PRESS – DesignLab Miami Featured in VoyageMIA

Meet Angie Cohen of DesignLab Miami

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angie Cohen.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Angie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.

DesignLab has a very interesting beginning and took an unusual path to where it is now. I am a graduate of FIT in NY and after school had worked in design and production for well-known companies including J.G Hook in Philadelphia and Calvin Klein in NY. Like many successful professional women, I decided to put my career “on hold” when I had my two wonderful children. In 2010, I had spent many years as a stay at home mom and although I really enjoyed that time, I did miss the hectic, creative life I had before.

Fate then stepped in when a friend of mine who owned a small business realized she had a little more retail space than she needed. I took the top floor of the location and I started creating a baby line for the retail store downstairs. I started teaching kids right away as well and gave me an immense satisfaction. After a year, my friend decided to leave the retail business and left me the entire location. I took over the lease and DesignLab Miami was born. I am passionate about what I teach and love to share my knowledge and skills with others. I created an innovated sewing program that will allow anyone to create and build a solid foundation, without having any experience or knowledge.

Over the years I’ve added wonderful new creative avenues like fashion technology (3D printing, laser cutting, etc.), sustainable materials, and so much more. I’ve created programs for schools and organizations and even started a non-profit company (DesignLab Give) to help teach underprivileged and impoverished women and girls around the world the skills I know and love. From humble beginnings to impact around the world, I’ve had an unusual and organic journey!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Well smooth isn’t exactly what I’d call it ?

I’m a woman, a minority, and just for good measure, has virtually no experience running my OWN small business so my challenges were set out for me to begin with. That said, I’ve never experienced the kind of satisfaction that comes from watching my talented young designers learn, grow and discover the creativity that I believe is in everyone.

Rough or smooth it’s been worth every minute

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about DesignLab Miami – what should we know?
DesignLab Miami is a creative studio. We teach all aspects of fashion, design, sewing, textiles, and fashion technology. The studio also does all kinds of unique parties from birthdays to bridal showers and even “outfits for your pet” parties. We specialize in teaching young people (from 7 to teen) but do classes and workshops for all ages though adults (who love our “Sip & Sew” monthly event that brings professional women together to create). Some of the things I’m most proud of are the many kids I’ve helped go on to higher education (from DASH and MAC to Parsons, FIT and more) as well as the school programs I’ve created. I truly believe that the “life skills” I teach need to be part of standard education (as they once were!). Some of my students have even gone on to create their own fashion lines (i.e. Ariel Swedroe ( who came to me as a shy 8-year-old and now at 13 owns her own swimwear and resort wear company!) I’m of course also enormously proud of my non-profit, DesignLab Give. My partner and co-founder Paula Villamizar have already begun using it to help people around the world.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I believe there’s no such thing as a “self-made” person and I’d never be where I am today without the expertise and support of my friends and of course my family who are always there to help, advise, and guide me though any decision large or small

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ivian Ruiz