As the CTO of a tech startup, I try to understand the connections between the past, present, and future — and working in downtown Rochester, those connections are palpable. We at Health Care Originals recently moved into our new office, which I was excited to learn is in the building that was once the headquarters of Michaels-Stern & Co., a major player in Rochester’s historic garment industry.

The Rochester garment industry saw technical innovations, such as Rochester resident Elizabeth Baker’s invention in the 1840s of the standardized clothing pattern, which allowed for the mass production of clothing. Rochester’s garment industry also played a part in furthering workers’ rights, particularly through the efforts of activists in the early 20th century who followed in the footsteps of Rochesterian civil rights leader Susan B. Anthony.

Now, at Health Care Originals, we are following in the footsteps of the Rochester garment industry by developing a 21st-century wearable. Through our wearable technology, we aim to promote health and well-being by helping people understand how their bodies function from day to day. At the same time, we hope to have a positive impact on the Rochester community as a whole.

A hundred years ago, the Rochester Chamber of Commerce slogan was “Rochester made means quality.” What does “Rochester made” mean today? — I don’t have the complete answer, but I know that businesses throughout Rochester are exploring that question, and I’m excited to contribute to that discussion.

For more information about Rochester’s historic garment industry, see the WXXI documentary “Tailor Made: The Story of Rochester’s Garment Industry”: http://video.wxxi.org/video/2365778411/

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