Amy Ackley
I am a de novo stage IV breast cancer lifer since November 2014, when I was 33. I was about 6 months into a new dream career, 1 year into owning a farm, & 20 months into being a new mom. 
My chief inspirations are my girls, now 8 & 21; and my lifelong best friends. We try our best to share new adventures together, to hold space for each other, and are always cheering for one another! I am so proud and humbled to be a part of this amazing Forge event. Forge has unwaveringly been there for me since my diagnosis and being able to serve others as a mentor is precious to me. 
Charlotte Rand
I am the founder and owner of an independent fabric shop called Sandalwood Fabrics. My love of fabric and textiles started when I lived and worked in India for a fair trade fashion company (House of Wandering Silk), where I got an unbeatable education in handmade, high-quality fabrics and the fashion industry. I am passionate about fair trade goods and ethical supply chains within the fashion industry, working with women's cooperatives in Guatemala and generational craftspeople in India. I based my business on a desire to provide ethically and sustainably sourced fabric and sewing supplies for makers in the US and the state of Alabama. After returning from India with suitcases full of gorgeous handwoven and naturally dyed fabrics, I decided I needed to learn how to sew and dove right into the world of garment making.  I am a self-taught sewist but comes from several generations of quilters on my mom's side of the family.  I hope to pass on my love of sewing and cultivate a community of makers in Birmingham through sewing classes and meetups. You can find me at or on Instagram at @sandalwood_fabrics and @isewbhm.
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