A Tailor and Drupal


I began working as a tailor when I was 13 at Lenox Square, but my fascination was with the emerging personal computer. In the seventies we created simple programs in "basic" on a TRS 80. Then an explosion occurred and Microsoft dominated, we who liked to hack were left out in the cold.

Software fascinated me, and by virtue of starting in the tailor trade at a young age, I had also become a good tailor and could work my way through colledge. In 1976 I opened a shop at Phipps Plaza where we did alterations for retail stores at Lenox, Cumberland and Guffeys downtown.

We eventually did work for 12 local stores until Don Guffey made me an offer I could not refuse and I became his head tailor.

I had established the first piece rate system for alterations where I had seamstress specialized in certain aspects of the work. I paid only for what they produced so they produced a great deal of work.

My father made custom tailored clothes but struggled as he found it difficult to compete with manufactured clothes. I, as all tailors, wanted to make garments and not just do alterations.

By the 1960's the tailoring business could no longer compete with manufactured clothes. The advent of CTM, (cut make and trim), or manufactured custom clothes, made the traditional tailor shop obsolete. The skills required to make these clothes were vanishing.

In the 80's John Portman was building buildings in Asia, and most all clothing manufacturing was also moving there. It was clear that if I wished to continue in the tailor trade it would need to be in a location with far lower wage scales than Atlanta          

As a sideline to my tailoring business I invested in real estate. I eventually had enough savings, to consider building a small offshore factory that would make custom hand made clothing for a local Atlanta clientele.

In the late 1990's I began taking equipment and materials to Chile and establishing a small shop making trousers. Over time I hired and trained tailors to make the coats and suits. By 2006 our concept had won the entrepreneur prize at Wharton and we had a couple of hot shot Wharton grads taking exclusive agreements to all our production.

Unfortunately in 2008 the economy fell apart and so did this long venture in Chile.

Today my shop is in Villa Rica, I can still make clothes but do mostly alterations. I visit clients in Atlanta or here in Villa Rica by appointment.  At the Villa Rica shop I offer a limited production left over from the Chilean adventure, fine hand made clothing at great prices while they last.

Having begun as a tailor so young, I have had time to pursue a second avocation and this is called Drupal ...


Besides the craftsmanship needed to make a really good hand made suit, manufactured custom clothing is about the control of data. Who is the client, who made the sleeves; what cloth, what buttons; the length of the out seam, the width of the lapel - accurate data. I had been working on software that would track all this data to piece rate the work and pay the tailors for the work they did. An online system that would even plot the custom pattern out onto the cutting table.

In 2008 the economy crashed and the tailoring business failed, yet I continued to work with open source MySQL, and a server based system called Joomla. I could see the future where these systems would dominate all data and computer related work. I began calling universities to see who taught PHP (most had no clue what it was), I finally found a university in Connecticut that said they would have their students work on such a system for the fall class.

But over that summer I discovered Drupal, and fell in love.

The system had already been built, it was open source and was moving along faster than anyone could have ever imagined.

I focused head long on Drupal, the problem was that no one knew what it was. I began to build community sites and to show people how it works, no one wanted to know. Then a couple of years ago I decided to build a retail venue where we would have the vendors use the software as social media.

No one understood what the project was about, it failed. 

Clearly the gods want me to continue tailoring, so maybe you will consider this new technology and also let me be yout tailor.    

More about open source software  Click here for further info