Last year, I had the op- portunity to participate in the Lowell Boys & Girls Club teens/professional mixer evening. It was such a pleasure to see young people so enthusiastic about what their futures could be and to tell about their inspiring dreams of becoming fashion designers, scientists, stem-cell researchers and tradesmen.
One girl was very interested in interior design, which led me to offer a visit to my showroom, where five girls participated in playing with fabric swatches and choosing paint colors.
Once Angel Brunelle, director of development at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lowell, had mentioned that they had a few industrial sewing machines donated to them, it was the perfect opportunity to donate discontinued fabric swatches and bolts of fabric for them to get creative with.
With the assignment at the Boston Design Center, we planned a field trip for the children to visit. This week, 10 girls toured various showrooms of fabrics, paints and furnishings. The showrooms were very welcoming to these young girls. They learned what a nail head is and button tufting on a chair, and loved the abstract paintings viewed from the Webster & Company showroom window.
The girls were amazed at the cowhide rugs in the Grange showroom, where manager Mary Bess Engel, described how the furniture is from France.
Tammy from Farrow & Ball explained the process of the painted wallcoverings to the girls as they were so fascinated and had so many questions.
The Cowtan & Tout showroom may have been their favorite, fanning through fabric wings of yards of beautiful patterns and colors, and learning about tapestries and textures for furniture. Interior designer Eric Haydel gave each of the girls fabric swatches to take with them from his new showroom.
This all comes with the excitement of the Boys & Girls Club of Great Lowell creating a new 1,091-square-foot Maker Space for their popular STEM programs, including Aviation, Computer-Aided Fashion Design, and FIRST Lego League Robotics by repurposing existing spaces. The Maker Space will provide hands-on programs and address the need for teens to have access to workforce development and 21st-century skills that are imperative in the current job market.
Along with the Maker Space comes improvements and renovations to the flooring, storage area, bathroom and network connections for computers. The club also plans to purchase computers and tablets for the STEM programs.
Lowell is lucky to have the wonderful organization not only to provide a safe haven for children, but also prepare them for the future through their dedicated staff and innovative programs in a safe environment.
Grants are being written to help with creating and building this wonderful Maker Space for the city's children. Broadening these young minds through interactive programs and field trips creates a passion and desire to succeed with whatever career path they choose.
Thank you to the Boston Design Center and Jamestown LP for allowing this wonderful experience for the girls. Helping them to broaden their creative horizon is not only rewarding, but also makes a difference in their quest for a brighter future.