Every stitch, every design, every color is the precise and detailed vision of Rita O'Brien,.
"I can't wait to see the first volunteer," O'Brien said.
Rita has been in the design business for 14 years. Most of those years were successful, until the economy tanked and she almost lost everything.
"I had to lose a lot of people that were working for me. I had to lay them off and basically had to close down my one office," O'Brien said.
So when she heard the RNC was looking for someone to help design and produce the official volunteer uniform, Rita knew this was the life raft she needed.
After a number of meetings and interviews, she won the Super Bowl of contracts.
"I was so excited. You have no idea how excited I was," O'Brien said.
For the next two and half months, Rita would devote every waking minute to the volunteer uniform, from the official hat that each volunteer will wear, to the American-made Polo shirts.
For security reasons, we can't show you what the final design will look like, but Tampa embroiderer Bob Emmerson says getting the uniform just right took a few re-dos.
"I think we sewed it up 15 to 20 times before we got it correct, but that's all part of the job," Emmerson said.
Each needle can thread 760 stitches per minute, and despite the speed, it still takes 45 minutes to create just one RNC logo.
The final version is still top secret, but come convention time, the uniforms will be hard to miss. Close to 5,000 volunteers will be sporting the new look.
"I think they're going to look incredible. Its sharp, its nice and clean and it says ‘Welcome to Tampa'," O'Brien said.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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