"A Thing Made Very Well"

Fashion Design & Apparel Tech Academy | Apparel-Textile Production Atelier | Fashion Label Consulting & Resourcing Services

NTUMA'PA is RWU's Textile Studio, Apparel Production Atelier and Artisan Training Academy and Fashion Incubator.

Atelier NTUMA'PA and Fashion Incubator Programs are open to emerging, established fashion designers and experienced apparel technicians and other fashion industry professionals of ALL ethnicities and levels!!!

In March 2012, RunWay Underground launched NTUMA'PA, as our new textile and apparel production studio and sourcing services to provide support to our member and in-house designers and Apparel Techs as well as to other Austin designers and textile product retailers. This textile studio and apparel production atelier along with the sourcing service component of RWU is being staffed and managed by our growing team of expert and highly skilled textile and apparel technicians (stitchers, pattern makers, weavers, dyers, pressers, drapers...), hand-work and surface artisans each with 10 to 50+ years of experience behind them. Our Apparel Techs and artisans are here to assist our in-house and local designers engineer and create sample pieces and small production runs of their collections and accessory products. This service is essential to the sustainability, success and sanity of any designer/label because we  — designers can't [always] do it all.

RWU's vision for NTUMA'PA: Textile Studio and Apparel Production Atelier, Apparel Tech and artisan Academy Training Programs and Sourcing Services is to: 

  • Connect area designers and labels with experienced local Apparel Techs and artisan producers. 
  • Build a platform and model that will help establish Austin as a garment and textile manufacturing industry hub where there currently isn't much of one.
  • To create non-traditional trade skill jobs, especially for the women and mothers of Austin's local  Black, Diaspora Caribbean and Afrikan immigrant and refugee communities who have sewing, textile and other creative talents.
  • We want these talented women (and men) to utilize and hone, as well as perpetuate their artistic cultural traditions to                                     enhance western-contemporary sewing and garment construction techniques as a means to provide for themselves and their families.
  • Provide training in certain garment manufacturing techniques to increase our production staff and contractors' skill sets. 

Of course, production staff positions will be open to men and other cultural/ethnic artistic traditions to create and maintain new jobs in Austin and provide our designers and clients with with unique, diverse and quality services. 

We feel that Atelier NTUMA'PA is a much needed service and new component of RWU will not only begin to finally help meet the high demand for Austin's numerous professional fashion and accessories designers and non-existent apparel manufacturing industry here, we know it will also balloon into a major resource for alternative jobs for Austin's talented and many under served residents.

If you are a designer or label in need of patterns makers, expert sewing/apparel technicians to make your samples or small production runs (up to 50 of the same garments/pieces) and/or for detail hand needlework (i.e. embroidery, beading, finish work, crochet, knitting, applique...). RWU's NTUMA'PA Production Workroom Program will facilitate connecting Austin and TX designers, labels and textile product retailers with sourcing their apparel needs with our textile and apparel production staff and contractors.

We also offer assistance with identifying other qualified manufacturing sources (i.e. shoe manufactures, wholesale textile and notions suppliers — US, Afrika and India, machine/equipment sources, repair and maintenance...) and consultation services for start-up designers. This consultation includes the initial consultation appointment, a list of qualified production workrooms and facilities for each category of merchandise you are manufacturing, a list of wholesalers and other support resources and a follow up appointment to fine tune the sourcing lists received from us.

Atelier NTUMA'PA sample and pattern making and apparel construction fees will be based on the individual project's level of complexity, quantities being produced and materials being used.  Our in-house/staff and contract sewers, pattern makers, textile and hand work artisans do not work from home, off site or go to our clients studios/workrooms. All textile production and apparel construction is done on site in our production studios and workroom by our in-house/staff and contract artisans. This is necessary to maintain a high level of quality control; to ensure that deadlines are met; cohesive and clear communications; concise billing, and for convenience. Clients are welcome and encouraged to visit our workroom during any phase of the apparel production process of their orders. 

After weeks of careful consideration and taking steps to reconfigure and safe-guarding our atelier staff and work spaces to adhere to city, state and national COVID-19 social distancing and sanitary guidelines, our NTUMA'PA Textile and Apparel Production Atelier will begin taking appointments for virtual production and souring consultations regarding your apparel production needs for orders/projects beginning again 1 September. 

Please contact us at 512.650.8281 to set up virtual appointments for Sourcing Consultations and production assessments. 

Email us for a Sourcing Registration Form at [email protected] Please put "NTUMA'PA Sourcing" or "Apparel Production"in the subject line.

There are also a limited number of apprentice opportunities available for novice and experienced hand stitchers and those who have an interest in hand beading, embroidery, sequin application and other fine hand work in our up and coming Atelier.  Our goal is to establish and develop a tradition of teaching and providing a high quality artisan level of hand work that will also help meet the needs and visions of local (and national) couturié designers that are usually filled by Paris, Italian and Indian ateliers. 

Our Atelier Apparel Technicians, Textile Artisans and Lead Academy Team includes:

  • Nailah I. Akinyémi-Sankofa — Founder/CEO, Creative Executive Director, Program Coordinator, Instructor
  • Dr. Aziza Braithwaite Bey, PhD — Mentor, Consultant, Academy Program Emeritus Advisory Director and Instructor
  • Mz. Pearlie M. Rowland — Premiere-Lead Apparel Technician & Atelier Supervisor, Program Coordinator, Instructor 
  • Ms. Marsha M. Crawley — Lead Apparel Technician and Textile Artisan
  • Heather Bache — Lead Apparel Technician and Textile Artisan, Instructor
  • Gale Williams — Lead Apparel Technician, Textile Consultant, Instructor
  • Tessa Marsh — Lead Apparel Technician, Workroom Manager, Instructor
  • Fransetta Stanfield — Apparel Technician
  • Karen Edvina Scruggs — Marketing and Design Consultant
  • Edna Laura — Collection-Design Consultant

Our Apprentice Team:
Our Apprentice Team:

  • Marshawn Brooks
  • Lucero Archuleta Valle
  • Martin Gonzales

Atelier NTUMA'PA Textile Artisan and Apparel Tech Team Opportunities:

We are always interested in adding talented and experienced textile artisans and Apparel Technicians to our production teams. Experienced and expert sewers, pattern makers, graders, hand stitchers, needlework and surface design artisans may submit their contact information and qualifications via our online registration form on our "Designer Registry" page (click here). 

Please include additional information about yourself and your experience in the "Additional Information" field on the form. Or submit the following via email to: [email protected]:

  • A brief bio or resume of your sewing/textile training, work/project experience
  • Your area(s) of expertise and interest
  • Three industry or client references, and
  • 3-5 examples of your work (i.e. website links or JPG, PNG or PDF formatted attachments only. [Each image should not be larger                    than 2MB.]  

All potential Atelier production team applicants must be:

  • Available to work both remotely and in our production workroom when possible following our sanitary and social distancing measures 
  • If working remotely (from home or personal studio space) that is totally smoke-free and cate-free environment and work must be completed and/or returned on time or when requested by the Atelier director and/or project managers.
  • Must speak and read fluent English (or French)
  • Sign a non-disclosure (ND) agreement
  • Have a minimum of 5 years of professional textile and/or apparel production experience in your area of interest/expertise
  • Pay based on level of experience and project budgets 

Don't forget your contact information. We will contact stand out applicants for additional information or to schedule a virtual interview after reviewing submissions. These positions are paid by the hour or by project not piece work. 

Please send required information to: [email protected]

Be sure to put "Atelier Team Opportunities" in the email subject line or use our online registry Click Here.

No phone calls please regarding our atelier team positions (this does not include employment agencies, job centers, schools or other workroom directors).

NTUMA'PA = "Special made/high quality clothe" or "a thing [textiles] made very well" in Twi/Akan - Ghana, West Afrika