The state's first and only fashion business incubator will begin offering cutting-edge training and educational activities to fashion start-ups thanks to a grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
The $65,000 grant to the Lansing Economic Development Corporation
will enable the development of strategic and sustainable curriculum for The Runway
—curriculum that LEAP says will nurture the growing fashion industry across the state.
"The Runway is the catalyst to start the conversation about the fashion industry in Lansing as well as state-wide," says Quin Stinchfield, manager of business incubation for LEAP. "It's a way to help people coming out of our various fashion programs stay in the area and build a business."
Curriculum and training, Stinchfield says, is key to the success of The Runway, located inside the renovated Knapp's Centre in downtown Lansing. Potential partners in curriculum development and delivery include fashion programs through Lansing Community College and Michigan State University, Michigan Fashion Proto, the MSU Alumni Association, Detroit Garment Guild Group, Michigan Garment Industry Council, and other fashion-focused organizations across the state.
Workshops under construction include pattern making, draping basics, fashion sketching and various studio sessions that help people refine and learn garment-making skills.
"We're working to put a curriculum in place that no matter what stage you're at, there's a offering or piece that you can gain knowledge from," says Stinchfield.
Other educational and knowledge-based activities supported through the grant include a web-based library, a monthly speaker series, an international fashion exchange program, and quarterly trainings on equipment. Some activities will be open to the public. In addition, Foster, Swift, Collins, and Smith PC—one of The Runway's key sponsors—will be on site twice a week to provide legal services to members of The Runway.
"We want to be able to provide a full package to help someone launch a company," says Stinchfield. "When we say we want to bring retail back to Lansing, this is among the great ways and methods to do it."
Source: Quin Stinchfield, Manager of Business Incubation, LEAP
Writer: Ann Kammerer, News Editor
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