Caressa Brown founded (DE-FI), the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator, six years ago with the goal of making Dayton the fashion capital of the Midwest.
She is now poised to open the region’s first multidisciplinary fashion coworking studio, and she wants your input.
“We’re shedding our grassroots structure and becoming more visible within the community,” Brown said. “The multidisciplinary fashion coworking space will offer fashion professionals an affordable and unique workspace right here in Dayton — a fashion business hub created by and for the fashion community.” (DE-FI) is holding a pair of upcoming public meetings:
Saturday, Aug. 31, from 10 a.m. - noon
Saturday, Sept. 14, from 10 a.m. - noon
Both meetings will be held at the Dayton Metro Library Main Branch in Conference Room 3A.
The meetings will collect community feedback on the general direction, business model and logistics for the fashion coworking space. The current vision features:
Studios for visual art, fashion, photography and sewing.
A makerspace and a micro-manufacturing and fabrication space.
Rooms for production, conferencing and classroom presentations.
Networking space and venue rental.
(DE-FI) currently operates a number of subsidiaries that work in different ways to make Dayton a fashion center. Among them, The Gem City Sewing Company trains individuals to sew, prioritizing work with underserved communities; the Dayton Garment & Textile District offers micromanufacturing and an online registry of seamstresses, fabric makers, pattern makers, weavers, fabric dyers, beaders, embroiderers and vendors; and Dayton Threads, an online boutique — hopefully soon to be a brick and mortar shop — offers retail space for individual and emerging designers to sell their products.
(DE-FI) also runs Dayton Fashion Week and holds workshops on topics ranging from combating sexual harassment and trafficking to advocating legislators and establishing reporting hotlines to combat the predatory aspects of the fashion industry.