Tim Reavis

Tim Reavis is a social entrepreneur, writer, designer and all-around dabbler from Raleigh, NC.  He is the founder of Boss Manatee Design & Apparel, and is active in the local poetry community.  He believes in the power of design to communicate ideas and generate productive conversation.  He is interested in exploring the ways in which philosophical and political ideas travel across geographic, socioeconomic, and cultural gaps in the digital age.  He loves to travel and is trying to become more familiar with the concept of moderation.

Eric Henry

Eric Henry, president of TS Designs, is one-half of the dynamic duo that owns TSD. Alongside his business partner and TSD CEO, Tom Sineath, Eric has been in the screen printing and apparel business for over 30 years. Eric’s duties at TSD range from sales to R&D to marketing. He is the foremost public face of TSD, attending numerous trade shows, giving speeches to groups and universities and hosting tours of the TSD facility. His boundless enthusiasm and energy have gained him a certain level of notoriety at most of them, even winning him the Sustainability Champion award from Sustainable North Carolina in 2009.

Outside of TS Designs, Eric devotes much of his time to furthering the sustainable agenda in various community organizations. He founded the Burlington Biodiesel Co-op in 2001 and has run his car on biodiesel (or straight vegetable oil) that now has over 250k miles on it. He along with Charlie Sydnor and Sam Moore founded Company Shops Market, a co-op grocery in downtown Burlington that reconnects local agriculture to Alamance County; and now, he serves the co-op board. He also serves on the Burlington Downtown Corporation board, which works to create an environment for development that enhances Downtown Burlington as the cultural, historic, social and economic center of the community. He also serves on the board of NC GreenPower, an organization that purchases and resells renewable energy, and Green America.

He has served on the board of Alamance County Chamber of Commerce, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (he was the chairman in 2002), and Elon University Environmental Science and Martha and Spencer Love School of Business. His most recent start-up is the Burlington Beer Works Co-op, which will build on the success of Company Shops Co-op.

Eric was born in Radford, Virginia. When he was 3, he moved to Burlington, NC, where he has lived for most of his life since. He attended NC State University for 2 years to study agriculture, then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study economics. While at UNC-CH, Eric founded Creative Screen Designs, a screen printing operation dedicated to the college market. Before the start of his senior year at Chapel Hill, Eric left school to join Tom Sineath as co-owner of TS Designs, Inc. He completed an online permaculture class at NC State University in 2011 taught by his friend and mentor, Will Hooker.

Eric and his wife Lisa recently purchased a small farm in southern Alamance County, moving from their home of 26 years in downtown Burlington. Lisa wanted to be closer to her horses and Eric wanted to get closer to the dirt. Their plan is to convert the 20 year old home on the property to a “net zero” energy home and in the last two years have installed a geothermal system, 4.3 kHw solar array and a wood stove insert. Working with Will Hooker, who helped develop a Permaculutre plan for the 12 acres, they have already planted over 200 trees on the property. They’ve also expanded the vegetable garden and added chickens.

Quote: “I want to push the window of sustainability in order to change the direction of the American society.”

Stephen Fraser

Prior to launching Spoonflower, Stephen worked as a consultant for Internet start-ups and served as marketing director for Lulu.com, from its 2002 launch through 2006. He is also the co-author of an upcoming book on designing your own fabric, scheduled to be published by Abrams Books (under the STC Craft/A Melanie Falick Book imprint) in Fall of 2014, and a graduate of the University of North Carolina. Stephen lives in Chapel Hill with his wife, whose passion for crafting inspired Spoonflower, three daughters, two dogs, two cats, two rabbits, a flock of chickens and assorted fish.

Jessie Williams

On Independence Day in 2002, within two months of graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Jessie launched Edge of Urge, an independent design label and retail shop from a heartfelt vision that was to her “clear as a sparkling diamond”, in a tiny 400-square foot space (let’s be honest, it was a storage closet) in Wilmington, NC.  Although physically tiny, the space had huge impact for Jessie and other local and independent designers as she began selling handmade clothing and accessories designed by her and her friends – creating a business model that acts as a launch pad for like-minded, risk-taking, passionate, some people may call them crazy, designers, creators, and artists. 

 As a direct extension of Jessie’s character, the shop shows an admiration for individuals who creatively use fashion and design as an outlet of personal expression. From her early days as an emerging designer to today, Jessie has fought to prove herself in an industry not always willing to accept the newcomer. But through diligence, determination and the love and support of a core group of family, friends and designers, she has proven herself as a person worthy of notice in the creative community. As a designer and curator for Edge of Urge, Jessie strives not for recognition, but to shift the perception of fashion’s role in our society by encouraging innovative responsible design, conscientious consumerism and empowering self expression.

 As the shop has grown into a larger space at 18 Market St, and the brand has established itself over the past 12 years, Jessie’s vision has garnered national press, an international customer base and helped support an ever-growing community of artisans and designers. The latter being a crucial piece of the heart of Edge of Urge -“I personally, truly enjoy watching designers grow and evolve,” Jessie states. “I truly appreciate each individual’s creativity, and appreciate their trust in us to represent their designs out into the world.”

Grace Gouin

Grace Gouin is a co-founder of Appalatch Outdoor Apparel Company. Appalatch was started with a mission to change the way that clothing is made, sold, and used in the world today. Appalatch adresses issues of sustainability for both people and planet during every step of the product lifecycle. By blending the ancient acts of fiber farming, state of the art production technology, and only partnering with responsible manufacturers Appalatch works tirelessly to create simple and versatile products so that people can buy less and wear their clothes longer. Based in Asheville NC, Grace draws inspiration from the wilds of the mountains to help her shape the creative direction of Appalatch, and the fierce independent nature of the mountain dwellers to keep motivated during the upstream swim for domestic manufacturing. Appalatch has been featured in New York Magazine, Treehugger, Ecouterre, The Washington Post, The Week, Well Spent, and Monocle Magazine.

Ryan Hurley


Ryan and Nadira Hurley own Vert & Vogue, a nationally acclaimed women’s and men’s boutique in downtown Durham. V&V showcases leading American made and independent labels such as Raleigh Denim Workshop, Steven Alan, Chinti & Parker, Melissa Joy Manning and Cydwoq. Its collection also includes Triangle favorites Map of Days and Mill & Bird. Natural fibers, quality construction, timeless design, and American made production are at the heart of V&V’s green sourcing practices. 

Ryan is focused on growing Vert & Vogue’s business and brand and managing its operations. He was the principal buyer at the shop for many years and often plays the role of men’s stylist.

Vert & Vogue, founded in 2008, was named a top store in America by Lucky Magazine. It’s featured in The New York Times article, 36 Hours in Durham. V&V’s a four-time winner of The Independent Weekly's Best Local Women's Boutique and Best Men's Clothing awards.

Kathy Hattori

Kathy Hattori is the founder and President of Botanical Colors and markets natural dyes to artisans and industrial clients seeking the beauty of the sustainable natural color palette. Ms. Hattori is a recognized authority on natural dyes and pigments and commercial applications using natural dyes and has worked in the field since 2003. She developed numerous commercial processes using natural dye extracts in the industrial textile environment. She consults and advises companies on their natural dye implementation strategies and has worked with the largest natural dye houses in the United States, including Swans Island, Bollman Hat Company and Ramblers Way Farm. Her international experience includes creating a natural dye program for IUV, the largest organically certified tannery in Europe and current work in Southeast Asia with a Bluesign certified dye house implementing large scale natural dye programs. She has consulted on the design of an eco-dyehouse in Kenya, a USDA grant on the feasibility of growing natural dye plants in the southeast US and developed a new natural dye knitting yarn line for The Skacel Collection. She teaches and lectures about natural dyes and has written articles for the Turkey Red Journal and is sought after as a speaker about the status of natural dyes in global textile production.

Molly Hemstreet

Molly Hemstreet is a native of and lives in Morganton, NC.  After working in education and as a community organizer she founded Opportunity Threads- a worker-owned, cut and sew company.  She is also the Network Coordinator for the Carolina Textile District, a strategic value chain that is supporting triple bottom line textile production in the Carolinas.

Sophia Hyder

Sophia Hyder is the Founder and CEO of Evolvemint, a travel-inspired social luxe fashion label. She partners with enterprises and projects that support gender integration and women empowerment initiatives globally, a critical element of her model. She also has created a platform for her clientele to understand how they have an impact upon the fashion industry through informed purchasing decisions. Sophia started her professional career in international development working throughout Asia and Africa. She also consults on topics pertaining to social impact, sustainable value chains, new business development strategies related to the eco/sustainability movement, and gender integration strategies. She received her Bachelors in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and her Masters in International Development Policy from Duke University.

Chuck Stewart

Stewart has a 35 year career in international textiles manufacturing and wet processing. Stewart started Tumbling Colors in 1999 as technical resource for designers. The company provides production ready product development for the textile and apparel industries from our 18000 sqft facility in Raleigh NC. 

Michael Fralix, Ph.D

For the last twenty-five years, Dr. Mike Fralix has worked in a variety of capacities at [TC]² and has provided guidance to hundreds of sewn products companies. With thirty-seven years of experience in apparel manufacturing, research and development, and operations and corporate management, he leads the company’s initiatives to develop next-generation supply chain technologies, and work with companies to implement currently available technologies and business processes.

In addition to overseeing [TC]²’s technology development, and technology dissemination initiatives, Dr. Fralix speaks internationally on a variety of topics. He and the [TC]² staff deliver an extensive array of programs and provide services to individual companies. These services span such topics as 3D product development, sizing for fit, virtual dressing, online shopping, additive manufacturing, production scheduling, industrial engineering, ergonomics, re-shoring, full package production, simulation, lean manufacturing systems, sustainable technologies, and the digital supply chain. 

He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Applied Mathematics and Philosophy from North Carolina State University, an MBA from Duke University and a Ph.D. in Technology Management from North Carolina State University. In 2009 he was appointed an Adjunct Associate Professor at N.C. State University and was name Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2013.

Dr. Fralix is also active in several industry organizations. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the AAFA (American Apparel & Footwear Association), Immediate Past Chairman of SPESA (Sewn Products Equipment and Suppliers of the Americas), a member of the Executive Committee of the IAF (International Apparel Federation), Chairman of the Technical Committee of the IAF, and serves on the Board of Trustees for C-CAA (the Caribbean Central American Action). He also is the President of the AAFA Education Foundation, Board Member of the Fashion Scholarship Fund, Past President of the Georgia Soft Goods Education Foundation, and Past Chair of the AAFA Human Resources Leadership Council. And, he was recognized at the OIA (Outdoor Industry Association) Thought Leader’s Dinner in January 2013.

Dr. Fralix’s key message is that tomorrow’s soft goods industry leaders are going to thrive through the use of digital technologies and processes that are integrated across continents. From product development to delivery and logistics, these companies will implement systems that: enable the shortest cycle time from concept to market, provide the most rapid and efficient response to consumer demand, and offer the best value for the investment.

Derek Keller

Derek Keller is a North Carolina native and the creator & owner of 440 Gentleman Supply, a men’s accessory brand based out of Raleigh, NC. Launching in January of 2013, the leather-focused line has seen a tremendous first year of business, selling products to over 20 different states and 3 countries. Derek also serves as the Assistant Director of the NC State University’s Global Luxury Management Program (GLM). GLM is a one-year dual degree master’s program focused on the marketing & management of luxury goods, products, & services. Derek helped to launch the program in 2011 that has since more than doubled in student admissions and gained international recognition. Derek is an NC State alumnus, earning his degree in Business Management and has had over 15 years of experience working in marketing & management for a number of brands. Derek’s passion for handmade, quality goods fuels his commitment in supporting local markets and artisans whose products are built to sustain. His dream is to see a global impact from small businesses as perceptions change on where quality products can emerge from.

Nathan Rothstein

Nathan Rothstein is the co-founder  of Project Repat, a Boston-based company turning customers' memorable t-shirts into t-shirt quilts and creating fair wage jobs in the United States. Project Repat has production partners in former textile manufacturing hubs of America, including Fall River, MA and Morganton, NC. In 2013, their first full year of business, they prevented over 400,000 t-shirts from getting dumped in landfills and created 40,000 hours of fair wage work. Repat has been featured in the Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Fox News, Fast Company and Entrepreneur Magazine.