We Are Dreaming Big
of a design studio / incubator space
It is 1:30am and I am sewing shoulder straps on dresses inside my little store. I have a folding table open in the middle of the cozy 175'sq space, covered with fabrics I meant to get to this evening, (or morning, or, whatever.) which seems like I will not get to them at this point. I am now a bit too tired to be trusted with a decent cutting job, anyway.
JP Morgan Chase and Living Social are awarding up to 12 individual grants in the amount of $250,000, and babyNOIR has filed an application for it this month.
It is a loooooong shot, Okay? But we can't not try. That, I am certain, is what thousands of other small business owners who applied for this grant are thinking.
Before I opened this little boutique, which now doubles as my work space after-hours, I used to make patterns, cut, and sew at my friends' basements. That worked, like this arrangement right here at my store is "working", but none of it is ideal. Just as professional dancers need real dance floor, designers need real design studio. And, I'm not the only one.
Several of my fashion designer friends have the same needs as I - real cutting table, industrial sewing machines, good lighting, industrial iron, good dress forms, etc. in a big enough space to move around, where it doesn't have to turn into something else, like a store, or a dining room, at the end of its use. It is hard to have in an average New York City apartment. need such a space, and I want other designers to have such a space.
Incubator design studio.
There are a couple of them for chefs in the area. Incubator kitchens. Why not incubator design studio? It would cost money, and no one seems to want to create one. So, why not me? My friends and I have been talking about creating such a space for a while now. With this type of grant, this is totally possible. It will help me and my business needs, and help the fellow designers' needs as well. It would be rented hourly, so the cost of running it would be offset by it.
We will be holding arts and crafts classes. Sewing and fashion design classes taught by professional fashion designers who are Parsons and FIT graduates - who wouldn't want that? In Queens?
Well, we will see how it will go. If not for this grant, we will find a way to realize this dream some other way.
All other thousands of small business owners must have their own version of big dreams for their business. Like twinkling stars in the sky, each one of us has her own story to tell.
Good luck to us all.