i first visited florence, alabama and alabama chanin 8 or 9 years ago during one of their alabama adventure weekends (anyone who was there knows how much fun these weekends were!). over time, natalie and i got to be friends. to know natalie is to be pulled into her orbit...i now try to get to florence every year if possible, just to absorb all that they are doing there and learn from it; a few hundred of us even picked cotton together a few falls ago. natalie's company has grown so much since i met them; it has be fun and inspiring to watch them grow. these days they have so much going on: hand-sewn garments, machine-sewn garments, a café´, a store, a great online journal- i am sure i am forgetting something! i really appreciate them letting me learn from them over all these years.