Charleston, WV woman to teach job skills through pig project - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Woman hopes to teach job skills through pig doll project in Charleston, WV

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Wanda Petunia doll created by Amy Williams. Wanda Petunia doll created by Amy Williams.

Sometimes getting the right skills can be just the thing we need to get a job and improve our life. That is why a Charleston, WV woman is on a mission to spread smiles and opportunities with the help of a pig named Wanda.

"She just kind of came out of my imagination and I started cutting and sewing," explained Amy Williams, the woman who created Wanda.

Williams first created the character of pig, Wanda Petunia through stories she wrote about love and self discovery. Then she decided to bring Wanda to life by crafting a doll.

"Her message is about self love and having adventure and improving your life and so it is a message I feel good about," Williams said.

Williams is hoping to spread Wanda's love by starting the Wanda Petunia Sewing Collective. The idea is that she and others will teach low income women how to make Wanda dolls. She hopes the work will give them, not just a pay check, but also sewing skills and opportunity.

"People who love to sew or be creative, it is a way for them to do that and make an income," Williams said.
Julie Wirts is the owner of the Dressmaker's Closet in South Hills. She is helping Williams with the project. She said the skills people would learn making Wanda dolls could give them an edge and knowledge that is needed to fill a void in the local marketplace.

"We stay very busy and I really could hire 3 more people right now," Wirts said. "But it is a skill that doesn't exist any more. I'm excited about possibly finding someone that could work here."

Williams is hoping that with a pig, passion and a plan she can give people in the community the building blocks they need to get to a better life.

"It is an actual skill that you can learn and build self esteem," Williams said. "They are actually making something fun and we are teaching them to sew."

For more information about the Wanda Petunia Sewing Collective project just follow the link provided.