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Mary Ruth Shields


Mary Ruth has been designing and sewing clothing, home décor and accessories for over 40 years. She earned a BFA with a concentration in crafts, an MST in textiles and an MFA-IA concentrating in apparel design. She has taught fashion and business topics at the collegiate level and worked in the sewn products industry for more than 20 years.

Mary Ruth is the creator and owner of United Sewing and Design, an environmentally responsible social enterprise that specializes in proprietary products, prototyping for new products, and small-batch production runs of up to 300. She also provides work for individuals who have barriers to getting and keeping good jobs. She is the author of the textbook, “Industry Clothing Construction Methods,” and a pictorial history of the textile industry in the Naugatuck Valley of CT, which are available on Amazon. She was awarded CTSBA Manufacturer of the Year 2022 and CT Entrepreneur Awards Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2022. 

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