By Donielle Lorelli

Greetings SEAMS team! I am still a fairly new face to the group, and I’m so honored to have a chance to share a little bit about me and my thoughts in this edition of the Millennial Corner.

How did I get here?

I honestly feel like I lucked into being a part of the textile industry. I grew up in San Diego, Calif., and ended up working for a defense contractor straight out of high school. I was fortunate enough to work my way up from being a summer Intern to an assistant financial analyst, all before I turned 21 years old. I was sprinting along that career path like my life depended on it, and nothing could stop me. Until it could.

About nine months after my son was born, my husband received orders to Indian Head, Md., (go ahead, Google it). It was our first, and last, big move with the Marine Corps (oorah!) and I had no idea what to do, so I quit my job. After we moved to the end of nowhere, I had tough luck finding a job that could challenge me the way I craved.

One day, a fellow mom who I had met at a Meetup Group for playdates told me about a job at National Industries for the Blind (NIB). I’d never heard of the organization, but it sounded interesting, so I applied. Come to find out, NIB is the nation’s largest employment resource for people who are blind. I was offered the opportunity to work in Product Development Support, where I was able to spend a couple of years learning about the wonderful work NIB does to create employment for individuals who are blind or have significant disabilities through the AbilityOne Program.

Transition to textiles

Eventually, an internal job opportunity came up on our Textile Product Development team. At that time, the extent of my textile experience was helping my mom cut out sew many (pun intended) patterns and hemming a few pants as a kid, before growing up and banishing my sewing machine to the storage room to get dusty. Fortunately for me, a textile background was not required, and I got the job!  READ FULL ARTICLE HERE