One way she demonstrates her grit is through Make Welcome, a sewing group for refugee women. Not only does Mary teach classes to refugees, she provides materials for the organization.

After studying interior design in school, Mary Hamby realized that her true passion lied in working with her hands. She has always loved creating masterpieces with her hands and materials. After graduating in 2015, she fearlessly jumped into the realm of small business and opened Twenty-Two West.

One of Mary’s inspirations behind Twenty-Two West is the South’s love of textile. She is proud to be from an area that contains so many different textiles and she enjoys turning them into modern designs. She compares this process to old textile mills that are now used as lofts because it’s where nostalgia meets modernity.

Keeping with this love, Mary ensures that all of her materials are sourced responsibly, while still sustainable. She uses naturally dyed alpaca fiber, reclaimed wood, and wild North Carolina clay to create “charm, whimsy, and character in a way you just cannot with mass produced items.” To Mary, grit is believing in your vision and having the collective strength to pursue it wholeheartedly.

One way she demonstrates her grit is through Make Welcome, a sewing group for refugee women. Not only does Mary teach classes to refugees, she provides materials for the organization. Sometimes, she meets such an incredible person that she brings them on to her team, like her production assistant.

Mary’s goal is to grow Twenty-Two West so that she can help to employ more refugee women and help them start a life here in the States. Oh, and the name? Twenty-Two West is part of Mary’s childhood home’s address, which is just another way she says “thanks” to her family for supporting her along her journey.

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Mary Hamby