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Long hours, low pay, and big dreams...

Hi there.  I’m Hattie Morehead, and for a 19-year-old, I’ve screwed up my life pretty good so far. I grew up in a town in Tennessee the size of a mud puddle, and I’d planned to be somewhere else by now doing something important.  Instead I got myself pregnant, dropped out of high school, and took a job at the same sewing factory that sucked the life out of my mother and my grandmother.

My relatives are shady, my friends are freaks, and my romantic prospects are dim. But this small-town girl has big dreams:

Someday I’m gonna get out of here.
Someday everyone will know my name.
Because someday instead of sewing designer clothes for minimum wage, I’ll have my own clothing line.

I admit, at times that day seems far, far away. But I’m gonna make it happen. I simply have to.

For now, I’m hanging in and hanging on… by a thread.



 The FACTORY GIRL daily serial will run July 1 - December 31, 2019.  Each day's episode will display for 24 hours, approximately 4am-4am Eastern.   Come back every day to read the serial for free, or if you need to catch up or read ahead, a monthly novella will be available the first of each month, exclusively from Amazon. Meanwhile, please tell all your reader friends to join us for this fun project! 


July 20, Saturday

“LOOKS GOOD, HATTIE,” Mr. Petersen said, peering at the buttons on a shirt I’d repaired. “You know, if you didn’t sew them on so tight, you’d have more repeat business.”

I laughed and pocketed the money he paid me. Then he extended another bag. “More of the same, just drop them off next Saturday.”

“Will do,” I said, then loaded Jake back into the SUV.

“See Mamaw?” Jake asked.

He was obviously still thinking about the scene from the previous evening. I had followed my mom to her car in the parking lot and she’d turned on me, yelling that I needed to mind my own business before getting into her truck and peeling away.

“Maybe tomorrow we’ll see Mamaw,” I said, hoping my mom wasn’t off on a “shopping” spree to make herself feel better.

I buckled myself in, then drove to Backwash and parked in the crowded Goodwill parking lot. In the event I decided to continue studying for the GED and would have to take the exam multiple times, I needed to ratchet up my side hustle of up-cycled clothes.

And just like that, I realized I did want to continue studying with Adam. I would call him later to set up another time to meet. My mood bounced a little higher.

Goodwill was hopping, as per usual on a Saturday. I wished I could come by earlier in the week when weekend donations were being put out… but I had something almost as good.

“Hi, Hattie. Hi, Jake.”

“Hi, Izzy,”

“Hi, Mizzy Izzy.”

Izzy McBrayer was a smiley young woman with big glasses and long hair. She was just a couple of years older than me, but she’d gotten married before finishing high school and had three children. During my many visits to Goodwill, we had become friends, and when she found something special, she held it back for me.

“Wait till you see what I found,” Izzy said, then from behind a counter, retrieved a bag.

I pulled out a beaded white leather jacket with a colorful western motif of twined roses and guitars. “Oh, Izzy, it’s gorgeous.”

“Isn’t it? Do you think it belonged to someone famous?”

I recognized the label as a famous one from a couple of decades ago. “Could be.”

“But it’s missing a lot of beads,” she pointed out in various places. “Only someone like you could refurbish it.”

I bit into my lip, already anticipating the project. Then I turned over the green price tag and winced.

“You’re in luck,” Izzy said, then pointed to a sign behind the counter. “Thirty percent off green tags today.”

I grinned. “I can swing that.”

If I could pull off a proper restoration and if Cora could find the right buyer, the custom jacket was the kind of project that could pay for swimming lessons for Jake. ~

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