The Home of AZ Fashion is Open for Business!
I’m so excited to share that we are open for business! We’ve even got this official sign on the door donated by a friend and supporter, Howard Gelman.
We are located in Mesa on Val Vista and University until August when we will then move into our 23,000 sq. ft. building in a much more centrally located building that is being donated to us by a city. We will share the details about the city and the building once our operating agreement with this amazingly supportive city has been finalized and signed. But in the meantime, it was time to get to work so we set up shop temporarily in Mesa. In the month that we’ve been open, not only did we set up an entire factory, start an additional business (AZ Fashion Source) to handle the manufacturing side of things, start a non-profit (AZ Apparel Foundation) to support our mission of supplying knowledge and resources needed to foster AZ’s fashion industry, but I’m so proud to say that we’ve also already manufactured 220 leggings for Pesky’s and 125 bags for Threads of Evolution.
Pesky’s is a brand that we’ve been honored to say that we have taken through the whole process from design through to production. Sharane Dorrah, the amazing founder of this brand, came to me with her vision of starting this brand of active wear that contains insect shield technology with the goal of preventing diseases like Lyme Disease. Sharane was a dream client and was willing to learn how to handle the technical design portion of starting a brand with tech packs and flat sketches and sourcing and then manage her own production through grading/marking rules, cutting tickets, sewing contracts, etc… She had a realistic vision, understanding of the time it would take, a good financial investment and the willingness to learn everything she could. I feel like a proud mama having been involved in her journey and I am so excited for her and for us because she really has what it takes to make it big and we can say we knew her when!... You can find Pesky’s at www.peskys.com.
So, as you can see, it’s finally coming together! We have a location and we can offer:
EDUCATION/CLASSES/SEMINARS: Fashion Sketching, Sewing, Patterns, CAD FASHION BUSINESS START UP CONSULTING: Learn tech packs, flat sketching, costing, and understand manufacturing in order to design a line that can be manufactured. DESIGN SERVICES: Pattern making, pattern grading, marking, industrial cutting, production sewing MANUFACTURING: Light and heavy weight, knits and wovens on our 23 industrial machines, 40 foot cutting table and Gerber system CO-WORKING: Rent an office or desk by the hour or the month to share equipment, supplies and resources with other fashion professionals under one roof EVENTS: Rent our facility for your event, or attend our events RETAIL: Purchase design studio supplies like pattern paper, draping fabric, books, pattern tools, tech packs, etc… JOB CLASSIFIES: Find and post fashion jobs on our website FASHION CALENDAR: Find and post AZ fashion events in our calendar SOURCING DIRECTORY: Find all fashion businesses in AZ in one directory at www.labehorde.com AND MORE: Vocational training, internships, mentoring, professional fashion speakers, all things fashion for AZ.
Please spread the word and use our services! And check out our sister company AZ Fashion Source that supplies the apparel manufacturing side of things at www.azfashionsource.com .
Lastly, there is a community of people to thank, but I want to give a special mention to the following people:
SHERRI BARRY: The owner of AZ Fashion Source. Without Sherri, we may still be stuck trying to jump the hurdle from online presence to physical location. Sherri is an amazing business women with an MBA from ASU and a ton of experience in a variety of fields that paved a road directly to this venture. She was even a client of mine about 6 years ago who wanted to start a fashion business and encountered all of the obstacles that make it difficult to manufacture a clothing line in AZ without resources. So, it’s also been Sherri’s mission to provide those resources to other designers. Together we each brought things that the other was missing to the table...its the perfect strategic partnership.
AMELIA WALSH: As the President of Diego Milano, Amelia had the unique opportunity to run an apparel factory in AZ and when it came time for that factory to move, she so generously provided a very significant opportunity that allowed us to purchase the equipment we needed affordably. Amelia is now our VP of Apparel Manufacturing. Check out her other project Marry Mart.
TABITHA SILLIN: This woman is the guru of all things fashion manufacturing. I have never seen anything like it. She knows everything about patterns, grading, marking, industrial sewing, etc… Oh and she’s good with heavy machinery! So, none of this would be possible without her knowledge and skill. We’d be lost without her. She's our VP of Technical Design Services. Oh and she's got her own collection too called Sillin, Inc.
SHERI LORAINE: Local ballroom dress designer Sheri Loraine's parents were so gracious to let us rent their building on a month to month basis so that we could move to our new location when it is ready and not be tied down to a lease. This is why we ended up in Mesa and we are so grateful for it. Check out Sheri's collection!
RYAN JOHNSON: My amazing husband is always there to install all of the electric, move heavy machinery, put together furniture, build things, drive big moving trucks, and be our muscle as needed. Not only that, but he is also willing to take care of the kids on nights when I get home after everyone’s asleep and still offer to rub my feet. What a guy! I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
So, that’s the latest! If you want to get involved, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can join our team of volunteers! Our next meeting is Wednesday June 15th at 2pm.