about her cross-cultural mission at your event.
- We offer tours of our facility on Washington Ave. in the St. Louis Garment district and shop
- Teaching a sewing class for immigrants.
- Volunteer at our St. Louis office.
- Provide training in business, leadership and community development in East Africa.
To learn more about these opportunities, contact our St. Louis office at 314-560-5802 as soon as possible.
Terri Stipanovich started a non-profit, Faith that Works in 2009 and has traveled to Africa over 35 times working primarily in social justice causes amongst women. In 2015, tired of seeing her efforts lack in sustainable impact, she dreamed of a better way to help women. Along with a trusted friend, Kimberly Wilson, Terri started a sewing program to teach a trade and provide a livable wage for East African Women.
The program was called Nala.
The Nala program soon grew to St. Louis, MO, Terri's home town, mirroring her work in East Africa, and training refugee women to sew. As Terri sought to grow her efforts she was introduced to Annie Miller, finding the perfect partner in her, someone with the exact skill set, knowledge and passion to grow into a collaboration and full partnership. Together they are building a premium design and manufacturing facility in St. Louis, and in Ethiopia, now called The Collective Thread. One unique aspect to this effort is Terri and Annie's customers have the opportunity to produce their line of clothing in the USA or East Africa, realizing a dream of Terri's to see women elevated by dignified work.
After decades in the apparel and textile industry, Annie Miller directed her vast industry experience to educate and guide individuals and growing companies toward success and profitability, by establishing Harmony Consulting in 2013. Being both a right and left-brain thinker, she proves it is possible to apply artistic innovation to solve any problem, and application of this practice is what motivates her.
Travels around the world sourcing fabric, trims, and labor, ensuring ethical practices and quality products, established lasting relationships in global sourcing. Annie is also motivated by building relationships in the industry and cultivating a sense of collaboration.
Meeting Terri and hearing of her mission gave Annie the opportunity of a lifetime to assist in growing the sewing school, to offer all facets of product development, and develop a small batch manufacturing factory. Becoming part of this non-profit organization to empower women and serve the community is where she was led to be.