April is turning out to be a very busy month in the local fashion industry. There are so many jobs, events and opportunities included in our Haute Off The Press newsletter that we can barely keep track. We are also very excited about the most recent things that have transpired over the past few weeks with our mission to find a permanent home where we can create an AZ FASHION HEADQUARTERS and offer fashion EDUCATION, MANUFACTURING, DESIGN STUDIO SERVICES, CO-WORKING, EVENTS, SOURING LIBRARY and all things fashion.
As you know, a couple of months ago, we were generously given the opportunity to test this model inside of the Diego Milano factory. In the month that we were able to use this factory, we were able to test many of these concepts. In fact, we now have a list of about 35 brands who want manufacturing in AZ. We are so grateful to Diego Milano President, Amelia Walsh and owner Chris Kay, for giving us this opportunity that nudged us forward in a big way. Unfortunately, Diego Milano is moving their production back to LA and so their factory is closing. We are so sad to see DM leave AZ, but Amelia will be sticking with us to bring manufacturing to AZ and thier move has provided another opportunity for LabelHorde to purchase the factory equipment at a discounted rate. We started a Gofundme and raised about $1000 that we used to purchase a few items. So, thank you all who donated! Also, if any of you want to purchase anything from them, you will find information on their big "garage sale" they are having this weekend in the newsletter below.
But that's not where the story ends. Just a couple of weeks ago, I reconnected with an acquaintance named Sherri Barry. Years ago, when Sherri started her own brand, she faced all of the same obstacles that other local designers face when trying to manufacture outside of the state in which they run their business....quality control issues, communication issues, travel expenses, sourcing obstacles, etc... These issues have driven Sherri to pursue the same goals as LabelHorde. Now that Sherri and I have reconnected we are joining forces. Sherri has purchased the remaining equipment (the industrial cutting table with spreader and air compressor, numerous industrial sewing machines, etc...) that we will need in order to offer everything we plan to offer. Sherri has an amazing background which I will share in an upcoming spotlight in a future newsletter, but her experience fills a void that we were missing. With Sherri's help, we will not only have all of the equipment we need, but we will also be able to acquire our own location!
We are currently on the search for a warehouse space that is centrally located (Tempe, Phoenix, South Scottsdale or Mesa) that is 6,000-12,000 sq. ft. with C2/M1 zoning (light manufacturing and commercial/retail) with on site parking 30-40 spaces, HVAC already functioning, adequate electric for our multiple industrial machines, on a lease or lease purchase with a few months free so we can get this started, on site restrooms and office space that is immediately available because we now own a lot of equipment that needs to move out of Diego Milano this month.
I will be sharing our progress in each newsletter, but if you want to stay up on the day to day progress, follow LabelHorde on Facebook. And if you want to actually pitch in some muscle or donate some time, equipment, knowledge or assistance, join this Facebook group that I created to join in the conversation.
I'm so excited that we can finally start to make this happen. As you know, it's been a goal of mine for many years. I've watched similar business models form in other states around the nation and I just knew we could do this in AZ. It looks like it is finally going to work, but now we need community support more than ever. I hope to take you all along this journey because this is for the community...this is for all of us. And I can now vividly picture a bustling fashion headquarters where we all work together and have the equipment and sources we need to grow and thrive as fashion entrepreneurs.
To read keep up with our progress and read all about the other opportunities we know of, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter.
In this issue:
FGI Trend Report
Phoenix Urban Design Week/Corgan Presents: Artists and Placemaking featuring LabelHorde and Angela Johnson
Tucson Fashion Week
SMoCA Mix: Fashionably Avant-Garde
TFW presents the Met Gala documentary: The First Monday in May
Learn to Manufacture at the Albuquerque Fashion Incubator