Product Line Manager, AFL
- Native of Mishawaka, Indiana
- Industry Technology
Meet Sadie Waycaster: engineer by day, super hero by night. Well, sort of. Sadie works as an a product line manager for AFL, a leader in fiber optic products. When she’s not plugged into her work, she’s volunteering with a group of cosplayers with a cause: the SC Upstate Heroes. As part of the group, volunteer members don super hero costumes and visit hospitals and charities throughout South Carolina to bring joy to kids in need. An avid seamstress and fashion designer, Sadie makes her own costumes.
From her work to her passion projects, Sadie has found a rewarding and welcoming home in Upstate South Carolina. After graduating from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology with a B.S. in optical engineering, Sadie interviewed at a number of companies around the country. Sadie noted that AFL stuck out in her mind as more progressive than other companies. When she visited Upstate SC as part of the AFL interview process, Sadie’s experience sealed the deal for her new life and career in Upstate SC.
“When I visited, the weather was gorgeous and it just felt right,” she said. Sadie had never been to South Carolina and knew only of Charleston within the state. “It really wasn’t what I expected,” she said. “It’s not just sweet tea and biscuits—it’s a lot of culture and a ton of things to do outdoors.”
“Upstate South Carolina is very much a melting pot,” she added. “It has a lot of transplants and not just those from the South. It’s a lot of different cultures and age groups coming together. It was hard to leave Indiana, but this has definitely become a home.”
The weather is another major benefit for Sadie, who loves running and spending time outside. “After long Indiana winters, I never want to go inside with the weather being so great here.”
Sadie lives with her husband and their cats in Greer, SC. “I have owned my home in Greer for seven years now and love that it has a small-town feel. It reminds me of my hometown—and it’s growing,” she said.
“I really appreciate the fact that the Upstate area acknowledges its potential for growth and is doing all in its power to grow, not only financially and in population, but also in trying to create good lives for the people who are living here,” she said.
This extends to the local tech community. “Tech companies in the area have done a spectacular job sourcing products locally and working with suppliers in the area, rather than outsourcing, so they can grow here intentionally,” she added.
The SC Upstate Heroes have become like a second family to Sadie, who has a growing network of friends in the cosplay community through her volunteer work and personal website. She also recently joined the American Sewing Guild, which has a chapter in Greer. When she’s not working or sewing, Sadie enjoys reading books, running, hiking and spending time with her husband and cats.
Even with the cycle of work-from-home and back into the office on the heels of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Sadie’s seen the bright side. She’s focused on home projects and building out a dedicated sewing space in her basement, where she brings those hero personas to action.
“I am so grateful to have been working for a company that has sustained us through this pandemic. It really allowed us to take a step back from the normal go-go-go lifestyle, and get our financial priorities straightened out. Ultimately, this will lead to having a healthier future in the long term.”
It’s not just sweet tea and biscuits—it’s a lot of culture and a ton of things to do outdoors. Upstate South Carolina is very much a melting pot.”Sadie WaycasterAssociate Product Manager, AFL
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