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Intern Profile: Kristina Nelson ’15

June 23, 2014

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Kristina Nelson ’15

Major: Studio art and psychology
Hometown: Davis, California

Can you tell us what you’re doing this summer? What are your basic duties as an intern?

This summer I am interning at Portland Garment Factory (PGF), which is an independently owned manufacturing house in Southeast Portland. It is run in its entirety by two women who engage in sustainable, ethical business practices and traditional techniques to serve as a valuable resource for local clothing designers and companies. Their services include pattern drafting and sizing, construction of sample garments and prototypes, size grading, fabric sourcing, design consultation, and production of actual garments. Thus far I have assisted with setting up PGF’s exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Craft (open until mid-October, check it out!); helped out with a fashion show for Houseline, PGF’s own women’s wear line; set up a new organizational system for fabric samples and threads kept in stock; and restructured their price list system. In my remaining weeks here, I will also work to implement a zero-waste goal so the fabric scraps generated in the factory are donated or put to use in other ways and do not end up in a landfill. Additionally, I am working with the owners to learn as much as possible about owning and maintaining a sustainable small business. 

How has Lewis & Clark supported you in the process of finding, securing, and funding your internship? 

I would not be able to perform an in-depth internship at Portland Garment Factory this summer if I did not have funding from the Fowler and Levin award. If I had not received this award, I would have had to work at a full-time minimum wage job. Given that scenario, I would, at best, have been able to get involved with PGF on only an occasional basis, so I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity.    

How do you see this internship leading to a career in your chosen field and aiding in your overall career development?

Although my post-graduation plans are not yet clearly defined, I have always been inclined to run some kind of creative business. While I am not completely sure what kind of form that would take, interning at PGF will give me hands-on relevant instruction in the process of designing commercial products, as well as the technical details of what it takes to run a business. What I am learning at PGF will also assist me in shaping my career plans. 

Finally, the design elements that I am gaining from this internship will be extremely helpful in the execution my final project for the Senior Art Show next year. My art concentration is in fiber arts and embroidery, so my experience at PGF will translate extremely well.    

The Stephanie Fowler and Irving Levin Summer Internship Award was established by Stephanie Fowler M.A. ’97 and Irving Levin, generous donors committed to ensuring that Lewis & Clark students are able to having meaningful and enriching summer internship experiences. 

Career Development Art Department Psychology Department