East Boston is home to a different kind of start-up incubator

BOSTON — Incubator sites are all over Boston and Cambridge, where entrepreneurs are hoping the next big high-tech idea could take off.

In East Boston, there’s a different spin on that concept. It’s a facility where budding fashion designers can get some help taking their dreams to the runways.

Donielle McKeever is the founder and CEO of Thread Tech, an incubator where attendees can learn the ins and outs of the fashion world.

“Thread Tech is a one-stop-shop for fashion designers," McKeever explained. "Designers can come in with just an idea or a concept and we’ll work with them all the way through product development.”

Joanne DiCamillo has been coming to Thread Tech as she and a friend launch “Be Free”, a clothing line featuring garments for people who are mobility impaired.

“We needed a lot of services," DiCamillo said. "We needed design consultation, pattern making, tech packs, things that are still kind of foreign to us.”

McKeever, who has worked in the fashion industry for two decades, said this is a tough business for newcomers to navigate.

“It can be so overwhelming," he said. "It can be costly, and it’s just one of the reasons why individuals have great ideas and they just stop completely.”

Fashion hopefuls can rent industrial sewing machines by the hour, attend sewing labs, have easy access to a professional fashion photographer, or learn how to get a product to market.

Adam Jacknow runs “Garment Valet,” a Boston-based dry-cleaning service. He came to Thread Tech because he was looking for a way to make his company more environmentally friendly by reducing their use of single-use plastic bags.

Jacknow is designing a reusable bag that keeps clothes nicely folded when they’re returned to a customer.

“I am learning that what we’re designing could be used and marketed and sold to companies like mine,” he said.

McKeever believes Thread Tech is a one-of-a-kind facility in the country right now.

Prices vary depending on which services a client selects.

Comments on this article