A Laramie organization that teaches women to sew, knit and crochet is holding a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money to stay open for another year. The Hilde Project teaches classes in sewing, knitting and crocheting to give women a marketable skill.
Bren Lieskie, an instructor at The Hilde Project, said these days knitting and sewing are almost ancient arts.
“A lot of people don’t know these things. So many of our students have either learned from their grandmother or their mother, and I don’t even think they teach home [economics] very much in many schools, and so that’s why we’re trying to get back to that. We want to enable people to make a living wage from some of these skills,” she said.
Lieskie added that teaching women a skill they can be paid for is especially needed in Wyoming, where women earn just 64 cents for every dollar paid to a man – the largest gender wage gap in the country.
“We are underpaid as far as Wyoming standards and nationwide. And we don’t have as many employment opportunities either, and so that’s why we’re working with women,” said Lieskie.
When it began last year The Hilde Project was grant funded through the Ellbogen Foundation and The Allstate Foundation, but those grants have since run out. Now the organization is trying to raise money through the platform The Local Crowd; so far they have raised nearly $2,500 of the $7,000 goal. The campaign runs through October 17.