top of page

If you would are a Michigan-based fashion professional, including designers, photographers, bloggers, fashion reps, etc., and would like to be considered for a spot in the DGG Fashion Incubator, please fill out the form on the right. 

Detroit Garment Group Expands Its Fashion Incubator Offerings To Better Support Detroit’s Fashion Community


Detroit Garment Group is now servicing a larger segment of Detroit’s fashion community by offering additional services in its year-old fashion incubator based in TechTown in Detroit. The DGG Fashion Incubator was created to assist Detroit’s burgeoning class of fashion professionals with learning how to be successful entrepreneurs while building their fashion collections and is one of many educational programs presented by the five year-old non-profit organization whose mission is to cultivate education and economic development opportunities for Michigan's fashion community.


Along with offering office and production space, industrial sewing machines, high-end design technology, a mailing address, and 24-hour access, the incubator, which previously serviced mainly the sewing production needs of fashion designers, has now expanded to include ancillary services that cater not only to fashion designers, but other industry professionals such as photographers, bloggers and fashion reps. New services include a photography and design studio with capabilities for conducting full product and fashion photo shoots, as well as onsite photography editing.


"We're retooling the DGG Fashion Incubator to be more inclusive for fashion professionals," said Lindsey Alexander, Executive Director of Detroit Garment Group. "By adding backdrops for photographers, utilizing the desk space differently and only keeping the sewing machines used most, we are able to welcome many different fashion professionals into our space, and create an opportunity for better networking and potential collaborations within the community."


DGG is now accepting new incubator residents, along with hourly, half day and full day studio rentals to utilize either the industrial sewing machines or photography equipment. To learn more about the incubator and other programs such DGG’s annual FashionSpeak conference or Industrial Sewing Certificate Program, contact Lindsey Alexander at 248-866-8129 or


View the DGG Fashion Incubator

Our journey, from start to finish.


cubator 6

cubator 6

ashion Incubator 8

ashion Incubator 8

bator 26

bator 26


Scott Tallenger, CEO of Left-Handed Branded

Scott Tallenger, Left-Handed Branded

Former Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the DGG Fashion Incubator

"The Fashion Incubator was one-stop shopping for me and my start-up business. Access to industrial machinery is always a good thing, but I found the monthly lecture series to be timely, informative and extremely applicable to my apparel company: Left-Handed Branded LLC. I had access to professionals via mentorship opportunities in every aspect of the fashion business. This helped keep my costs down and keep me moving forward developing my product line while simultaneously taking care of the business end of things. I even met a couple of suppliers through the lecture series. The DGG Showroom at the end of the program put me in talks with (and a few orders from) several local boutiques in and around the Metro Detroit area. I highly recommend The Fashion Incubator to any one serious about starting a fashion brand."



Wes Pikula

Mandy Rice


Nate Forbes & Somerset Collection

Anita Abrol

Heather Menzies

Karen MacDonald

Niki Serras

Stephen Fleck

Queens Women's Accessories

Kim Collins

Julie Ritten

Stacey DuFord

Fashion Association of Merchandising and Design at Central Michigan University

Deanna Swisher, Attorney, Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith PC

Delores Baran

Dreta Roggenbuck

Bob Bland

Andrea Cavanaugh

Treger Strasberg

Tom Teknos of Hudson Cafe & The Jagged Fork

Jeff Schattner

Carlotta Tutt Holloway

Randall Goodman

Lians Jadan

Mark Malatesta

Mary Ignatius


The Sivanandham Family, P. Siva, Mano, Shanthi and Ravi

Monica Bisignano Zamler

Meet the Fashion Incubator Mentors

Michelle Roberts | Fashion Business Mentor

Michelle Roberts is a textile and apparel expert who helps apparel entrepreneurs source materials for their line so they can save time and improve their bottom line. She helps them create and streamline product creation processes that get the right product in front of their customer at the right price.  She accomplishes this by  providing educational courses that teach others to do this on their own, as well as offering done-for-you services for those who need it done faster, by an expert. You can find her at

Rita Hillmen | Small Business Mentor

Rita Hillman, Small Business Consultant for the Michigan Small Business Development Center, is the Small Business mentor for DGG's Fashion Incubator. As a Small Business Consultant at the Michigan Small Business Development Center (MI-SBDC), Rita works with new startups and existing businesses that have annual revenues of $750,000 or less. Consulting services provided by Small Business DevelopmentCenters (SBDC’s) consist of providing both potential and existing business owners with advice and resources for all aspects of the business in order to help companies launch, survive and grow. This is achieved with the creation of a new business plan or business expansion plan.


Rita also helps the potential or existing business owner obtain market research, financial industry data and create financial projections. Lastly, Rita works with potential and existing entrepreneurs to evaluate all aspects of the business plan idea and the operations for the existing business in order to help them secure business funding capital to help the business to start or grow.

Deanna Swisher | Legal Mentor

Deanna Swisher is a Shareholder at Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C., and leads the firm’s fashion and design law team, Fosterfashion.  She received her juris doctorate from Indiana University School of Law and attended Fordham Law’s Fashion Law Institute to master issues of unique interest to fashion designers. 


In addition to her fashion law practice, Deanna has years of experience in commercial and employment litigation.  She is AV® Preeminent™ Martindale-Hubbell rated and recognized by Best Lawyers in America© (Commercial Litigation).  Deanna represents clients in contract, warranty, real estate, creditor rights, employee misclassification and covenants not to compete disputes.  She drafts employment and independent contractor agreements. Deanna also serves as an American Arbitration Association arbitrator. 


Deanna regularly advises designers who are in the "start-up" phase of their business, and she and other members of Fosterfashion meet the needs of designers, others in the garment industry, and a variety of creative entrepreneurs.

Pamela Hartman | Finance Mentor

Pamela Hartmann, Detroit Garment Group’s Finance Mentor, worked in finance and investments for 15 years before earning a PhD in psychology at University of Detroit Mercy and developing the private psychology practice where she works today. After completing her MBA in finance at the University of Michigan, Dr. Hartmann traded and underwrote municipal bonds for National Bank of Detroit, then moved to Michigan Bell Telephone Company’s pension fund investment group. She spent nearly a decade at Michigan Bell, primarily as a financial manager in the Treasury Department, and later, Assistant Treasurer.


Dr. Hartmann’s accomplishments include developing Michigan Bell’s daily cash forecasting system; managing banking relationships with over 200 local, national and international banks; managing about $6 million of cash a day; issuing commercial paper; borrowing and investing; and developing and managing Michigan Bell’s Master Financial Plan. She also served as Controller for Michigan Bell’s marketing subsidiary and, as Assistant Treasurer for Michigan Bell, managed the company’s internal marketing and economic modeling research group in addition to Treasury Operations. In her psychology practice, Dr. Hartmann works with people of all ages who want to improve or make changes in their lives. Since 2008, she has volunteered a morning a week to coach managers displaced by the Great Recession in transitioning to new careers. Two years ago, Dr. Hartmann re-ignited her lifelong passion for fabric and fashion.  Learning about sewn products manufacturing brought Dr. Hartmann to her current involvement in the Detroit Garment Group. 

MarCy Cyburt | Sales Mentor

MarCy Cyburt is a designer representative who got her start as a sales manager for local radio stations. She was National Sales Manager for WLLZ, General Sales Manager for WLTI/WDRQ, Director of Sales for AM/FM Radio Group and General Sales Manager for WMGC. During her last three years in the radio business, MarCy worked as both designer representative and stylist, styling magazine shoots, catalogs and runway shows in her spare time.


In the summer of 2012, MarCy took the plunge and become a full-time designer representative working with local fashion and accessories designers. She assists in designing and refining their websites, linesheets, lookbooks and products, as well as helping put their products into big-box stores.


MarCy sits on the Board of DGG, and sat on the Board of Fashion Group International in 2012.

Carlotta Tutt Holloway | Marketing Mentor

Carlotta Tutt Holloway is a progressive marketer with over 15 years working experience in the field of Marketing/Advertising, Media and Event Production.

Her varied media relations, buying and planning, account services, and event management skills were honed at companies and agencies such as A&E Television Networks, BBDO Detroit, Carlson Marketing, Momentum Worldwide, and GlobalHue. She has expertise in developing, presenting, and implementing brand integrated marketing, digital, traditional and social media, traditional advertising, and event strategies, managing projects and campaigns for such high-level brands as Walmart, Chrysler International, Dodge, Ford, Lincoln Mercury, General Motors, McDonald’s, Verizon Wireless, Susan G. Komen, Prudential, and the United States Navy.

Career highlights include spearheading Walmart’s sponsorship of the ESSENCE Music Festival, the world’s largest cultural gathering of African Americans, raising $2MM for the activation, improving brand reputation and sales among client targets, and increasing sales by 200% for participating partners. She has also managed a multi-national advertising and CRM and catalog program for 57 countries for Chrysler International, facilitated the international launch of the Chrysler minivan catalog and CRM initiatives, and implemented the largest collective of recognition programs in the world, the GM Dealer Recognition Programs.

Carlotta serves on the Board of Directors for the Detroit Garment Group and Living Arts organization (pending), is Artistic Program Chair for The Pierians, Inc., and former member of the National Urban League, National Coalition of 100 Black Women, National Association of Negro Business Professional Women Club, National Association of Women Business Owners, Adcraft Club of Detroit, Women in Communications, Michigan Association of Female Entrepreneurs, and Blacks in Advertising, Radio, and Television.

Karen MacDonald-Basile | Public Relations Mentor

Karen Mac Donald offers three decades of marketing and public relations experience. As former Director of Communications for shopping center developer Taubman, Karen was responsible for planning and managing public relations programs for over 30 shopping centers, as well as directing the corporate marketing and public relations programs.

Karen's public relations efforts have been covered in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Women's Wear Daily, and many other national, local and international media outlets.

Karen left Taubman in 2014 to start a new chapter in her career. Inspired by her mom when she was in the hospital before she passed away, Karen launched her own company called Wrapped in Love (, designing and manufacturing wraps and head wraps for hospital and chemotherapy patients, to provide them with warmth, beauty and dignity. Wrapped in Love is available on-line and in shops in Michigan and Florida.

Ylondia Portis | Consumer Intelligence Mentor

Ylondia is a 20+ year seasoned executive with expertise in Consumer Intelligence, Integrated Marketing, Digital Strategy, & Analytics. She's worked with several major ad agencies and marketing research firms in multiple leadership positions. Ylondia has advised Fortune 500 Brands across the Automotive, Adult Beverage, Private Label, Health & Beauty, New Home Construction, and Health Care Industries. Today, armed with years of knowledge, keen business acumen, and a passion for innovation, she's sharing my capabilities as a consultant with the goal of facilitating  ‘Love Affairs’ between brands and their present and future customers. 

bottom of page