FABRIC Invests in Upgrades, Increases Capacity of Rentable Event Space
The nonprofit FABRIC provides apparel entrepreneurs with training, guidance, innovative industry resources and access to no-minimum and on-demand manufacturing so they can build sustainable fashion businesses domestically. Their space in downtown Tempe was popular for gatherings pre-pandemic and is now back open with more options for community and corporate events.
Before the pandemic, event space rental fees became the main income generator for the nonprofit. However, COVID changed this model. As the world closed down, FABRIC turned its event space into a PPE factory, manufacturing 600K reusable medical gowns for healthcare facilities. As an essential business, it also provided more than 100 jobs during the pandemic while continuing to serve the community.
As the need for gowns was met, FABRIC moved the manufacturing out and renovated its event space in the hope of generating pre-pandemic rental income. The cutting table and sewing machines were removed, cement floors ground down and polished and live-streaming technology was added so the space could host virtual, in-person and hybrid events.
FABRIC’s 4,500 square foot theater has capacity for nearly 400 and is perfect for a wide range of events, including galas, corporate events, weddings, music festivals, seminars and proms. The space features state-of-the-art lighting, sound and projection, and is equipped with tables, chairs, linens, a hair salon, make-up and photography studios, an outdoor courtyard and a backstage area that can double as a smaller event space.
Post-pandemic event rentals have been slow to resume. At the same time, the incubator has seen increased demand for its support services. One hundred percent of all rental fees support a nonprofit making a significant community impact by helping apparel entrepreneurs grow local businesses and make their fashion business dreams come true.
Since 2016, FABRIC has contributed more than $5 million to the community in the form of free and discounted programs and services to more than 700 apparel entrepreneurs/brands. A majority of these are minorities, disabled, veterans or economically disadvantaged.