Supporting the Local Fashion ecosystem for Over 5 years

Fashion Institute Midwest

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The Fashion Institute Midwest (FIM) is a non-profit committed to nurturing aspiring designer talent and supporting the Midwest fashion ecosystem. FIM's mission is to provide regional fashion designers with mentoring, training, resources, and industry network opportunities to fulfill their creative potential in the fashion industry.

Designer Workroom + Salon

Business Incubation


Developing the whole designer

A platform for funding and educating designers.

The Fashion Institute Midwest develops the whole designer and the fashion ecosystem through four project pillars: creative inspiration, skill development, resource development, and business incubation.

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Sip and Sew


supporting the local fashion ecosystem since 2014

Educational Workshops-

We are planting seeds- or should we say “laying stitches” – through year-round designer programming. Our educational workshops are available for designers at all levels. Whether just starting out or seeking manufacturing partners, our local designers need assistance with business plans, networking, strategic actions, and marketing knowledge. FIM helps them to sharpen creative abilities, hone business acumen, and connect resources and opportunities.

FIM Case Studies

FIM is excited to partner with Metropolitan Community College. If you are interested in pursuing a degree in fashion or just want to enjoy a new hobby, take four noncredit classes through FIM to receive a MCC Noncredit Fashion Certificate and a credit toward the MCC Fashion Design program. Enroll now.

In 2017 FIM opened a permanent workroom headquarters with work tables, sewing equipment, fabric library, dress forms, classroom space, and more inspiring new partnerships to form. FIM began working collaboratively with other area programs to provide the facilities and expertise needed to propel their vision. Joslyn’s Kent Bellows Teen program for Fashion Arts is held in FIM’s facilities to ensure these teens are exposed to professional tools of the trade.

We are proud to tell you a recent success story which began with FIM mentoring a new designer step-by-step in how to make her concept a reality. This is Karissa’s story. FIM workroom manager and designer, Denise Ervin, created a sample based off of Karisa’s drawings and specs. Then the pair traveled to Kansas City to look at small batch manufacturing. FIM then brought in Yolanda Diaz, a fashion designer and one of the city’s only independent manufacturers of children’s clothing. Yolanda was able to produce the sample as garments ready for sale. Throughout the process, Karisa attended many FIM workshops and knew she would need to have images to promote her company on social media. She sourced models and a professional fashion photography to showcase her work. Karissa is now selling her custom designed clothing and set up for success due to FIM’s leadership throughout her journey.

Our Team

Denise Ervin, Workroom Manager

Hannah Thomas, Administrative Assistant

FIM Board

Sam Hohman

Chloe Firestone

Alyssa Dilts

Susie Shoemaker

Mike Schilken

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