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11 08, 2021

Unique Sewn Pieces Help To “Illuminate” At Special Gala Event

By |August 11th, 2021|Clients, Projects|0 Comments

We have a lot of fun with our clients by offering some “out of the box” answers to their unique, creative, and completely original soft-goods design ideas. The incredibly innovative production manager Kevin Swank from CYM Lighting came to us with a truly imaginative “prop” idea on a special design they worked on last year pre-pandemic. They were going to be doing the production and lighting design for an exceptionally significant and high-profile upcoming event. The Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards sponsored by Desert AIDS Project (DAP) is a yearly Coachella Valley fundraising gala that helps offer much needed primary medical care, affordable housing and medical testing, and social, dental, and behavioral services for those inflicted with the disease and for the loved ones directly affected by it. 

Hosted by the talented Broadway, Film, and Television actress Kristen Chenoweth, Kevin and his team knew that this was going to be an extraordinary night, and so he wanted to build a vibrant and distinctive production design that their audience wouldn’t soon forget. Taking place in the fabulous Palm Springs Convention Center, they had a huge grand ballroom that they were able to transform into a colorful and exciting red-carpet event for this important awards show. With guests such as Barry Manilow and Garry Kief, and with an audience filled with over 2000 enthusiastic and delighted guests, Kevin and his team wanted to fashion a design that would be colorful and dazzling, and still be versatile enough to help give a one-of-a-kind look for each segment of the festivities.

Kevin envisioned having some really fun prop pieces to add to the general ambiance of the gala’s motif, and worked with our manufacturing team to help him be able to build larger than life “theatrical light fixtures”. Cym Lighting built their own ring-frames for the structures, and we then provided them with custom soft goods to tie onto them to help give the illusion of having these large light fixtures, like ones you’d see on a movie set. These were constructed with a specially ordered Silver-Chrome Vinyl for the reflective inside element, and opaque black FR Commando Cloth for the outside. Their team then used paint to help “dirty up” the outside so that it would look like most movie light fixtures do when they get roughed up over the years.

Lighting Designer added John Lotz did a remarkable job adding various beautiful and striking colored lighting throughout the event, to not only along the walls but also within the light fixtures themselves. This genuinely helped tie in the overall feel for each speech and award, and gave them a gorgeous background to have for each speaker. Brilliantly produced by Debbie Chapman (Director of Fundraising Events, for DAP), the end result of this gala event was an extraordinary success! We were beyond thrilled with how fantastic those custom prop pieces turned out, and are excited to work on the next exclusive design project with Kevin again. Contact one of our helpful account reps today, and we will be very happy to assist you on your next unique stage or production design elements, too.

24 05, 2021

Voices Of Our City Choir Is Rockin’ Our MusiCares C-19 Relief Fund Face Masks

By |May 24th, 2021|Masks, News|1 Comment

Helping to support those in the music industry is a cause we here at SW? Inc. have always felt very passionately about. Therefore, we wanted to try and do something special to help the music creators and professionals in this industry who have been hit so very hard by this pandemic economically, as well as physically and mentally. We are so proud to have been able to show our heartfelt gratitude to the music industry at large by donating $1 to the indispensable MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund for every single one of our custom made MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund dual-layered cloth face masks—designed so brilliantly by Sew What? friend and skilled entertainment industry graphic artist John Rios of John Rios Designs. This monetary donation included every single one of this style of mask that we either sold or donated over the last year since we launched the MusiCares mask back in April 2020

We have been particularly happy to be able to donate these funds directly to this organization, which is a truly fantastic aid organization that “helps the humans behind music.” Offering preventive, emergency, and recovery programs, MusiCares is a safety net supporting the health and welfare of the music community across a broad spectrum of issues. It provides a safety net of critical health and welfare services to the music community in three key areas—Mental Health, Health Services, and Human Services. Founded by the Recording Academy in 1989, MusiCares safeguards the well-being of all music people through direct financial grant programs, networks of support resources, and tailored crisis relief efforts. Our amazing customers stepped up in a big way to buy these special face masks, enabling us to be able to continue to donate money to this incredible cause—and every dollar helps!

Recently, we were truly honored to have been able to make a donation of these custom made C-19 MusiCares dual-layered cloth (reusable/washable) face masks to the amazing and inspiring individuals with the Voices Of Our City Choir down in San Diego, California. You may recognize their name from Season 15 of America’s Got Talent, where not only did they get Terry Crews’ “Golden Buzzer” during their audition, but they made it all the way to the semi-finals!

A little background on this indispensable choir….They consist of both sheltered and unsheltered/homeless individuals in the San Diego region, those recently sheltered but near the poverty line and in fear of returning to homelessness, as well as housed and stable members of our society who want to be a part of the solution. With over 225 members at any given time, Voices of Our City Choir‘s weekly rehearsals and programs have become a beacon of hope for those experiencing homelessness. Professional musicians, staff, and volunteers provide a safe space each week for music making – providing them “outreach” without it actually feeling like outreach. Their choir members are given the option to work with their Case Managers and Peer Support Specialists (individuals who have lived experience of homelessness) working at their pace, thus building trust and a bond from people who show that they value them as a person. And most importantly, their staff is trained to recognize the individual and to build a strong rapport and connect the person with all of the resources that are available to them—which has helped dozens of their members move from homelessness to housing in just five short years. Very impressive indeed!

Even though the country is slowly but surely getting their crucial vaccinations for Covid-19, we know that people will need to continue to wear masks for a while to come, until enough of the country obtains them and we can reach herd immunity. Plus when out and about in public we just can’t know for sure who is vaccinated and who isn’t, so wearing a face mask is going to be an important part of our daily lives indefinitely. Public speaking and live performing offers their members an immediate opportunity to develop and professionalize their speaking and presentation skills, while also offering the general population the opportunity to see that people experiencing homelessness are actual human beings with hopes and dreams, and how homelessness can happen to anyone. And since the Voices Of Our City choir is typically invited to perform all around Southern California with up to 7 performances in a single month, we are so glad that they will be able to continue to do so in a safe manner by wearing our dual-layered SW face masks.

Being able to donate these special face masks to Voices Of Our City Choir, and then be able to donate the funds directly to MusiCares, has been a win-win-win for everyone involved—especially for us! We couldn’t have been happier to help out in our own unique way, as we know that in trying times like these we all need to be able to rely on one another for help, support, and encouragement as much as possible.

7 04, 2021

Hustle Like U Broke Podcast Interview with Megan Duckett

By |April 7th, 2021|Company, News|1 Comment

So interesting (and fun) to listen to Hustle Like U Broke (HLUB), a podcast focused on the live concert and entertainment industry. Matthew Walt, Kyle Hamilton, Christine Dallas, and Chris Lee are industry veterans who share their perspectives on the state of the industry as well as featuring interviews with a wide variety of people who work behind the scenes of live entertainment.

And this week’s guest is none other than our own Megan Duckett! In today’s episode, titled “Passion, Profit, and Perserverance,” Megan and the HLUB team talk about Megan’s early days in the concert touring industry, the origins of Sew What? Inc., how the company has evolved over the years, and much more. The episode is informative, interesting, and definitely amusing!

Want to listen? You can tune in on your favorite service, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, and more. I’m looking forward to bingeing on their previous episodes now that I have discovered them!