Dallas originally came to us as an Americorps VISTA in 2008, where he spent a year helping put Appliance Depot on the map. Since then, he’s been a board member, our media specialist, and now our Executive Director. Originally from Skagit County, he moved to Bellingham to attend WWU in 1997 and has been here since (sort of… barring a couple detours in Upstate New York and Orcas Island). He lives with his wife Jamie and their son Fox and loves to play guitar, write, bike, spend time in the woods, play tennis, volleyball, frisbee, and just about anything else outside, active, or creative.
Shan SparlingProgram Manager
Shan brings a wealth of management experience to Ragfinery and has built a great staff team of employees, volunteers and worker trainees. She loves her job because it brings together her creative interests, her business skills, and her concern for the environment. Shan most enjoys the product development process at Ragfinery and serving the variety of customers she meets daily. Shan is also a licensed massage therapist and has done body and energy work focused on nurturing and empowering women. She lives with her husband, Jeff, and her demanding puppy, Jessie.
Madeline RubleeAssistant Manager
If you’ve been looking for an enthusiastic listener to hear about all of your marvelous crafting tales and ideas, Madeline is your girl! As cashier, she’s at the forefront of all the exciting retail action at Ragfinery. She started sewing when she was 14 and after a bumpy start that resulted in an injured pinky, a trip to the ER, and the knowledge that sewing past bedtime is ill advised, she’s still working at it and most enjoys making gifts for her nephews. Madeline feels blessed to work for a non-profit that so strongly supports the community and the environment while creating an atmosphere that attracts a huge variety of people who add their own beautiful pattern to the patchwork of such a magical place.
New to Bellingham, Erin started volunteering at Ragfinery to sink some roots into the community and soon after joined as a part-time staff member. From social worker in Denver to real estate agent in Chicago, and small business owner in Seattle, Erin has tried on lots of occupational hats before heading way northwest. Erin has always been enthusiastic about engagement in her local community, and has found a great fit in Ragfinery. She spends most of her days with a hoop and needle in hand, stitching up orders for her online shop, wrenbirdarts.
Alannya Sowers Production & Pricing
Alannya’s role at Ragfinery has evolved from volunteer to intern, and now employee as she’s made herself an integral part of our team. She’s become our speciality items guru for those unique items which we either don’t know what they are or how to price them. Alannya is originally from Ohio and landed in Bellingham to attend school at WWU. She is currently studying Sustainable Textile and Food production at Fairhaven College, and is inspired by Ragfinery’s mission to reduce textile waste. In her other life, she is a mother of an adorable toddler and loves cooking and crafting… mostly for her son.
Elena SteccaBusiness Office Manager
Ask Elena if she wants to try something new, and her answer is an enthusiastic, “Yes!”. From improv performance to paranormal research, Elena embraces new experiences with zest. Born in Venezuela, Elena is a fluent Spanish-speaker. She has worked in the non-profit sector for over twelve years and is pleased to continue that work at both Appliance Depot and Ragfinery, valuing their contributions to sustainability and local job creation. At work Elena keeps day-to-day operations running smoothly. When she’s not at work or out on her next adventure, she’s probably at home cooking up a delicious meal and cozying up with her husband, their three hedgehogs, and three cats.
Celina TateMedia Specialist/Workshop Coordinator
A native of Vancouver Island, Celina was lured by love to Bellingham in 2006. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Design from Emily Carr University and has worked in the areas of advertising, print production, and as a freelance graphic designer. Outside of work, Celina keeps busy participating in lots of community-building activities, reading to her kids, taking pictures of her food, and walking for miles. She used to walk for kilometers, but has finally given up and converted from metric. After a few years as Director of Research and Development in her household (aka stay-at-home mom), Celina was excited to join the Ragfinery team where she gets to wear many “hats”.
Sierra is originally from the Olympic Peninsula, just a stone’s throw over the water, but has inhabited Bellingham for the love and appreciation of what is here. She is currently a student working on her Bachelor of Arts degree. Ragfinery is a working experience that is helping her to develop a makers relationship with sustainability. She is in the back sorting loads of clothes, yes loads. That aside, her goal is to work for a small business that offers creative solutions to the community. The opportunity here is to indulge her creative aspirations through reusing and reimagining the very daily items we tend to throw away.
Rebecca Williams – Sorter Rebecca first found herself in Bellingham to attend WWU, and since graduating in 2011 with a B.A in Environmental Education has continued to make this place her home. This is her second time as a staff member at Ragfinery, as she spent a year working here in 2015 before leaving to travel in Southeast Asia. She loves to sew, and is passionate about upcycling clothing and quality textiles. When she isn’t working behind the scenes at Ragfinery in the sorting area, Rebecca also teaches weekly bellydance classes and performs locally.