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The House of (DE-FI)ance: A Fashion & Design Co-working Experience works in conjunction with the designers in both The Cincinnati Fashion Incubator, Dayton Fashion Week, and the Associate Incubator members. If you are an aspiring or emerging photographer, model, business professional, makeup artist, pattern maker, stylist, illustrator, videographer, fashion show producer, writer, sewist, tailor, bespoke, or textile maker, then the House of (DE-FI)ance is for you. Our House is where team and brand building take place; both are the keys to success for anyone seeking a career in fashion.
Yeah, we know, the word "experience" is officially overly used by basically everyone now, however, (DE-FI) Gloabl INC has been using the term since 2013 and is the original Fashion Experience, a title that we proudly own...nobody does it like us. Our House directly correlates to the needs of the designers and participants of The Associate Incubator.
When Our House first launched in March of 2021, we were the home of the world's first comprehensive interdisciplinary fashion co-working space, a business hub created by and for the fashion community. A combination of professional and educational opportunities promoting community, competition, collaboration, and connection. Today, we are an innovative and groundbreaking one stop Fablab created to help fashion professionals establish, develop, and grow their brand. #ThisIsOurHouse
Our vision is to create the leading and most effective business networking experience in the country for the fashion community. From concept to retail and everything in between; our House was created to bring the entire fashion Industry under one roof including the often understated role of design outside of worn garments. Our mission is to enrich the Miami Valley and Midwest regions through the business of fashion via economic growth, the strengthening of our garment district, education, community outreach, and fashion retail opportunities.
The House of (DE-FI)ance revises and broadens the mission of (DE-FI) Global INC by developing new and consistent programming that reflects the next level of growth and service needed for local and regional fashion, design, textile, retail, and creative communities.
The lack of support, networking, resources, opportunities, and more for aspiring, emerging, and established fashion professionals. When (DE-FI) first launched, we were immediately told that fashion has no place in Dayton because "people here don't look like that or dress like that."
The Disruption began in 2013, since then, (DE-FI) Global INC has worked to prove them wrong by not only promoting and supporting the talent in Dayton and across Southwest Ohio. We've also attracted talent from around the world to our region that has traveled to our area to gain first hand knowledge and experience in the fashion industry.
By bringing the fashion community together, Our House serves as a resource that provides fashion and the business of fashion talent with educational tools, research, resources, and programming to help further their growth and development.
Boldly Re-imagine Cincinnati, Dayton, and Southwest Ohio by doing everything that "they" said couldn't be done here. Are you ready to become a part of one of the newest economic engines in Southwest Ohio and reap the benefits?
Our programming includes:
Community Membership Meetings- Associate Incubator member, participants in the Designer Talk Series or A Generation of (DE-FI)ance, and community at large members are invited to participate in our monthly meetings! Each month we will host a guest speaker that will present on a given subject related to the fashion industry giving attendees an a chance to network and connect with one another.
Mentorship- Let's face it, fashion is a tough industry, having a strong support system, mentorship, and advisors are not just wish list items; it's a must to navigate the challenges that you are guranteed to face. The House of (DE-FI)ance is actively recruiting and identifying mentors as well as offering at least one designer mentorship directly from the Council of Fashion Designers of America via the CFDA Connects program. Additional services for non-members are available via our Dreamforce.
Professional Development Workshops- Our workshops offer hands-on experiential learning opportunities and tools to support career development.
Student Programs - Rooted in the Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator's legacy of engaging our youth and providing internship and co-op opportunities for college students, our student programming empowers the #NextGeneration of aspiring fashion professionals with the skills, knowledge, and wisdom needed to build a solid foundation. The following workshops will be offered:
The Associate Incubator Experiences benefits include:
Apply for the Associate Incubator HERE.
Whether you're participating or attending a (DE-FI) produced experience, you’ll never witness or experience the same event twice! (DE-FI) brings you a Fashion and Networking Experience like no other, from Brain Dating to After-School Experiences. There's something for everyone at every stage of growth.
A key part of our mission is to provide a consistent opportunities for Business to Business, Business to Customer, and Customer to Business referrals and more to nourish relationships that form naturally. Our House helps to foster and create meaningful relationships among our members because member introductions and one on one meetings offer unique opportunities to share who we are and how we can benefit one another.
Designed to provide an open, honest, and transparent look into the industry, the House of (DE-FI)ance is an educational, business, event, co-working and makers space that serves as a retail and business hub providing an environment for you to get serious about your craft, grow your skills, and build your team.
At the House of (DE-FI)ance, you will:
Our goal is simple:
"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together" ~ African Proverb
Have an idea for a fashion business...Now what? The idea. That’s where it starts. Now what do you do with the idea? Anyone can start a business — but can you make it viable? Have you ever thought about how you will navigate the following items that come with the territory?
Taking place monthly at our co-working space in Dayton, our immersive Build-A-Brand Experiences are designed to help you navigate the unseen and often overlooked aspects of running a business. This isn't your typical business class, we are not going to waste your time going over items that you can Google or find free templates on all over the internet. The Build-A-Brand Experience is a real time opportunity to keep you engaged by providing information, tips, exercises, and tools to help you think about and develop your business ideas, brand, and team while also managing the physical and mental toll we all pay on our journey to success. Because cultural and diverse programs enrich our work-life experience; during our Build-A-Brand Experiences you will:
Ugh! Not another networking event! (insert face palm) Let’s face it, networking can suck, especially if you’re an introvert; however, even extroverts find networking events to be tedious too. Everyone isn’t into self-promotion, some people just want to help by sharing ideas, participate in brainstorming exercises, and learn new ways of doing things. However, you can’t position yourself to do any of these things without the dreaded networking opportunities.
Swapping business cards, meeting up for a quick drink during Happy Hour is the networking of yesterday. Sure, you might meet some new interesting people who by the time the event is over know a little bit more about the work that you do. Now ask yourself, how often do you find the person that you need for your team at a basic networking event? Did your business or brand grow as a result of that “basic” networking event?
The fashion, design, textile, and retails industries are in a tailspin! People work too hard, invest a lot of time and much money, and need way more than the typical and dare we say shallow networking experience. After surviving a global pandemic, people need purposeful interactions and exercises that generate valuable conversations, and that lay the path for meaningful collaborative exchanges. Introducing A Brain Dating Networking Experience as only (DE-FI) can produce!
So what is this Brain Dating thing that we speak of? First, take some deep breaths, it’s not a hookup event…well at least not in the traditional “dating” sense. However, we are using some “dating” concepts to help you build your brand and/or team. For example, when you’re dating, odds are you have specific list of attributes, characteristics, or shared interest that you are looking for in your significant other…now take that same concept and apply it to your business or brand; who are you looking for to fill that void in your brand or business? What skills do they possess? What characteristics will they have? Write down the answers to these questions and get ready to get your “Date On” sew to speak. Ok, so if you’re happily married or in a committed relationship and aren’t to comfortable with the term “Brain Dating” …how’s “Brain Dayton” WERKing out for you? See what we did there? But seriously, Brain Dayton is the name of the actual experience.
But seriously, think about it, what if at the next “networking” event you attended, you connected with the exact person who could ultimately help you think through whatever hurdle or barrier that is preventing you from reaching the next level? The House of (DE-FI)ance’s Brain Dayton Experience is all about knowledge sharing conversations. Our 45-minute Business-to-Business, Business-to-Customer, and Customer-to Business Brain Dayton Experiences are just as much about learning from the presenters as they are about learning from fellow attendees to build more relevant networks. Are you ready for curated conversations? Who needs Google when you can Brain Date with (DE-FI)? #ThisIsOurHouse
Dayton, OH, we love our city, we are the birthplace of the cash register, the self-starter, aviation and #sew many other innovative #Gems that are too numerous to mention. We're not a fan of the word "but", so we're going to transition with "However"...those Gem City innovators weren't the first to try what ultimately made them famous. Take the Wright Brothers for instance, they weren't the first to ever try to fly; in fact they had competition. The race, desire, and attempts to fly date back to Greek Mythology, there were at least 11 different flying machines made by others before the Wright Brother's Wright B Flyer ever took flight...it was competition that fueled the Wright Brother's innovation.
As much as we love our city, we also must address the unfortunate culture that brands competition a four letter word; we often hear "Collaboration over Competition" as a way of advancement. There's a tendency to revert into tribalism when someone or something new comes along and engages in the same creative and unique work as an established and/or popular entity or person. You'll hear "what about (insert name or business)" or "why can't people do something more creative, why do they have to copy off of (insert name or business)", this along with other fire extinguishing tactics that often leave the same people questioning why there's nothing to do in the city and/or why the exact same people are in charge of everything or have their hands in everything further alienating the masses.
We (DE-FI)nitely know what it's like to gatekept, sabotaged, lied on and dismissed by others in the community doing similar, even at the hands of governmental organizations who's sole purpose is to support/be a resource for small businesses like (DE-FI). So when we hear the unjustified tearing down of other businesses and people trying to do their part, fulfill their purpose, make their mark, and provide opportunities and new experiences, we question why can't we successfully have collaboration and competition cohabitate here in Dayton?
All are needed for any thriving market or industry...don't believe us? Look no further than the Fashion Capital of the world New York City. We all know about New York Fashion Week and the big tent events, HOWEVER, did you know that other organizations around the world were already using city names in conjunction with Fashion Week? New York wasn't the first, in fact , (4) major fashion markets emerged because of competition, Paris, Milan, London, and the then underdog New York.
Today, aside from the "big tent" events and the official Fashion Calendar, hundreds of other smaller and lesser known producers host runway experiences during the exact same time as New York Fashion Week. In fact, the "big tent" events have been known to have multiple runway experiences taking place in different venues at the exact same time. How's that for competition? Models, HMUA's, attendees, media, buyers, photographers, and more importantly, investors were all forced to plan and decide what show to cover, participate, attend, and/or invest.
It's survival of the fittest, the designers had to step their game UP to become and remain relevant in the fashion industry. That's what competition does. And to top it off, the top (4) Fashion Weeks in the world New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, Milan Fashion Week, and London Fashion Week collaborated to form what is known as Fashion Month which takes place twice a year in February and September kicking off in New York and moving on to London, Milan, and Paris.
It's difficult enough to become relevant let alone stay relevant in a major market like New York where all of the resources can be found...hint hint and hence why The House of (DE-FI)ance is a much needed resource for regional fashion and design talent. (DE-FI) Global INC has always been adamant about the need for other fashion organizations to emerge and thrive in Dayton and have put our money where our mouth is by sponsoring, providing support and feedback, as well as promoting other regional fashion experiences that provide legitimate opportunities for fashion advancement...But don't get it twisted, we do not compromise with or support entities that conflict with our core values and ethics which doesn't make us super popular.
We said all of that, to say this, aside from the co-working, shared space, Build-A-Brand, and other service experiences that are offered at Our House, we are excited to introduce The Collabetive Collabetation where fashion and design talent come together to collaborate, compete, and cohabitate under one roof. Don't fall for the okie doke, you need competition; ask any investor, one of the first questions they ask business owner seeking a financial investment is "who is your competition?" and "what separates you from your competition?" Believe us when we say, if you come with, "I'm my own competition", "I'm staying in my lane", and "I don't have any competition" they'll close the door right in your face and assume one of three things about you:
1) You have a horrible business idea
2) You haven't done your research on the market
3) You're not coachable
In Our House, Collaboration is a valued necessity and COMPETITION is NOT a four letter word, it is a REQUIREMENT needed for any market to thrive. #CollabetiveCollabetation #ThisIsOurHouse
(DE-FI) has been a force to be reckoned since our 2013 launch and has single-handedly influenced regional fashion organizations from around the world to shift gears and do more for their talent. Locally, (DE-FI) has inspired other fashion/retail business and concepts as well as incubator initiatives around the Gem City who have modeled themselves after our patterns by fusing community outreach as their corner stone to help to make dreams come true and address community needs.
We cannot stress it enough the fashion industry is a business…you do not need a background and fashion or design to be a part of or successful at the House of (DE-FI)ance. Ask any creative that you know, one of the most difficult things about getting their brand off the ground is having support on the business side of the industry.
Your business is our business and we are ready to help support your dreams by supplying the resources that you need to help you turn your goals into reality. Whether you are just starting out, seeking impartial advice, or established and looking to refresh or restructure your business or brand, we've got you covered.
Outside of the fashion co-working, networking, and makers experiences that we provide, our Dreamforce Business Consulting services are here to help you achieve your dreams without leaving Dayton for the opportunity to do so.
Visualize, strategize, analyze, support, and execute. It’s time to create and build new relationships and not just new numbers. We’re here to help you thrive through shared experiences, knowledge and support…are you ready to make the most of every opportunity? We are here to help you boost your bottom line, image, and brand recognition. Whether you're just starting out, looking to restructure your brand or business, ready to be recruited or scouted for your talent, or searching for the missing assets that you need to build your team; we have you covered!
The House of (DE-FI)ance's Dreamforce offers in-house support in the following areas separate from our Build-A-Brand Experiences:
Business Management- Our Business Management Consultants can assist you with your business creation, refreshing your business, goal setting, and developing your image. They can also assist by connecting you to other members who are providing the services that you need to help build and complete your team including technical support.
Business Analyst- Our Business Analyst will help you with Business Evaluations, Business Planning, Consumer Segmentation, Consumer Market Knowledge, Pricing Strategies & Margins, and Value Experience.
Accounting- We have C.P.A.’s in house to assist you with personal analysis, budgeting, goal setting, tax planning and learning how to pay yourself!
Branding and Rebranding- Our in-house branding leaders will assist you with Strategic Marketing Support, Image Consulting, Commercial Creation/Rebranding
Image Consulting-Updating your wardrobe, product photography and headshots. We even have an in-house #GlamSquad team of Hair and Makeup Artist, estheticians, nail techs and wardrobe stylist to help you pull your updated look together.
Social Media Marketing-Let’s face it, if you’re not present on Social Media…you’re not really present. Our Social Media experts are here to help you put your best foot forward with your email marketing campaigns, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube Management.
Graphic Design-There’s a saying that the majority of communications is non-verbal, let our Graphic Designers tell your story via visual communication. What images and/or colors represent your ideas and message? Our Graphic Design Team can help you with advertisement, art direction, banners, billboards, book covers, brand identity, brochures, business cards, booklets, catalogs, flyers, magazine, newsletters, packaging design, printing, signage, vehicle wraps, web design and so much more.
Photography- Yep, we even have a team of photographers to help you with professional headshots, commercials, editorials, events, fashion, lighting, Actor/Modeling Headshots, Product shoots, real estate, retouch, and weddings.
Videography- Let us capture your moving images via electronic media for broadcasting, corporate commercials, documentaries, editing, film scoring, lighting, motion graphics, music, real estate, short films, and training.
E-Commerce- In the age of COVID-19 more people are turning to buying and selling goods and services, transmitting funds or data electronically and over the internet. Whether it’s Business-to-Business, Business-to-Consumer, Consumer-to-Consumer, or Consumer-to-Business. We have E-Commerce experts here to help you reach them all.
Writers- One of the single most requested services that we've received is writing support, whether it's for a website, telling the story of their brand, or simply write a blog or Press Release. Writing is probably the most under appreciated aspect of the fashion industry.
Life Coaching- let's face it, we all get tired, discouraged, frustrated, and stuck at the fork in the road and need help getting back on track, inspired, and headed in the right direction.
Mentors-Sometimes we just need somebody to talk to that you can trust advise us on the next big step. You don't need to be stuck or discouraged, your cup could be running completely over and you simply just need someone to talk to to about life and stuff...or business, it's completely up to you. Success, trials, errors, and achieving goals, all bring a new set of needs. Why not reach out to someone whose been through it?
Financial Planners- Does this really need a description? Money, money, money, you either don't have enough or if you have enough, not sure what to do with it...we've got you covered.
Due to financial hardships, we have several participants in our incubators who are unable to afford the cost of the services that we offer. We never turn anyone away due to their inability to pay. Your support and contributions to The Art of (DE-FI)ance Fashion Fund allows us to keep our services affordable and provide hardship grants to participants in need.
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