The Whole Works wins prestigious business award | PostIndependent.com

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The Whole Works wins prestigious business award

The four co-founders of the The Whole Works in Rifle receive the 2015 Wright Award in Denver Tuesday. From left to right are Julia Marshall, Kelly Alford, Sadye Harvey and Janie Rich Millie.

After opening their doors just 10 months ago, The Whole Works was awarded the Wright Award, and $5,000 Tuesday in Denver at the annual October showcase of Colorado companies that are leading at the intersection of lifestyle and commerce.

The Whole Works is an apparel manufacturing company based in Rifle, working towards re-imagining the American manufacturing industry by paying a fair wage, and offering services that are tailored to small and emerging designers, as well as more established brands.

The Whole Works, a for-profit company, is working with local and statewide government programs to develop industrial sewing training programs for women who are transition off of federal assistance.

Registered as a public benefit corporation, The Whole Works is part of a growing group of Colorado businesses that are dedicated to environmental and social sustainability, as well as a healthy financial bottom line.

This corporate designation challenges the idea that making a profit comes at the expense of ethical and socially oriented business practices.

The Whole Works has found growing interest amongst designers who are looking to manufacturer closer to home, and at smaller quantities than are required overseas. Their clients include innovative outdoor apparel company Voormi, out of Pagosa Springs, as well as local companies of all sizes.

"We want to bring American manufacturing back to the U.S. We want to replicate what we're doing in Rifle, rather than building one $40 million business, we want to build 40 $1 million businesses, lifting up 40 rural Colorado towns," said Kelly Alford, cofounder of The Whole Works.

Each year, one Colorado company is awarded The Wright in recognition of its enterprising spirit and commitment to the notion that if you believe in your vision and do good work, people will notice.

Presented annually by Something Independent, The Wright is awarded to a Colorado company that is leading at the intersection of lifestyle and commerce.

"To have the opportunity to come together and recognize these innovative Colorado companies is energizing," said Chuck Sullivan, Something Independent. "It's an honor to celebrate them and the role they play in shaping the state's economy and inspiring the next generation of leaders."

The 11 contenders were selected from a statewide pool of 125 nominees. Each company submitted a video conveying their vision and inspiration, while highlighting the role that Colorado plays in shaping their company, and the videos were the basis of the judging.

"These 11 contenders are real examples of Colorado companies driving our statewide economy and helping to put a national spotlight on Colorado as not only a great place to live and play, but also a great place to start and grow a business," said Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry.

"It's exciting to see such amazing companies thriving and providing products and services that Coloradans and our state's visitors enjoy in their daily lives."