It's easy to get self-absorbed when it comes to fashion — after all, for many, the industry is all about the clothes we put on our own bodies, however, the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC has been committed to playing an active and vital role in the revitalization, continuous growth and development of the Dayton and Miami Valley areas with a focus on serving the under-served communities since its launch in 2013. Whether it be addressing hunger, poverty, addiction, self worth, education and more Community Outreach and giving back is always in style with (DE-FI).
Our staff and models are required to volunteer a minimum of 40 hours a year in their respective communities in order to participate in any (DE-FI). Our anniversary celebration always focuses on Community Outreach.
Now that we have a home inside of the Dayton Mall, we can do more! There are so many amazing people, businesses, and organizations that are doing some wonderful things in the community, unfortunately they may not all get the attention, support, and funding that they need to reach their goals! So what are these goodnatured individuals to do?
Well, in the words of Jay-Z, "Allow us to re-introduce ourselves..." After a brief hiatus due to The Rona, (DE-FI) Gives Back has returned and we're bringing our signature experience, Fashion, Mission, Mingle along with us in support of Our Village. We can't believe it's been 8 whole years since we officially launched! In this time (DE-FI) has transformed in so many wonderful ways, we've grown, we've downsized, we've expanded, we've had ups, we've had downs, we've checked off goal after goal...yes, some goals were easier to accomplish, while others were like pulling teeth to obtain, and some we are still working towards. Yet through all of these amazing transitions, there has always been one constant in our work...our commitment to the Dayton area and our community outreach!
During our July 13th, 2013 Fashion in the Mystic Garden Launch Party at Sunwatch Indian Village, we supported the Circle of Vision Keepers Re-Entry and Recovery Program as well as holding a bone marrow drive for the Be The Match Program; that set the tone for 8 years of community outreach and engagement. From Habitat for Humanity builds, to creating community gardens, and so much more, the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC has fed, clothed, sheltered, and helped raise over $15,000 for local organizations, and we are just getting started! We are celebrating our 8th anniversary all year long as only (DE-FI) can do it! We are supporting 12, yes 12 different local grass roots organizations and our anniversary is just the kickoff for our monthly engagements with each of the selected outreach initiatives.
So, what exactly is Fashion, Mission, Mingle and how does it work? Well, we're glad you asked, we first introduced Fashion, Mission, Mingle in July 2019 as a part of our 6th anniversary celebration. We merged entrepreneurship, fashion, networking, small business support, shared experiences, encouragement, and giving back into one amazing community celebration held at the Dayton Peace Museum in support of So Loved's Tornado Relief Efforts.
Organizations that we've supported over the years include:
Be The Match :During our Launch Party in 2013 we held our first Bone Marrow Drive for the Be The Match Program, 9 attendees registered to save the lives of others including (DE-FI) Owner/Director Caressa L. Brown in support of her uncle Dennis Robinson who was battling MDS at the time. We held our second Bone Marrow Drive as a part of our Anniversary Celebration in 2015 in honor of her uncle who had lost his battle on Christmas Eve of 2014.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society :If 2013 (DE-FI) Owner/Director Caressa L. Brown was nominated for the Dayton area's Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Woman of the Year and using (DE-FI)'s platform, she raised $10,000 via (DE-FI) Cancer: Fashion For A Cure and (DE-FI) Cancer: Martini's For A Cure in support of her Uncle Dennis Robinson who was battling MDS at the time.
Habitat For Humanity : As a part of our 1 year Anniversary Celebration, we participated in a Habitat for Humanity Build in partnership with the Circle of Vision Keeper's Re-entry and Recovery Program.
The Walk to End Lupus : In 2015 and 2016 We sponsored Team Iris a (DE-FI) Model who had recently been diagnosed with the autoimmune disease as well as participated in the Lupus Walk that was held in Columbus.
The Dayton Region S.T.E.M. School Fashion Fusion: We helped prepare the students for a Fashion Show that was a part of their Fashion and Technology curriculum.
Catholic Social Services Refugee Resettlement: In 2017, as a part of our 5th year anniversary we collect donation for in support of their Refugee Resettlement initiative.
This is just the tip of the iceberg on the many ways that (DE-FI) Gives Back and it's truly taken a village to do so. Find out more about our village and how you can help them.
#MoreThanJustFashion #CommunityFirst #ItTakesAVillage
Providing for women is a Xenia-based nonprofit that provides free feminine hygiene products to homeless and low-income women in Greene County. According to Providing for Women "1 in 5 women in the United States suffer from period poverty. The number of families needing assistance from food pantries continues to increase every year. The lack of access to menstrual health products for women who are either homeless or low-income is appalling. These necessary products are not covered by SNAP or any other welfare program. Each month, this leaves countless women without the products many of us take for granted."
It is the mission of Providing for Women is to provide free feminine hygiene products to homeless and low-income women and teens; distributing them directly to women in need and by supplying food banks, shelters and other services with these necessary items.
Stopping the School-to-Prison Pipeline:
It is the mission of Delightfully Understandable, LLC to combat, counter, and reverse the destructive effects of the school-to-prison pipeline and generational poverty in students furthest from opportunity (underserved) with unmet social-emotional needs (at-risk). Our program STEM Whisperers directly serves children in grades K-12.
Program: STEM Whisperers is a College & Career Readiness/Workforce Development program that teaches Business Strategy and Digital Marketing to students furthest from opportunity with unmet social-emotional needs within a STEM framework. STEM Whisperers builds numeracy skills, business storytelling and executive etiquette.
Goal: Increase representation of the target population in the Marketing Technology field (aka MarTech) by exposing young people to existing & emerging career paths plus the benefits of post-secondary education within STEM fields.
Objective: Reduce dropout rate and increase high school graduation rates by broadening science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. Broaden student career aspirations beyond coding.
The project-based vocation program STEM Whisperers will expand the pool of students pursuing Marketing Technology (MarTech) as a career and broaden the scope of STEM education beyond the narrow focus of coding. For as pervasive as coding is within the STEM workforce, the breadth of the tech industry is far more expansive than its coding capabilities. There are several career paths and specialties above & beyond being a software engineer, and the plethora of paths forward will pique the interest of students furthest from opportunity (underserved) with unmet social-emotional needs (at-risk) in ways coding does not. However, under current STEM pedagogy if students don’t want to code, they’re shunted off to the skilled trades. While there’s nothing wrong with a career in the skilled trades, the current gatekeeping is limiting & unfair.
We seek to remedy this inequity by working with schools in urban areas that are predominantly African American and meet the Federal poverty guidelines to receive free lunch (Title I Schools). We will also conduct community presentations for parents explaining our approach and why we present STEM education through this lens.
In addition to broadening the horizons and thinking of students furthest from opportunity (underserved) with unmet social-emotional needs (at-risk), our game Bang Your F.A.A.N.G.s is designed to accelerate achievement through the practice of agency in explorations of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Video Game Programmers
Principal, administrators and board members
Self Love Is Love
The Detour Program is made up of several outreach initiatives and was founded in Arizona by Dayton native Erica Gist who was raised by her Grandparents . While in Elementary school, coming from a non-traditional family led to Erica becoming a victim of extreme bullying. The stress from it all caused stress eating which resulted in her battling childhood obesity, which snowballed into another reason she was bullied, resulting in suicidal ideations.
Erica is a survivor of childhood molestation, Domestic Violence, Depression, and Suicide attempts and has used her story to help other via the Detour Program. She recently relocated back home and is establishing her work right here in her hometown of Dayton. The mission of the Detour Program is to focus on personal growth and change, assisting people of all ages to be productive citizens in our community, teaching various life skills and preventative lessons on how to deal and overcome various turns and detours off of the right track that society can sometimes give. The various outreach initiatives that make up the Detour Program include:
Slices of Love - a program supporting teachers and learning by rewarding students with a sponsored pizza party to enjoy. The pizza party for themselves, friends and or family members is an incentive to encourage students for a job well done.
Beautiful and Determined Girls in Real Life Situations -aka The B.A.D.G.I.R.L.S. Club is a group that meets for mentoring sessions designed to give girls an opportunity to feel empowered. These sessions help adolescences gain self-awareness, develop positive coping mechanisms, improve daily problem-solving skills, feel connected with other girls, and make healthy decisions as they grow through turbulent times. We offer counseling, group discussion, and fun activities. Girls will learn social skills that will assist and equip them to handle “Real Life Situations.” The B.A.D.G.I.R.L.S Club is designed to address problems at home and at school that are a natural part of every young woman's life. Our basic premise is to educate and mentor young women on what to do with their perception of real-life problems (which is the key to growing up).
The Snack Attack - is a youth led initiative where the children go out with adults and collect and distribute food, water, and hygiene items to the area homeless.
Confidence Coaching-is a pro life solution based program geared towards meeting the many needs of school age children and parents who deal with Bullying, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, and suicidal ideations. They provide a highly equipped platform of educated Master Life Coaches ready to provide tools & life skills that will enhance the participants overall quality of life.
B-Against Bullying All Start Weekend- This is an empowerment filled weekend around the theme of Self-Love is Love that averages 200-300 people and consists of planned activities for the whole family, free food, refreshments. The event showcases nation and international speakers who share their gifts to help the community.
B-Against Bullying Prevention Extravaganza- In combating bullying, it takes more than just the school, it takes an entire community. It is our recommendation that you invite your parents, board members, and community leaders to come out and join us for this exciting prevention extravaganza. We have an exciting action-packed day of learning planned for your school with workshops, speakers, and special guests.
Founded by Dayton native, community outreach activist and business owner, Caressa Brown, who is more widely known for her work as the Owner/Director of (DE-FI). Veggie Soul: The Urban Farmers' Market is dedicated to addressing the food desert in the West Dayton and Trotwood communities. With a vision of providing an outlet for community and backyard gardeners to teach the art of gardening, and small farmers to sell fresh produce harvested directly from their own soil and support local farmers while nourishing our community with wholesome local foods in a Block Party style setting. We are a producer-only market, which means that everything you see at market is grown or produced by individuals and not large corporations. The mission of Veggie Soul is to cultivate a robust West Dayton and Trotwood community through gardening and access to healthy locally grown food. With a focus on supporting entrepreneurship by providing a platform for producers, support services, and programs to educate and empower our community.
In 2020 Veggie Soul Launched the 500 Garden Challenge, whether you live in an apartment complex or a house, the Veggie Soul Garden Club is ready to help you get started on the road to living a self-sustaining and self-sufficient life! Their Garden Club wants to help 500 households in the west Dayton and Trotwood communities start a garden and needs your help to do so!
pruning and shearing tools
The mission of Wagtown is authentic Dog Friendliness. Wagtown sets responsible and genuine standards for the term, “dog friendly.” Our mission is to lead the movement to create a Wagtown® community for everyone. To do this, we advocate for dog-friendliness through research, consulting, leveraging big data, education, marketing, and empowerment.
Wagtown offers consulting services to get your community to the next level of dog friendliness. From strategic plans and focus groups to operational best practices and marketing, Wagtown can provide the help that you need to get started or to increase your efforts.
We offer business advisory services in the fields of:
Wagtown also assists by providing recognition and incentives by the way of awards to demonstrate excellence in the field of design and creation of dog- and pet-friendly public buildings, lands and thoroughfares, and advocacy in the field of creation of dog- and pet-friendly environments
Wagtown also offers consulting services for others in the fields of:
WEW! is Women Encouragement Women network. Our vision is to bring women together of all ages, ethnicities, work status, culture, and sexual orientations. Our way of doing that is by hosting an annual conference. We want our conference to be an experience where each woman is encouraged and pumped to keep pushing through life, to pursue her own individual goals. We want this network to be a hub for all things encouraging women in the Dayton, Miami Valley communities. So, we are here to collaborate with other organizations that share our vision.
In need of a solid team of volunteer positions- Secretary, Marketing Director, Tech Support knowledgeable with cyber safety, Event Planner/Coordinator.
Trep House: A virtual venture development platform + community + creative capital studio designed to launch and accelerate the success and sustainability of POC founders & creators. They do this by building a much needed ecosystem of Black- and Brown- centric training, support services and growth avenues via adapting the "Supehub" and "Creative Capital Studio" models to provide a virtual equivalent.
Goals of Trep House include:
To be Announced
In need of solid team of volunteer positions:
Fundraiser Director, Executive Assistant, Tech, and Community Manager.
Developing Butterflies Big Sister Program was established April 6, 2016, by Gena McDonald.
Gena was born in Dayton, is a mother of two (a son and a daughter), holds a Bachelor degree in Applied Behavioral Science, Certified Confidence Life Coach, Certified Community Health Worker and is very passionate about helping young ladies or "little sisters" be confident in who they are to overcome their obstacles. She didn’t have a bad life, but growing up with three parents on drugs and witnessing domestic violence, she was already considered a statistic to repeat her environment.
Our mission is to transform our little sisters from a young lady to the woman they are created to be by providing wisdom, knowledge, encouragement, and an image they can relate to through group sessions, goal setting, and accountability.
Developing Butterflies helps each of our little sisters with the following:
The purpose of the GDABJ is to promote and encourage journalism as a career for blacks and other minorities. We will work closely with other NABJ chapters and media organizations in the Miami Valley to sponsor activities and events that will fulfill our purpose.
Some of our goals are to:
1.) Foster excellence amongst our members.
2) Recruit, support and retain black and other minority journalists in the Miami Valley.
3) Expand and balance the coverage of minority communities in the Miami Valley.
4) Work with media management to make news coverage inclusive of, and relevant to, the black and minority communities and to sensitize them to institutional racism.
5) Seek and identify scholarships, fellowships, internships and job opportunities for members and area journalism students.
The Mission of Young Ladies Aspiring Greatness-YLAG is to empower and inspire young ladies of
color to go beyond their perceived limitations and give them the tools needed to achieve
greatness through community involvement. Founded in 2013 by Shirelle Stroud. Since then, it has been a safe place for young people from all walks of life to share, learn and grow.
Monetary funds for mission trip
We have partnered with Dayton Public Schools,specifically Ponitz Culinary/Food Service Operations for the past 2 years who prepare and serve the food for A Taste of (DE-FI)ance.
Since 2014, we have partnered with the Dayton Early College Academy to provide internship opportunities for their students.
We have been honored to have been invited to produce the University of Dayton's International Student Festival's Annual Fashion Show every year since 2012.
Over the years we've worked with several groups of student from DECA as a part of their required curriculum and internship. From learning how to sew, how to record and produce shows with DATV, and the business end of fashion; these bright stars were immersed in the full fashion experience!
One of our very first community outreach intitatives was participating in a Habitat for Humanity Build!
On Saturday July 11, 2015, we celebrated our 2 Year Anniversary by giving back to the community with the 2nd Annual (DE-FI) Gives Back. We partnered with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff's Police Athletic League (PAL), The Circle of Vision Keepers Re-Entry and Recovery Program, and the Corner Stone Project to #FillTheSquadCar with school supplies, non-perishable food items, toiletries, and gently used school uniforms and other clothing items that were donated to our official non-profit the Circle of Vision Keepers Re-Entry and Recovery Program! Sheriff Phil Plummer also donated a plot of land for us to plant a Community Peace Garden We also staged people at Marathon Gas Stations, Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar and Weekend Ribs giving for #RandomActsOfKindness and gift card distributions giving visitors to those businesses received $25 Gas Cards, free coffee, and free meals. Last but certainly not least our #GlamSquad at Creative Images gave a full salon experience to participants from the Circle of Vision keepers Re-Entry and Recovery programs Sober Housing to help them get ready to re-enter the workforce!
On Nov.22, 2013, the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC partnered with the Circle of Vision Keepers, Two Trees, Beaute Box, Designers Misti Leigh, Sonya Mills, Brenda Marone, the Corner Stone Project, the MunDay Program, the Payne Recreation Center, the City of Kettering, the City of Moraine, Montgomery County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman, and Judge Walter Rice to present a Time to Be Thankful. Together we fed over 180 people regardless of their ability to pay and everyone walked away with hats, gloves, and toys for the Holiday Season. Over 100 families also received food baskets!!
(DE-FI)'s Owner/Director Caressa Brown has been nominated for the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's 2013 Woman of The Year for the Dayton area! Check out some of the pictures from our Martini Tasting Fundraiser held at Winans Dayton on May 1, 2013!! Sponsored by Ben Czajka of Winan's Chololate for Hosting this event! 100% of the proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society benefitting Caressa's Campaign!!
(DE-FI) has been a proud supporter and sponsor of the My Beauty is Priceless and Sons of Solomon Youth Empowerment Seminars which is Owner and Directed by Author and Mentor Miracle Oladele. The Mission of these youth centered seminars and workshops is to equip teen boys and girls with the knowledge that real beauty is within. During these seminars they were taught etiquette, health and wellness, spirituality, education, and work ethics and were introduced to careers in fashion, photography, investing, and topics of conversation included Bridging the gap in community policing
he Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC was a proud supporter for #TeamIris. 13 year old Iris Booher is bravely fighting this mysterious disease which has forced her to be home schooled. #TeamIris was one of the leading fundraising teams this year and Iris even was the recipient of prizes for her fundraising efforts!! During our Stylish Mom's Runway Show Iris' Mom Brandi shared with the audience the difficulties that she faces being the care giver of a chronically ill child, Lupus has attacked Iris Kidneys and heart. Iris was also was one of our models during the (DE-FI) Cancer: Fashion For A Cure in 2013. For more information on how you can get more information on Lupus or contribute towards research please visit www.lupus.org/ohio.