In North Carolina, Gerbing Sews Heated Apparel And a Family

<b class="credit">Photo of Tom Nolan by Dave Perry </b>
Photo of Tom Nolan by Dave Perry

One of the first things Tom Nolan did when he bought Gerbing -- a wearable technology company that makes heated clothing -- was buy a 1909 Singer pedal-powered sewing machine on eBay.

The machine paid tribute to his grandmother, who sewed on one just like it when he was a child.

But learning to master needles and thread also is his way of understanding the constraints and struggles of his sewers, who he considers critical to the company.