Indie Source Delivers

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IndieViews: Meet Johnny Quintero

Our IndieViews series highlights the talented and committed people who power Indie Source.

In our interview with Indie Source’s trim specialist Johnny Quintero, he shares his wisdom, experience, and excitement for what’s next.

What inspired you to work in fashion?

I would have to say the artistic part of fashion. I’ve always been attracted to fashion growing up. Seeing people express themselves through clothing always puts a smile on my face!

What advice would you give an aspiring fashion designer?

Do your research and think your design through to the end. Think about how your garments will be produced in production and design thoughtfully! I’ve seen so many times, designers “make it happen” or alter trim, sewing or cutting for samples and when the garment goes into production everyone scrambles to figure out how to reproduce the sample. You do not want to sell your garments one way and then in production find out you can’t do the same.

JQ2-for-webWhat has your career path looked like? 

Most of my experience has been in production. I started out as an assistant for development and production, then a production trim buyer, to domestic production manager and import coordinator. What brought me to Indie Source was the opportunity to be part of a development team again. I love working with a team to bring peoples designs to life.

What sets Indie Source apart from other places where you’ve worked?

The wonderful people here! Everyone has an entrepreneur attitude and we all work so well together. It’s a great team to be a part of.

What’s the best aspect of working at Indie Source?

The best aspect of Indie Source is meeting like minded people and always developing new and exciting garments! Every client is different and the work is always changing.

Any amazing Indie Source moments? 

Right now is the most memorable moment! We are growing the company and partnering up with so many great brands. I can’t wait to see what next year has in store for us!

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Watch Indie Source In Action On BET

Indie Source delivers for Damon Dash’s Poppington on BET’s Music Moguls.

Damon Dash’s vision for his Poppington apparel line is 100% independent and made in America using the highest quality materials and construction. On BET’s Music Moguls, Dash finds the key to his vision in Indie Source.

The BET crew captures Dash and partner Raquel M. Horn’s visit to Indie Source and meeting with Zack Hurley and Emily Meaker, where they review sketches and discuss samples. Dame’s reaction when he receives his samples from Indie Source? In a word – LOVE!

“To make something in America, at the quality and level that you like it … to me that’s real fashion,” says Dash. “With a group like Indie Source, I can make my samples, I can cut to order. I don’t have to hold a lot of inventory, because inventory’s what kills you in the fashion business.”

As a company that was created to help support independent designers, Indie Source is excited to be manufacturing Dame Dash’s vision for Poppington. We help designers like Dash develop their initial product. They bring us their sketches and we make modifications, source the fabric, and put together a collection for them. Once they’re happy with samples, we take them into production. And we manufacture it all here in Los Angeles. Indie Source is transforming the fashion industry in LA and making dreams into reality for indie designers.

Check us out in the Music Moguls episode below and find out more about what Indie Source has to offer independent fashion designers.

https://youtu.be/J2zSE6jDnrI?t=13m50s

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Ace Your Indie Source Intro Meeting

Ready to work with Indie Source? Your Intro Meeting is the first step. Here’s everything you need to know.

When you’re ready to transform your daydreams and sketches into a clothing line, Indie Source is the resource to make that happen. As a full service clothing manufacturer, Indie Source takes your ideas and makes them into something wearable by combining the right materials, fit, and construction. Our experienced, knowledgeable and passionate team will transform that overwhelming feeling of “where to begin” into the sense of delight that comes from manufacturing your line and bringing it to market.

The Intro Meeting

Your first step in working with Indie Source is the Intro Meeting. This is your chance to introduce your brand to us and share your vision for your business, as well as the specific products we’ll be creating with you. In your Intro Meeting meeting you will:

  • Meet your project manager, who will be your direct point of contact. They’re going to supervise, manage, and ensure the overall success of your project.
  • Meet our fabric specialist and trim specialist, who will be sourcing the perfect fabric and trims for your products.
  • Meet with Indie Source’s pattern maker, who will take fit notes (if you already have a prototype sample) .

The Indie Source team is experienced, knowledgeable and dedicated to making you and your brand a success and helping you along the way.

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To get the most powerful results from your Intro Meeting, you’ll need to be ready to discuss a broad range of topics around your label, as well as go into detail about each one.  Here’s a rundown of all the info you should have at the ready.

About Your Brand

  • Have a strong vision and goals, and know the values of your brand
  • What makes your brand unique or special?
  • Who is your competition?
  • What are your specific goals for your brand?
  • What is important to you in the development of your brand?
  • Are you price or quality focused?
  • Do you have a logo? Tag line? Mission statement?

Have A Brand Business Plan

  • How are you going to sell your product? Will you have a website? A storefront? Sell wholesale to retailers?
  • How are you going to market your brand? To who?
  • What are the price points for your products? How much do you want to pay to produce them versus how much do you want to sell them for?
  • How many units are you going to order? We have a minimum of 3 style and 250 pieces per style.
  • What is your budget for development? For production?

Have A Product Plan

  • Remember – we think of you as the designer! We are here to bring your ideas to life. Think through all the small details. We’re happy to make suggestions and help, but this is YOUR brand!
  • What are your sizes going to be? XS-XL? S-L?
  • What size would you like your samples to be made in? Think about who would come and try them on. If it is you, have the samples made in your size so you can make sure it’s the perfect fit.
  • What are the grading rules for your production? This means how much bigger do you want each size to be from the last? It is usually 2’’, but look at a line in a store or do some research and compare.
  • Will there be artwork on your products? This includes your logo.
  • What will your main label tags look like? Will they be printed or sewn in? They should have your name, logo, tagline, where it is made, and size. What will they look like? You send your tag artwork before your first meeting!
  • Are you going to have a hang tag or any other tagging or labeling on your products? Think about what they’ll look like in the store.
  • What colors do you want for your fabrics? Bring a color sample with you. We will find similar colors in in-stock fabrics. If you absolutely need a specific hue, we will need to dye it! Bring the exact color sample or find it using the PANTONE color finder. Keep in mind that colors might look different on a screen than in reality.

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Have A Timeline

  • When do you need your samples done? The development process usually takes around six weeks. However, the more custom and detailed your products are, the longer it will take (i.e. custom elastic and prints).
  • When do you want full production to be done? Production usually takes about 4-8 weeks depending on the complexity of your designs.
  • Set dates from start to finish! When do you want your clothes ready to be sold?

Have Patience

If we’re starting your line from scratch, it might take a round or two of sample making and fittings to get everything perfect. Indie Source wants to make sure you love your line and fits how you want. Be prepared to make more than one sample.

Now that you know what you’ll need to get started, are you ready to call Indie Source? Let’s manufacture your dream line!

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IndieViews: Meet Rebecca Ellison

Our IndieViews series reveals the passion, expertise, and personalities behind Indie Source’s amazing team.

Get to know Rebecca Ellison, our superstar production assistant who helps turn clients’ fashion design dreams into reality.

Describe what you do at Indie Source.

I’m the trim buyer for the production team. When a client places a production order, I buy all of the zippers, buttons, elastic, and embellishments wholesale and make sure that they will work for the needs of each garment. I also order the labels that tell the buyers what the fabric is made out of and how to wash it. When we do screen printed logos or artwork, I help coordinate that, too. It’s a lot of small details that ultimately have a big impact.

What inspired you to work in the fashion industry?

I’ve always liked to make things–for myself and for others; for fun and for money– but I was planning on being a social worker because I was passionate about empowerment. I was actually in graduate school for social work when I realized that creating new things from raw materials is a tangible way to turn dreams into reality and that the process of creating something is empowering and has potential to change the way we live. I wound up switching career paths late in the game when I decided that apparel design is just as empowering as any kind of therapy and that I would enjoy it more than the traditional “helping professions.” I left social work school and signed up for trade school in apparel design, and I’m so glad I followed my heart when I did.

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Why Indie Source?

I knew that I wanted to work for a smaller company where I would feel like I was part of a team but not stuck doing one thing every day, and I wanted to get to interact with the client because I want to feel like I’m helping people reach their goals. Since Indie Source is full package, I get to see the whole process and witness the satisfaction the clients get designing from start to finish. The values of the company worked well with my own, and when I met the Indie Source team I felt like I would never get tired of spending time with them, which is important when it comes to a job, so I feel very lucky to have been introduced to Indie Source shortly after going to school for apparel design.

What types of clients and fashion markets have you worked with?

It’s so exciting to me that we have worked on everything from t-shirts to lingerie, whimsical things like a sweatshirt with devil horns and a tail, girls’ dresses with interchangeable trims, professional uniforms, vintage dresses, even leather accessories. Some clients have done productions before and know exactly what they want and expect, while others leave a lot of decisions up to us. Each project has its own challenges but it’s always something new so it keeps me learning everyday. There are people wanting to make something that’s unique or never been done before, and there’s so much new technology in fashion, so I expect that our clients and their customers will continue to widen, and the fashion markets will overlap more and more.

rebecca-and-lana-for-webWhat is your favorite thing about working at Indie Source?

My favorite thing about my job is being on a team that accomplishes huge projects because everyone plays their part. When we communicate well and coordinate effectively, we can produce a huge amount of product in a short period of time, but it’s only because everyone on the team has their own area of expertise, and everyone’s skills come together in a large production. My team members are the best thing about my job because we are interdependent but we also keep each other learning and laughing all the time.

What is a typical challenge that comes up in your work and how do you handle it?

The timeline for a production is a part of my job that calls for strategic thinking. When it comes to certain trims, such as a shiny gold plated zipper, getting them in bulk can take weeks because they have to be made for us. By the time I know exactly how many we need and what sizes we will get, the patterns are usually approved and the fabric is often faster to get delivered and cut. So waiting 6 weeks for zippers is too long. In that case I have to make decisions about what vendors to use based on their time frames as well as their pricing and product quality. Timing for trim buying is tricky but exciting.

 

gold-zipper-for-webWhat sets Indie Source apart from other fashion companies you’ve been involved with?

The atmosphere at Indie Source is both professional and fun-loving, which is hard to come by in my experience. Usually the work environment is either tense and stressful as deadlines get met, or there is too little focus on deadlines because everyone is laid back and not too concerned with their work at all. Indie Source is different because we keep a positive vibe in the office and we have fun together inside and outside of work, but it feels like each person in the office is silently keeping an eye on their calendar, their to-do list, and their work-related obligations. I never worry that a team member is not doing their job, because all of my co-workers are self-motivated and responsible people that are also a joy to be around.

Any wisdom you’d like to pass on to aspiring fashion designers?

I would encourage a new fashion designer to be very clear about their goals, and to know what elements are necessary to achieve them. Knowing what is important in order to create a look or for a garment to function perfectly is key when it comes to making a ton of decisions about the details. In some cases, a less expensive detail won’t impact the overall goal, but some details might be the thing that makes the garment what it’s supposed to be. If you’re clear about where you can cut costs without compromising your goals, you can make something that’s both affordable and exactly what you want. You just have to know what details are important for your design and make sure to keep your goal in focus through the whole process.

 

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IndieViews: Meet Jenn O’Mahony

In our IndieViews series, we get an in-depth look at the extraordinary people who make Indie Source work.

Inspired by Indie Source’s unique mission and culture, Development Project Manager Jenn O’Mahony creates outstanding results for clients’ fashion lines.

What is your role at Indie Source?

I’m a Project Manager within the Product Development division. Designers come to us with their ideas, and we help bring those to life through sourcing materials, making patterns, and hand sewing. Development is the beginning stage of creating your own line, and we help clients make their prototype and/or sales samples. I work with new designers and manage their development projects. This includes managing each step of the process: coordinating with them for our introduction meeting and planning, sourcing materials, pattern making, and sample making. I communicate with the clients on a constant basis to make sure we are creating exactly what they want and ensuring to keep us on schedule to have their samples done by their due dates. I also work with them to help meet their target price and get them fully prepared to move into production when they are ready. Additionally, I oversee the internal team that make all of this happen, including our fabric specialist, trim specialist, pattern maker, and sample makers.

How did you choose Indie Source?

Zack [Hurley] and Jesse [Dombrowiak] have a great vision for where they want the company to go, and I was on board from the moment they explained it to me in my interview. They’re two very down to earth guys but know exactly what they’re doing. Business savvy and genuine, these are the kind of people I like to work with – and I think our clients feel the same.

Client meeting with Arthur of FitScrubs. From left: Arthur, Jenn, Jesse.

Client meeting with Arthur of FitScrubs. From left: Arthur, Jenn, Jesse.

 

What sets Indie Source apart from other fashion companies you’ve been involved with?

What drew me to them at first, and why I’ve stayed – positive vibes. Everyone makes an effort to be happy. We all get stressed out from time to time, but everyone makes sure to keep positive about all of it. It’s very refreshing in this industry!

What inspired you to work in fashion?

I’ve always been interested in the fashion industry. I majored in Apparel Merchandising at Oklahoma State University and moved to LA after I graduated knowing that I wanted to get into the fashion industry here, but had no idea how. So my first job in LA was working as a Visual Merchandising Manager for a national women’s clothing store. Then I moved to work for a women’s contemporary dress line as their Pre-Production Assistant and later as Marketing and PR Coordinator.  I held each of those roles for two years respectively, but I’d say that the Pre-Production Assistant job is what most prepared me for what I do now.
It’s been a windy road with time spent in all areas of the industry, but I think that well-rounded experience gives me a unique perspective when working with the designers that come to us!

What’s the range of clients and fashion markets you work with?

Here at Indie we’ve worked on a little of everything! Clients range from very green young artists who just want to get a line started, to celebrities who want help starting their own brand. Garments we’ve worked on include: lingerie, baby clothes, women’s contemporary, men’s street wear, athletic, aprons, scrubs, and recently a fur collar. We’ve done almost anything you can think of if it has to do with apparel!

What advice would you give an aspiring fashion designer?

Do your research. Know what your target market is and find a niche to go for. You don’t want to get lost with everyone else making printed t-shirts. Do something unique! And have a budget. Take the time to plan out how much you want to spend on each piece of the puzzle and see what your total budget will need to be. This is a huge part of getting started in the industry and people will take you much more seriously if you know your target prices and have money saved to make your dream happen.

Launch party at The Reef. L to R: Jesse, Emily, Nara, Zack, Jenn, Lana.

Launch party at The Reef. L to R: Jesse, Emily, Nara, Zack, Jenn, Lana.

 

What’s the best aspect of working at Indie Source?

I’m always learning about something new because our clients are constantly coming up with new ideas and we have to figure out how to make them happen. The building we’re in is great as well because we are surrounded by creative people. It’s very inspiring.

What’s your favorite Indie Source story?

My favorite memory so far is when my first development fashion brand went into production. They were so excited to be producing the garments and super happy with the outcome. It was great to see all of our hard work together pay off and see their dream come true!

 

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Blue Jean Baby, LA Label

What difference does Indie Source make for its clients? We asked Blue Jean Baby’s Lola Rogers.

Lola Rogers gives us a real world look into how Indie Source delivers on its commitment to designers developing and producing their lines in Los Angeles. Lola has a commitment to Made In USA and a passion for the success of her eclectic and inspiring brand, Blue Jean Baby. In our interview, she reveals how partnering with Indie Source is making the difference in having it all come together beautifully.

Tell us about your line and what sets it apart.

Blue Jean Baby is the name of our line. My sister, Taylor, and I are from Texas, where the American classic – blue jeans – are a staple from farm girls to fashion girls alike! We love the easy going, care free vibe that a pair of blue jeans give to an outfit, but we have also always been drawn to luxurious fabrics that make up vintage lingerie, like silks and lace. Our line is a combination of these elements. We curate vintage as well as manufacture our own line.

A big part of our vintage line is our denim, predominately Levi’s 501’s, 505’s, and 517’s, but we also pick up Wrangler, Lee’s and any other unique looking denim we find when pulling vintage. The redline and selvedge Levi’s, we sell as is, in order to keep that authenticity, as some are from as early as the 1930’s. The later era denim, we rework with patches, embroidery, rosettes, etc. Our rework process is constantly evolving and it’s a lot of fun!

for-web-vintage1On the other side of things is our capsule collection, a vintage-modern twist on classic pieces like the slip dress, slip camisole, wide leg trousers, blazer with shoulder pads and a contrast hem, ruffle bloomer shorts, and a muscle tee. Our line is predominately silk, with a few cotton and rayons thrown in the mix. It is also all ivory, a simple neutral that we love because it can mix with anything … especially denim!

We love clothes that feel soft and easy, so that’s what we aim to create. Our Spring/Summer 16 line is mostly made from washed silks, linen, and cotton. We will continue to put an emphasis on quality fabric, as we believe that is what will set us apart from competing brands. High-quality fabrics are timeless.

We’re curating vintage, which we sell on Etsy currently, and once our line is being manufactured, we’re going to launch our vintage on our site, as well as our line. We’re hoping to open a storefront in Texas in the next year or so, and in the meantime we’re planning some pop-up shops in malls around Texas and possibly the LA area. We’re hoping to get on the festival scene or even get an airstream truck to sell our line on the road. We’ve done Flea Style in Houston and Dallas with our vintage collection and received a great response.

Who is your target customer?

Our customer is your laid back all-American girl who is inspired by culture, art, and music. She’s always down to try new things and meet new people because through these experiences she learns, finds new passions, and falls in love with what the world has to offer. On the other hand, she feels most at home in a pair of blue jeans and a white t-shirt.

Blue Jean Baby will be a fusion of exactly that. Our vintage Levi’s are a focal point of our brand because they are a base on which any style can be built, like the first coat on a canvas.

for-web-me&tay-copyWho or what inspired you to create your line? 

Growing up with a very fashionable and creative mama – although she would probably tell me not to say that – and we learned a lot from her sense of style! She was always re-decorating our house and we would tag along to vintage shops around Dallas finding amazing pieces of furniture, sometimes she would re-cover chairs, or re-work vintage furniture. As we got older, we developed our own taste in vintage clothing and loved the adventure of finding new shops, scavenging for the best pieces, etc. We knew from a young age that we would love to have our own store.

We are most inspired by the craftsmanship of vintage clothing; the delicacy, quality, and thought put in are impressive. As customers, that matters to us. So, we want to deliver that same standard with our clothes.

What is your fashion background and what type of work were you involved in before developing your line?

I went to college at Arizona State University, and Taylor went to Texas State University. After I graduated, I went on to FIDM because I wanted to learn everything about the fashion industry. My first job out of college was at Topson Downs of California, a large scale manufacturer in Culver City. I was doing accessory design and development as well as sourcing for a 20 person design team, in multiple divisions. Working at Topson really gave me the tools and confidence to begin the basics of design, which starts with conceptualizing the line, and sourcing the right fabrics and trims.

Taylor went on to work in retail at Aritzia in the Chicago area, and I went to work for Versace after I left my job at Topson. Once we’d gained substantial knowledge in multiple aspects of the industry, we felt prepared to take on this adventure of our own line, Blue Jean Baby.

for-web-boutique-neonWhat stage are you at in the development process?

As far as our capsule collection goes, we are in the last stages of the development process, which is so exciting! As far as designing and sampling and getting everything right, the process is not quick, most the time things need a second sampling, as it’s hard to get everything just right. Even the smallest details cannot be overlooked to bring together a precise and inspired collection that flows just right. We should have all our complete and perfected samples done by the end of this week. From there, we’re going to do our photo shoot, look book and then we’re going into production.

With our vintage line, the development process is never really complete, because each piece is one of a kind, it requires constant searching for the right pieces. We have reliable sources for most items at this point, but there are always more places to scour! The embroidery on denim trend is really hot right now, so we’ve had a great response to that, but we try to be innovative and fresh, so we’re never really done finding new ways to rework those pieces.

What challenges did you face before working with Indie Source? How has Indie Source made a difference for your success?

We just started conceptualizing our line and brand as a whole around October 2015. So once we knew we wanted to start with smaller runs, we began looking for a boutique full product manufacturer in the Los Angeles area, as Made in USA is a crucial aspect of our line. We visited with a few, and Indie Source just stood out.

Our first meeting with Emily was great, she was able to answer all the questions we had and calm any fears we expressed to her, all the while being extremely down to earth and easy going! It felt like a great fit.

It has been amazing to work with a team that is
really just there for us, isn’t too pushy, and has been willing to both collaborate and completely sit back and let us do our thing. Having done sourcing for one of my previous jobs, it was really important to me that I was able to collaborate in this aspect- and when I expressed this, they did not hesitate to meet this expectation. I was able to spend a morning sourcing alongside Nara, which allowed me to assure that she understood what exactly I was looking for. Some places won’t give you the time to work with them side by side like that.

So the biggest challenge in designing and developing a great line is always going to be time. Everyone is always going to wish there was more time in the day to get everything necessary done, especially when you’re working with different sources that all must work together to get one style done. Our project manager, Jennifer, has played a huge role in keeping us organized and on track. Having someone like her assures that little parts of the process, like care labels and hangtags, that can easily be overlooked in the craziness of creating and developing a line, are completed and ordered on time.

As far as production, we are just getting started, but I know that having someone work out our costing, is a huge, huge plus for us. Building our brand is the most important thing to us, but making money is obviously what we came here to do. So having someone we trust to crunch those numbers and assure that we are on track is a big factor for us.

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Is there anything you would have done differently?

The only thing we think we can improve on is just timing. When we decided to actually do this thing, we were in between seasons and new to the whole process, so we were designing with a certain season in mind and ended up having to adapt and change certain things to meet deadlines and ensure our product will hit the market at the ideal time to sell. When you are a creative mind, things can kind of take off in the direction of your art, but in the end, this is a money game, and staying on track is essential!

What has been the best surprise along your journey so far?

I think just the genuine response we’ve gotten from friends, family, and our vintage buyers thus far, has been the biggest victory! Having sorority sisters, and old friends reach out telling me they have told boutique owners about us, and not only that, but that they have gotten great responses, has been unbelievable!

 

for-web-neonWhat advice would you give to aspiring designers?

Follow your dreams! The marketplace may seem intimidating these days, everything is oversaturated and there is seemingly endless competition but staying true to YOU is what will set you apart from the crowd. You have an idea that you think is brilliant and you start Googling and you see it’s already been done. Fashion is always going to be a “knock off”. There’s no new silhouette you can come up with; everything’s been done. It’s all about putting your own flair on things. Confidence is key. My sister and I were very nervous at our fist show and the more you’re in the moment and making things happen and hearing people respond to things, it changes everything 100 percent. You have to just start doing it.

Not feeling the pressure to know it all is important. My dad was CEO of a company and he would say, “I don’t look to hire people who I’m smarter than; I want to hire people who are smarter than me”. He wanted to bring people onto his team who could teach him things and provide a new, fresh point of view.” That gave me a lot of insight. In my first meetings I felt nervous and shy about not knowing everything. But I realized the reason for working with other people is to learn and hear their ideas and get inspired from that. Knowing your strengths, and knowing when to sit back and listen to other people is key.

Everyone is afraid, no matter what people say. It’s scary to invest in yourself sometimes, but that’s the best thing you can do. Take the time to learn as much as you can before you go out on that limb, but there is no way you can know everything. Once you take that leap, you learn that you must be willing to adapt and learn as you go. Things will be thrown at you and you will be forced to make big decisions, but you will rise to the occasion, I promise!

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Why Made In USA Matters

Indie Source enables independent designers to produce fashion lines that are made in the USA. But why?

For Indie Source, “Made in USA” is much more than a label or marketing tagline. The loss of American clothing manufacturing jobs to low-wage overseas factories has been harmful to workers, communities, and the environment. In addition to being a powerful resource for designers to develop and produce their lines, Indie Source is committed to reviving American clothing manufacturing and, along with it, creating skilled, well-paying jobs for domestic workers while influencing a move away from cheaply-made and cheaply-paid fast fashion.

During the 1960’s, about 95% of the clothing worn in the US was made domestically. The decline of US manufacturing has hit one industry hardest: clothing. Today, 97 percent of apparel and 98 percent of shoes sold in the U.S. are made overseas, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association. The loss of domestic apparel manufacturing jobs has diminished what was once an in-demand trade that allowed Americans to support their families. More than jobs, an entire skill set has nearly gone extinct as most American sewers, cutters, and patternmakers are in their 70’s and 80’s. Bringing clothing manufacturing jobs back the the US brings with it the rise of a new generation of skilled garment professionals and revitalizes a highly specialized trade.

While clothing produced cheaply overseas provides a ready source of low-cost garments for American consumers, the proliferation of apparel manufacturing jobs has harmful effects in developing countries. Garment factories compete for business by constantly undercutting each other’s prices, which continuously drives workers’ wages down while pushing productivity demands up. Worker safety is often ignored as factory management prioritizes production above all else. On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,100 people. This disaster brought the plight of third world garment workers into the public eye. With constant downward pressure on wages, as well as negligible safety and environmental regulations, the rise of apparel manufacturing in developing nations exacerbates poverty, worker deaths, and environmental destruction, even while creating more jobs.

Watch the 2015 documentary The True Cost to see a fascinating and frightening expose on the massive outsourcing of US garment manufacturing to developing countries and its impact on quality of life, safety, and environmental conditions around the world.

Indie Source is proud to be part of the Made in USA movement and we look forward to making a positive impact in the lives of clothing designers, tradespeople, communities, and consumers for years to come!

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FIT Scrubs: Revolutionizing Medical Scrubs

Indie Source brings FIT Scrubs’ innovative design concepts to life – a real life success story.

 

Founded by 14-year emergency department paramedic Arthur Lucero, FIT Scrubs (a division of PurFit) intends to revolutionize medical scrubs by creating performance garments that work for medical professionals. Discouraged by the typical scrubs that saturate the medical field – uncomfortable, poorly-sewn garments made of impractical fabrics in gimmicky prints – Lucero had a vision of creating moisture wicking, antibacterial, antiodor, comfortable scrubs that truly perform for the professionals who wear them every day.

As a new dad, full-time undergrad student, and former paramedic, Lucero was completely new to the fashion business. His motivation and inspiration to create something new that would make a huge difference in his profession compelled him along a challenging product development and manufacturing journey that (luckily!) brought him to Indie Source. We are thrilled to partner with FIT Scrubs in the production of their line.

Below, we’ve excerpted Lucero’s blog post Concept to Creation, which details his inspiring journey from burned-out paramedic to fashion innovator.


In November of 2013, I resigned from my position as an ED Paramedic at Providence Tarzana Medical Center due primarily to burn out. Fourteen years of emergency medicine had taken its toll and I was developing some very unhealthy coping mechanisms, which I’ll dive into greater detail in another post down the road. I’d instruct CPR/ACLS/PALS, part time, here and there but that wasn’t enough. I can’t really describe it but my breakthrough moment was some internal voice, that I use to rarely listen too, tell me I can make scrubs better than anyone else can, and after further investigation of what was currently available in the medical uniform world, I felt there was a deficiency in the scrub market with regards to active wear scrubs . However, I knew nothing about starting a business, intellectual property, flat sketching, tech packs, concept boards, manufacturing, sample development, business scaling, distribution channels, social media and so on. In fact, the only subjects I really knew was the hospital culture (the consumer), and textiles.

Ever since the conception of FIT Scrubs concept, I had began researching the science and technology that went into a “performance” fabric. How was it constructed? What properties made it moisture wicking? What are the different types of blends and how are these blends made? Whats the process? What’s the difference between knit, woven, non-woven and laminates? Essentially, I wanted to know the anatomy and physiology behind the fabric. Ends up, textile science is just about as deep as medicine when it comes to the education and research that goes into textiles. And for a good reason, performance textiles, like our skin, do a whole lot more than just have a nice color and feel to them, they are working for you. The moisture wicking, fluid resistant element is similar to the dermal layer of our skin.

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My mission was to find all the pieces out there by knocking on as many state of the art textile companies and bio tech doors I could, in hopes that I could convince them to help me create a blend of fabric that was moisture wicking (hydrophilic), antibacterial, anti odor, anti wrinkle, fluid resistant (hydrophobic), breathable, comfortable, stretchy and felt protective, just like our skin. Not as easy I thought it was going to be, however.

I realized pretty quickly, I had no clue as to how to even go about approaching an advanced textile company, let alone a bio materials corporation. But if this was going to be my trump card, the core of my apparel, I knew I was going to have earn it. Because if it was easy, it would have been done already. I knew my biggest challenge was just getting my foot in these places door. There are fabric reps who do this for a living btw, and its not to uncommon for these reps to make six figures a year for the work they do considering fabric sourcing is an instrumental component to every successful apparel company, so little ol’ me, had his work cut out. Finding the mills was one thing, getting them to engage with a young, inexperienced, start up business owner with a great concept was another. So I took to LinkedIn, updated my profile, got it streamlined and began searching the companies through there. I’d get some hits by directly InMailing the key players but the bottom line was that I had no skin in this apparel game. I had nothing to offer other than risk and liability. I’d send multiple emails to the company’s “inquiry” web page but nothing. It wasn’t until I came across a site called www.materialconnexion.com that really helped catapult my progress. It had a pricey subscription fee to utilize its services but it was insignificant in the grand scheme of things. The greatest feature was that it gave me direct contact to the folks responsible for creating the blends I needed, in addition to providing a vast network of technical mills that were willing to work with small start ups such as mine.

To make a long story short, I found what I needed, that find was this respective start up called PurThread Technologies based in the textile hub of Charlotte, North Carolina. I went through the antimicrobial gambit of companies all providing an effective product but this company had the winner. Similar to the silver antimicrobial thread used in yoga/active wear brands like Lululemon uses for its long lasting odor control (their slogan is “Get the funk out”), PurThread had developed a proprietary process of utilizing the EPA approved silver from their partner, Kodak, and embedded it within their thread to produce a long lasting, integrated antibacterial fabric, which has been clinically proven to kill MRSA, Staph and other Hospital Associated Infections (HAI) upon textile contact within 2-4 hours with a 99% efficacy, backed by a surplus of clinical trials.

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To my surprise, they were willing to work with me and we partnered up since we both share a common goal in providing a functional and protective medical uniform for both the military and civilian sectors. Two fields I also share a common ground with being a USAF Veteran and health care professional. However, I still needed to find a fabric mill that was able to weave their silver embedded thread with a performance blend that had all the other bells and whistles as I mentioned in the third paragraph. It was around this time I hired a full package manufacturer called Indie Source here in my hometown of Los Angeles and with our collective efforts, we’ve partnered with a state of the art fabric mill that had made the perfect blend of fabric we had been searching for. Through this joint effort, we are able to implement an all inclusive approach to the product development process by having everything done locally and

  • Obtain feedback from working health care professionals with a functional driven perspective on uniform performance
  • Collaborate with textile specialists at our fabric mill, as we convey our wants and needs in the fabric we feel will be the most effective to meet the demands of our job duties
  • Describe and demonstrate our work tasks to designers who have a background in outdoor and active wear for the design process

This forward thinking, solution driven approach is the mindset we are taking in developing, what we feel is the next generation of medical scrubs
. By actively collaborating with all the mechanisms that are involved in creating innovation in regards to bio technology, performance, consumer feedback, science, design and implementation, it’s happening.

To read the full version of Lucero’s post, please visit the FIT Scrubs Blog.

 

 

 

Jesse Dombrowiak

IndieViews: Meet Lana Gurevich

Our IndieViews blog series introduces you to the talented and passionate members of the Indie Source team.

In our interview with Lana Gurevich, we got to know a designer at the top of her field who absolutely loves working at Indie Source and is committed to helping designers realize their dreams. As part of our in-house product development team, Lana plays a key role in turning designers’ ideas into reality.

What is your role at Indie Source?

My title is First Through Production Pattern-maker. I make the first pattern which is the first sample that goes on the salesman’s rack, which is the first representation of the line. I carry that garment through all the way to production until it goes to the manufacturer.

I’m responsible for all the documentation and making the fitting adjustments, all the way until the garment is released into manufacturing. I oversee the fit process and pattern process from the very beginning to the very end.

What brought you to Indie Source?

Lucky coincidence. I had a massive fire at my studio and I had to move my studio into my home. My friend recommended that I come to Indie Source. I did a couple projects at here, and they loved what I did. The rest is history.

How did you choose this career?

It’s a calling. I wanted to be a fashion designer forever. But my life took an unexpected turn and I moved from fashion design into technical design. I always loved making clothes. I was twelve years old and started to make clothes because my parents wouldn’t give me money for nice clothes. They would give me money for fabric, though. So I would buy fabric and start making clothes. I also have tons or education to back it all up. I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years.

Indie Source full package apparel development and production LANA-3-webWhat’s the range of clients and fashion markets you’ve worked with?

Imagine the biggest mall in America. If you look at who’s in the mall – Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, Guess – at some point in my life I’ve done something for every one of those stores. I’ve spent tons of time in private label, which is very technical. I’ve worked with women’s, men’s, contemporary, juniors’, kids’ – all of it.

That’s why I can do it here. The clothes are so different. Every client has different ideas, it’s not like working with just one designer. So having that experience definitely helps.

What advice would you give an aspiring fashion designer?

If they have an idea for a fashion line, they should ask for professional help. Otherwise, it can go very wrong, very fast. People who come here get total professional help. Spend money on doing things right instead of experimenting.

What is your favorite thing about working at Indie Source? 

Client interaction is the best part of my job. When you work with a regular fashion company, you don’t really see your customers. You work for some hypothetical client who comes into the store. Here, people come in with their ideas, their passions, their burning desires. We’re the people who make it all come true. My favorite part is when clients come in for a fitting, and by the end of the fitting they’re jumping up and down. They’re super happy, and everything looks good and fits and works. It blows my mind every time. I love working with clients. It’s absolutely hands down my favorite part of the job.

(Lana could not stop at just one thing … )

Something needs to be said about our personal relationships here at Indie Source.  There’s sort of a love fest going on here. We all genuinely like, admire, and respect each other. We love working together. We can work all day without even talking to each other, but somehow the energy’s just working. The team produces really amazing stuff. This is a huge part of the secret sauce. This company is flying up, it’s taking off, it’s already super-successful.

Indie Source full package apparel development and production LANA-2-webWhat is the most challenging part of your job?

The most challenging and most exciting thing at the same time is you have to shift gears every second. One second I’m working on a men’s line, the next second I’m working on a kids’ line, and next I’m working on lingerie. Jumping from one project to another is the most complicated part. It’s working for all markets at the same time.

What’s your favorite Indie Source story?

We had a launch party and we were taking pictures by the Indie Source wall. After taking pictures, we had a group hug. And the group hug ended up being a ten minute hug, and we were all holding hands and telling each other how much we loved working together.

I’ve never had such an experience with any other company in my life. That hit me, personally. This is exactly the kind of energy you want to get out of work. We all work super-long hours. But it’s so nice to genuinely like who you’re spending your time with. People feel so much better when they’re encouraged and cheered. Indie Source is definitely that kind of place.

How is Indie Source different from fashion companies you’ve been involved with in the past?

Almost everything. It’s a very different paradigm. It’s a different way of working. Anybody can come in with an idea for a fashion line, and we’re going to make it happen. Anyone can exercise their creativity and get their line produced by the best in the business.

When you work with a specific designer, you work with one person or team of people, and one body type. Here we do it all. It ranges from children through lingerie, inventions that people create, specialty items, and really brilliant ideas people have.

Jesse Dombrowiak

The Big Diff: Why Indie Source?

How long have you dreamed of, talked about, and researched starting your own fashion line ? Are you full of passion, design concepts, and business ideas but you just can’t find the next step to take or a path that leads you to success?

Indie Source was started for people like you offering a completely new business model; a personalized development, manufacturing, and marketing program that allows you to produce your fashion line, just the way you envision it, right here in Los Angeles.

We Saw What Was Missing

The fashion industry is extremely fragmented, with hundreds of people with very specialized skills working, but not necessarily together. Not as a unit.

We started Indie Source out of seeing a need in our community. Thousands of people wanted to start fashion brands – they could see others doing it and they were excited about what their lives could be if they reached that goal. But they didn’t know how to get there.

With backgrounds in production, we knew which people they needed to work and at what stage in order to make their fashion lines a reality. Our unique ability to meet the needs of today’s emerging fashion designers created a huge opportunity, and Indie Source was born.

This is not a class, webinar, or coaching service. Indie Source is not about downloading ebooks, watching videos, or getting advice. When you work with Indie Source, you get real life, hands on, step by step support at every stage: from product development, to manufacturing, to marketing your fashion collection.

Indie Source provides you with your own personal project manager, as well as the most skilled pattern makers, seamstresses, and fabric experts to ensure you realize your creative vision and get the best possible results. Indie Source is where your dreams leap out of your head, off the page, and transform into a fully produced and developed fashion line that is on the market.

What Indie Source offers is unique. This business model does not exist anywhere else in Los Angeles. We’re here to take you where you want to go.

Are you ready to turn your dreams into results? Contact us now.

This post is the first of a series, Indie Source Delivers, highlighting the groundbreaking services and resources we offer to new fashion designers.

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