This November, Detroit Garment Group will launch its DGG Fashion Incubator at Techtown in Midtown Detroit, and has selected the first group of designers-in-residence.
Chosen from a large pool of applicants from all over Southeast Michigan, the nine designers-in-residence were selected based on talent, drive and planning detail for their fashion lines.
The first designers-in-residence are: Gabriella Gonzales of Waterford, Jessica Ashley Harrell of Southfield, Patricia Hollis of Highland Park, Kristen Huffman of Okemos, Terrance Jones of Detroit, Sheila Palmer of Detroit, Paulina Petkoski of Detroit, Daune Smith of Detroit, and Sianna Treece of Southfield.
“The greatest need of our fashion design community is business-related education,” says Detroit Garment Group Founder and President Karen Buscemi. “It’s common for college-level fashion programs to not include any type of business education. Designers know how to design, but they don’t know how to become entrepreneurs. Most of the local fashion designers we interact with wish to have their own lines, but don’t know the first thing about business plans, financial projections, pricing, branding, etc.”
The incubator, which will host up to 10 designers at a time, for a one- to two-year period, will overcome those limitations, giving the designers-in-residence the know-how to successfully launch a brand. All designers-in-residence must attend monthly business-focused workshops, which will be open to the public for $20 per workshop.
The workshops start with the legalities of starting a business, move on to writing a business plan and creating financial productions and go all the way to branding, marketing, sales and distribution.
Mentorship is a crucial element of the program, ensuring the designers-in-residence have access to experts in a variety of areas necessary for building a solid business, from legal and finance to sales, marketing and public relations.
In addition to individual workspaces, the designers-in-residence will have access to top-of-the-line industrials sewing machines, cutting table, space to store patterns, fabrics and designs, and high-end design software and equipment, including a digitizer and plotter for pattern making.
Local fashion designers can take advantage of Detroit Garment Group’s Associate Designer Program at the incubator, which for a monthly fee gives designers 24/7 access to all the industrial sewing machines, design software and equipment. The Associate Designers can also attend the monthly workshops at a reduced rate.
Techtown was selected for the incubator’s home for a large variety of reasons, including 24/7 access, security, parking, suite options and valuable shared perks, such as conference rooms, meeting nooks, kitchen and dining areas and front desk support.
For bios and headshots of the DGG Fashion Incubator designers-in-residence, visit http://www.detroitgarmentgroup.org/#!incubator/crk3.