A month ago, we were invited to move into the Diego Milano denim factory in Scottsdale to prove our concept. We are so thankful to them because this has allowed up to test out what is needed in our community and how we can offer it. It has been a great success and we have been very busy with lessons, training, pattern making, sewing, collaborating and more. We have a long list of brands who need us to manufacture for them and we haven’t been able to take them on because we aren’t going to be in this space long enough. Our time will be up in less than 2 months and we need to find our next location in order to keep offering all of this and start offering manufacturing.
WHAT WE NEED AND WHAT WE NEED IT FOR:
We are looking for a space that is ideally 8,000-10,000 sq. ft. so that we can offer all of our services including:
EDUCATION (classes, private lesson, consulting, seminars, manufacturing training)DESIGN SERVICES (pattern making, sample sewing, pattern grading, sketching, tech packs)CO-WORKING (office space for local designers)MANUFACTURING (Production cutting and sewing for local brands on industrial equipment...we have a list of people waiting for us to provide this for them)EVENTS (space for local fashion shows which could really be the income generator that carries everything else when it's slow)
HOW MUCH SPACE?
Although we are hoping for 10,000 sq. ft. we could make less space work by offering less services. If we removed the event space, that would significantly affect the space size. And we could offer less co-working space and make our manufacturing area a little smaller. This means we could potentially make anything over 1000 sq. ft. work…however we would be missing a key component for income generation by taking out the events and reducing the manufacturing and co-working space. But, we’ll take what we can get! The location needs to have a rest room and if it is big enough for events, it needs to have parking to accommodate a few hundred people somewhere in the vicinity. Ideally it would be nice to have a kitchen and a laundry room, but those aren’t necessities.
We are hoping to find a subsidized location so we don’t have to pay rent for 6 months to a year while we get things started. Even better would be a space within an existing space so that the utilities are already in place. In other words, if we didn’t have to pay for electric that would be even better. And ideally, we could use a little startup money so that we can purchase a few things. However, we can get by without this if we need to because we do already have about 10 industrial machines, a large industrial cutting table, dress forms and design studio supplies including many rolls of pattern paper and all tools needed for pattern making and sewing. We also have a computer, 10 cutting table stools and some miscellaneous furnishings. A conference table would be nice, but we can always use the cutting table if we didn’t have one.
Ideally, we are hoping an AZ city will support this and provide a location and maybe even some grant money to get it going. After all, we are literally starting an industry and providing jobs, training workers and bringing life to an area that may need revitalizing. But we could that there is a builder/developer or even private citizen who has a building sitting empty that would love to help because they have an interest in fashion or they want to be credited as helping to start an industry or they could benefit from having a lot of fashionable people coming and going and working in their area.
As far as build out…. If we need to do any remodeling or updating, we have a community of people who want to use this space so I’m sure we can all pull together and get a lot of it taken care of with our own elbow grease if we had to.
CALL TO ACTION:
How can you help directly? Do you know anyone with an empty building that would be willing to donate their space until we generate enough income to pay for it? Do you have connections in the government or a specific city that you think would be interested in supporting this? Are you in the financial position to help and want to be involved?
How can you help indirectly? In the meantime, we need to continue to generate income. You can help in the following ways: Help us sell ads on our website and in our newsletter. You will get a commission from every ad you sell. You can find a copy of our Media Kit HERE and it contains all of our prices and the benefits of advertising. Do you know any businesses that could benefit from being exposed to all of the fashion professionals in town? Maybe a fabric store, or a sewing machine repair shop, a fashion school, a salon, or a coffee house, restaurant, etc… Help encourage fashion businesses to list themselves in our directory(which is free) and upgrade to the $10/month listing which will get them on our home page slider and much more. Hire us for alterations, pattern making, sample sewing, lessons, etc… See our services HERE.
Arizona is full of fashion brands and they have nowhere to go to get their patterns made or samples sewn or to find manufacturing when they are ready to make more than samples. Currently, most brands have to travel or move to LA to manufacture and spend their money there instead of in AZ. The students graduating from all of AZ’s fashion programs have to leave the state to find jobs in fashion.
We want to create on place where everyone can find everything they need to start up and grow their fashion brand. We want one place where you can learn through classes, lessons, seminars, consulting and co-working with other professionals in a manufacturing setting. One place where you can rely on to get your product developed and then manufactured. One place where the industry can call home and the public can come as well for fashion events, seminars, alterations and parties. We want to fill a need that has been missing in the AZ fashion community and a hole that has been missing in the AZ economy. Let’s keep our AZ dollars and talent in the state!