Fashion Coworking

 If you want to go quickly, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together ~ African Proverb

When we first launched, we were told that Fashion has no place here in Dayton and that people here don't "look" like that or "dress" like that.  Since 2013, members of the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator (DE-FI) LLC and other members of the local fashion community have worked to prove them wrong by promoting the talent in our city. As a result of these advocates, we  are now poised to not only become the Fashion Capital of the Midwest but to open the first ever multi-disciplinary Design & Fashion Coshare  and Cowork. 

For the local design and fashion community, creativity has never been our challenge. Passion has never been our  challenge. Our challenge has been a lack of financial support,meaningful mentorship,  and resources; all of which have prevented many people from even exploring their dreams.  

The hunt is on for the perfect space for The House of (DE-FI)ance: A Fashion & Design Co-working Experience which will be the first of its kind a multi-disciplinary studio offering an affordable and unique workspace right here in Dayton.   A  business hub created by and for Design and Fashion entrepreneurs. From finance workshops for startups to sewing labs, to photography studios, to everyday workspace and everything in between. Every aspect of the fashion industry will be in one synergistic place where design and fashion professionals and entrepreneurs can work and prosper together.  

The proposed space will consist of:

  • Design Studio featuring design software
  • Designated and Roaming Desk
  • Designated and Roaming Office
  • Visual Art  Studio
  • Fashion Studio
  • Fablabs
  • Manufacturing/Fabrication Space
  • Photography Studio
  • Sewing Studio
  • Conference Room
  • Production Room
  • Classroom Space
  • Networking Space
  • Venue Rental


We Sent out the call and you answered


A Call for Feedback

There is more to the local design and fashion scene than (DE-FI) and in August 2019, for the first time ever, we hosted a series of (4) bi-weekly meetings that were open to the public to help set the general direction, business model, and logistics of the House of (DE-FI)ance: A Fashion & Design Coworking Experience.

These meetings brought together members  from the Dayton Ballet, The Victoria Theater Association, Engineers, Models, Fashion Designers, Sewist, Costume Makers, Photographers and more.  Together, this synergistic group brainstormed ideas for the space, developed a wish list, identified the problem this space will address, developed a components of the Vision and Mission statements for the space and so much more. 

 Please send all inquiries to

Public Planning Session Meeting Recaps

Vision for the Coworking space

• Educational tools

• Easy parking

• Dress Maker Forms

• Somewhat centrally located

• Collaborative Space

• Large space with dividers

• Security

• Access to mentors from various disciplines

• Business Planning

• Industrial iron

• Meeting areas

• Classroom space

• Scheduling facility

• Model after fashion districts in larger markets

• Collaborate with local school

• Fitting area

• Storage

Problem(s) that the space will address

• Lack of education

• Lack of working space

• Lack of marketing resources

• Lack of networking opportunities for models

• Ease of transition into film work

• Lack of networking opportunities

• Lack of resources

• Lack of collaborative space

• Lack of paid work and database for models

• Lack of meeting space

• Lack of teaching space

• Lack of supplies for day to day business

• Lack of agencies

• Lack of equipment and tools

Defining the space

• Open 24/7

• Owned by members

• Memberships paid for by in-kind donations

• Non-profit

• Members clean construct paint and etc

• Equipment Rental

• Open for freelancers

• Space rental

• Annual membership

• Access for non-members

• Month to month membership

• Donated tools

• Donated time

• In house portfolios and online

• Parking

• Security

• Centrally located


Comparison of (DE-FI)’s Vision and Goals for the Space vs Brainstorming Session Vision and Goals- Unanimously agreed that (DE-FI)’s plan was sufficient keeping in mind that the cost listed were not official and only serving as temporary plugs until official numbers can be put together.

Developing a Vision Statement-

Vision Statement should include the following verbiage which was unanimously defined as the moral compass for the space:

· Diversity defined as demographics, multi-disciplinary, skill level, overall goal (end goal), thought, process

· Equality defined as demographics, accessibility, space usage, time usage, dedicated and non- dedicated spaces

· Inclusion defined as demographics, skill level, disciplines, non-member access, audience (create list of non-fashion disciplines that are needed for a successful fashion business, these individuals will be targeted as well for the space)

Vision for space- 

· Office space

· Resources

· Fablab for Designers, textile makers, photographers, models, publishers, other professionals related to the fashion industry

Mission Statement-

Modeled after (DE-FI)’s Mission add language that includes the following:

· Fablab

· Connecting resources

· Building networks

· Exposure to the community

· Education-developing a fashion design program

· Develop teams

· Economic impact

· Attract talent, business and investors

How will Mission be accomplished?

· Broaden base of Professional Leaders

· Professional Development Opportunities

· Outreach

· Develop Space and Resources


We have established an initial goal of raising $50,000 to cover the cost related to The House of (DE-FI)ance: A Fashion & Design Co-working Experience. We will launch our official crowdfunding campaign as a part of #TheReboot of Dayton Fashion Week.  FUnds will be used towards the purchase of tools, equipment and supplies, along with other start-up cost.