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"When I go into the Garment factory the Inmates are so proud of their work and so many ideas of what we can change or improve on. These men are very creative and they are now using it in a positive way."  Shawna Pierson - iTySE

Over 10 years ago, I was at home (actually in bed) with my husband Ed and I heard a report out of San Francisco, about the harm plastic bags were causing the environment. 


I said to Ed, “Are you kidding me! Seriously, if we know better we do better.”


Here are some of the ‘plastic shopping bag’ facts...


  • Americans use 100 billion (yes, billion) plastic bags a year.

  • Only 1% of plastic bags are recycled

  • It takes 500 years (or more) for a plastic bag to degrade in a landfill.

A few weeks later, when I told Ed that I wanted to design the best mesh bag on the planet he didn't quite understand (OK, he thought I was crazy). 


I also decided that all the bags had to made in the USA and I was going to guarantee my bags for 25 years. (yep, now Ed was sure I was crazy). 


My initial thoughts for my new business and bags were simple…Stylish, Sustainable, and Socially Minded. Now I just had to find a company to make my bags.


After a few months, I realized that a female business owner, with zero manufacturing experience, was not being taken seriously. Call it a God-thing, but I then learned from a friend that OCE (Oregon Corrections Enterprises) provided sewing services as one of their cottage industries.


So when I told Ed that I would be working with OCE and inmates were going to be sewing the mesh bags and accessories, he was a little shocked to say the least. I then told him that the money I paid the inmates would go back to pay court costs, child support, and victims restitution, he was so proud! (Now I’m finally getting through to him)


Once the mesh bags finally came to life, and I made my first few sales, the company name was born thanks to Ed.


iTySE stands for...I -Told -You-So-Ed ; )


About OCE - Oregon Corrections Enterprises is a vehicle to second chances for people like you and me who have feelings, ambitions, and dreams of a better life. Learn more about OCE.

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