New clothing line hopes to boost economy, cut crime in Frayser

Cooper and Adams working at BEE Memphis. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Cooper and Adams working at BEE Memphis. (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A new clothing line created in Frayser hopes to improve the community and give young people a chance to make something of themselves.

The new clothing line is called BEE Memphis, which stands for Becoming Economically Empowered.

The announcement came from three men in the community who said they want to reverse economic decline.

"There is this stigma that something must be wrong with Frayser when people don't come to live here when jobs are taken away," BEE Memphis Vice President of Marketing Lee Adams said.

Organizers hope to first turn BEE Memphis into a manufacturing company. Then, they want to fill jobs in the company with Frayser youth.

Mario Cooper is a high school student who is no stranger when it comes to thread work.His dream is to become a fashion designer.

At home, Cooper does his own sewing projects and hopes more youth get involved with the new clothing line in order to lower crime rates.

"This area of Frayser is just killing and arguing, so I feel like this could actually grab some teens just like myself to actually do something different," Cooper said.

For now, BEE Memphis apparel will be created within the walls of Union Grove Baptist Church,

Beginners will start in the workshop upstairs by learning on a commercial sewing machine. As they get more comfortable, they will move on to learning production skills.

"Having actual men mentor me, they can actually show me a lot of things and eventually I can latch out on my own," Cooper said.

As organizers celebrate BEE Memphis, they also have a message for our president.

"We are saying to Mr. Trump, keep your word and keep your promise, to make manufacturing the center piece of your presidency," Adams said.

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