January 20, 2015

Molly Hemstreet 

Opportunity Threads

Kristin Tidwell

Sew Specialized

The Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) has helped North Carolina businesses grow and create new jobs since 1984. This program provides management counseling and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses. Most of their services are free of charge, and all are confidential. By providing entrepreneurs with the tools they need to build and grow successful businesses, the SBTDC positively impacts NC’s economy. This program facilitates the incredible ability to bring a product idea to fruition in addition to keeping the process completely within North Carolina to keep jobs and technology growth locally. 

Molly founded Opportunity Threads, a worker-owned cut and sew operation in Morganton, NC. Opportunity Threads’ goals are to rejuvenate the textile industry in North Carolina, to support local sustainable industry, and to create jobs and long-term assets for the individuals who work in and co-own the company

Kristin Alexandra Tidwell is a designer, founder of Sew Specialized and Be Well Designed, and a consultant for creative businesses. She has over three decades of high-level, professional experience in multiple creative fields including hands-on experience in research, design, development, and leading teams to produce apparel, accessories, hats, bags, footwear, textiles, home furnishings, and costumes.  In a creative career spanning 25 years, Kristin has worked in the entertainment, fashion and textile industries and her work has been seen or used in millions of homes.  There is nothing Kristin loves more than to mentor creativity and empower others.  She is passionate about intertwining creativity, wellness and design that makes a difference in our daily lives. 

Ryan Taylor

Western Carolina University’s SBDTC

Meet the Amazing Partners in this Project: 


I am very excited to finally say this product has started the initial production phase locally in North Carolina. This project started in early 2013 as a dream of a product that would be the first hybrid design of its type to merge the control of a custom orthotic insert and the comfort of a flexible brace. This design originated directly from the anatomical architecture of the foot and concepts of biomechanical movement between the 3 segments  and 4 arch systems of the foot.

“On the Horizon…Provisional patent and initial production phase for a foot garment to relieve plantar arch pain.”