How To’s For Start-Ups

Development Costs
1024 683 Zack Hurley

A Deeper Dive into Development Costs: Part 2 of the Budget & Pricing Mini-Course

This is part 2 of a 4 part mini-course on budgeting and pricing for designers working on their first clothing line. Sign up here to be emailed the remaining 2 parts and we’ll also give you access to the costing template we use for all of our customers! Read part 1 here.

Let’s dive into the development costs that will go into your development and production budget.  It is crucial from the get go to learn how to manage cost of your garment. These 7 important factors will help you understand sample and production costs as well as your eventual pricing.

Development Costs 1: Fabrication

60% of your garment cost comes from the fabric chosen. When designing and planning pieces, the most important element is the fabric price point per yard. As an example, if it takes 2 yards per shirt and fabric is $8/yard, the cost for fabrics is $16 per shirt.

The trims are another important factor. Being aware of the price added by each buckle, bow, and binding placed on the garment will help you control costs from the start. For example, if you’re making a button-down shirt, you will need:

  • Fabrics
  • Buttons
  • Interfacing

Each of these items will have a specific price per unit that will need to be added to the overall cost of each garment.

Development Costs 2: Additional product elements

Fabric, cut, and sew are obvious items to include but don’t forget about things like care or size labels, hang tags, and poly bags. Also, think about the interior of your product. Is there interfacing or a stabilizer needed to hold shapes or a button placket? Make sure to  include every tiny item into your costing!

Development Costs 3: Construction

Taking into account the finishes, specialty stitches, and amount of seams within a style will help to control your price point.There will be times that the more seams you add to a piece the price will increase (in labor cost), and sometimes the lack of a seam will cause a higher price (in fabric consumption). Adding in French seams, baby merrow stitches, 5 needle flat locks, all take specialty machines. These types of construction, also dictate where your line is produced.

When it comes to construction, it’s likely you’ll need to work with a professional pattern maker with experience in creating production ready garments. The pattern maker should have access to work directly with the sample team to ensure that pattern specifications will be executed correctly. For example, you could budget $15/hour for easy cost calculation and start by allocating 40 hours to create the first pattern and first fit sample. If you have ten styles, multiply the cost of of the pattern and sample by 10.

Development Costs 4: Location

Fully lined garments with inner support construction, and hand work will most certainly be produced in a different factory location than a 4-way stretch legging with 5-needle flatlock seaming. Identifying a factory that specializes in shirt making, for example, before you hire a technical designer or pattern maker is good business practice. It is not uncommon for sewing factories to not have every kind of machines and skilled labor. The more efficiently the factory can make a shirt, the better pricing they can offer your brand in production.

Alternately, you can partner with a full-service production and manufacturing house to help you source pattern makers and manufacturers. The price may not be higher than doing the legwork yourself since the business will have in-house employees and established relationships with specialty manufacturers. They may be able to offer some of the benefits of scale that you as new designer lack.

Development Costs 5: Quantity

The amount of items that you are purchasing from a contractor will always affect the price of that garment. The higher the quantity, the less the price. Learning how to produce apparel with your intended aesthetic, fit, finishes, and market level, while simultaneously staying within your price point, are invaluable to a designer’s success.

Development Costs 6: Packaging

Are you selling directly to the consumer, through resale channels, or both? If you’re selling direct, you’ll need to account for packaging costs. Whether it be a hanger or polybag for an apparel item, custom boxes, tissue paper, ribbon, brand information inserts, or luxury mailing containers, there is a cost. There will be fewer packaging costs if you’re going through resale channels, but of course the middle retailer will also take a cut of your profit margin.

Development Costs 7: Shipping

This industry is global, so your fabrics and trims could be coming from Japan, Italy, India, or any number of places. Without knowing the exact price of shipping, you can always take the total cost of your materials and multiply it by 10%. This estimate will work initially. When you get your final invoices from the vendors you can update the price per yard or piece with the actual amount, including shipping.

Once you understand these 7 items, you’ll be able to start putting together a cost for your sample – and look into cost-saving alternatives. Next comes the equation for pricing your garment. Sign up here to be emailed the next two blog posts in this budget & pricing mini course. Plus, we’ll give you access to the costing template we use for all of our customers! Read part 1 here.

first clothing line
560 315 Jesse Dombrowiak

Your First Clothing Line: Part 1 of the Budget & Pricing Mini-Course

You have an idea for your first clothing line. You know what you want your collection to look like, and you are ready to make the dream happen. Next comes the uncomfortable step that most creatives dread: how do you budget and price your first clothing line?

Fashion lines are typically developed on a 6-month cycle. It takes six months from concept to floor. For new designers who are usually developing fewer pieces on a smaller scale, that timeline can drop down to 6 weeks.

Even so, A LOT needs to happen between the design and delivery of the question. The truth of the fashion business is that you will incur many costs before you see any revenue, so budgets are king – and how you price your garments queen. This is part 1 of a 4 part mini-course on budgeting and pricing for designers working on their first clothing line. Sign up here to be emailed the remaining 3 parts and we’ll also give you access to the costing template we use for all of our customers!

What can you afford for your first clothing line?

It might seem elementary, but the first step to a budget is to look at your finances and determine how much you can spend in total. Lots of new fashion designers will say they do not have a budget, but that they are ready to spend whatever it takes to get their first clothing line up and running.

Let’s be honest. Most of us do not have an unlimited pile of cash to funnel into a new business. So sit down and take a look at your finances to see just how much money you are willing to invest in your new brand. Fashion designers generally look to three different possible sources of funding for their first clothing line.

Equity

An equity investment is an investment that others make into your business in exchange for part ownership. Equity investors will expect some level of decision-making authority after they buy in.  While angel investors, like friends and family, may be easier to land, the best equity investors will also give you expertise and contacts and serve as high-level advisors to your growing business.

Debt

Debt financing, otherwise known as a loan, means you need to pay back any money you borrowed plus interest according to the fee schedule you arranged with the bank or institution. If you decide to take on debt, it means you will have upfront money without giving up any control of the business, but you will have an additional monthly expense in the form of interest payments.

Other Income

Of course, there are many other options for financing too. You might start your fashion line as a side hustle and be able to finance it through another line of work, whether it is a full-time job or part-time consulting or freelancing gigs. As well, there are many awards, competitions, and grants available to new designers. The benefit of this financing is that you do not have to give away control. The drawback, however, is that these commitments can sap your time and energy and slow down development of your business.

Whatever you choose, it is important to get comfortable with an element of fundraising from the beginning. The more successful you are, the more your funding needs will grow. You will take bigger orders and need more cash upfront to front collections before buyers or customers pay you. If you want to expand aggressively, and who does not, money earned from previous seasons will not be enough to fund the next round. Even if you can finance your first collection from your own bank account now, this may not be true in the future. Every new collection will pose a challenge, and you will need some financing to bridge the gap.

The three major expenses of your first clothing line

Once you have an overall budget, the next step is to understand how to allocate your funds. The first step is to split the budget into three main buckets, product development, production, and marketing. With international production and larger orders, these buckets get more complex, but we will assume you are starting small and your first clothing line will be USA-made.

Product Development

For product development, you can use our in-house process as a guide. For fabric sourcing, trim sourcing, pattern making, and cut and sew for your samples, clients typically spend between $1,500 to $2,000 per sample. We recommend that you devote at least $2,000 to each sample to create a quality product that will be successful in the marketplace.

Product development costs depend on a few factors, including how many products you are producing, each product’s complexity, and the quality of the materials you are using. At the end of the development process, you will understand exactly how much your cost per unit – and how much you plan to price your items – as you move into the next big stage: production.

Production

Development has a cost separate from production. Development means getting your samples perfect; production means manufacturing them at scale. Unfortunately, there are no simple guidelines for manufacturing costs. Manufacturers are famous for charing retailers different costs even for the same products. Ultimately, the price depends on volume, leverage, and even relationships. The general rule is that volume is king. The more you buy, the cheaper the cost per unit.

That said, you shouldn’t produce more just because you get a lower price per unit. For designers working on their first clothing line, lower volumes are important. You need them to test demand, experiment with marketing, and create buzz. You will end up paying more, but you also don’t risk having unsold inventory. That, more than lower margins, is the largest challenge you will face – and it won’t go away as your brand grows.

As in most any industry, relationships in fashion are crucial to pricing. Building relationships with buyers, retailors, and manufacturers will help you negotiate better prices. Of course, it takes time to build relationships, but a great network is a valuable piece of the pizzle. Ultimately, keeping down costs is a constant balancing of high and low volume prices while keeping in mind the margins you need to keep the business healthy.

Marketing

Marketing is another topic that should be addressed from the beginning, no matter how uncomfortable. Luckily, marketing a first clothing line these days does not have to be expensive. Websites through Wix, Shopify, Squarespace, or WordPress are fairly inexpensive to set up and maintain. As well, it is possible to test ads on social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest without a large outlay of cash.

If you have already identified influencers that cater to your audience, reach out to them and see what they charge. We also recommend signing on a free or inexpensive email marketing service, like Mailchimp, so you can start list building. No matter what, it is important to allocate some amount of money to marketing, so you can start building an audience and testing the market.

You made it! This is just part 1 of a 4 part mini-course on budgeting and pricing for designers working on their first clothing line. Sign up here to be emailed the remaining 3 parts and we’ll also give you access to the costing template we use for all of our customers!

new clothing line
573 382 Jesse Dombrowiak

How to channel your inspiration into a new clothing line

It’s one thing to want to start a new clothing line and another to do it. For writers, the difference is sitting down to write. For athletes, it’s putting feet to pavement. For clothing designers and entrepreneurs, it’s outlining the first collection. Many of us are lucky to be surrounded by the things that inspire us, but it takes discipline and practice to channel that inspiration into something definite. Luckily, it really starts with small steps, like grabbing a pen and paper or putting on tennis shoes. Here’s a roadmap for how to do it. At the end of this post, you’ll have what you need to get started on our quick and dirty cheat sheet that’ll prepare you for development of your line.

1. Channel Your Inspiration For Your New Clothing Line

Inspiration may come from anywhere, but the difference between the dreamer and the entrepreneur is that the first lets inspiration come to them and the second actively seeks it out and captures it.  The question is, where are you getting your ideas from and how can you make a habit of becoming a sponge?

Fashion Inspiration

Fashion inspiration can come from a lot of places. Here are a few to get your style juices flowing:

Pinterest

Pinterest.com may just be the heart of fashion on social media even if it’s not the place where your particular target market congregates. Still, some marketers think Pinterest.com is the future, whether you’re designing blouses for professional women or athleisure wear for weight lifters. The beauty of Pinterest is that it not only lets you see what people like, both in terms of style and presentation, but it also allows you to pin images and save them for later. 

Fashion Magazines

For the designer whose heart is set on high fashion, Vogue and GQ are the top magazines to see what is trending on the runways of New York, Paris, and Milan. But, don’t just flip through the pages. Think about the designers who most emulate your vision. Think about the way they’re presenting their clothes and what that says about their target market. Find the clothes online and look at how they’re presented. Start a collection of go-to designers that either reflect your aesthetic or have a certain something that you’d like to incorporate into your designs. If Vogue and GQ don’t suit your fancy, go for more niche publications that reflect your target customer’s aesthetic.

Fashion Week

Runway shows like New York Fashion Week can be a great way to see which designers are causing the most fuss and what celebs and models are wearing to be seen. If high fashion isn’t your thing, look to one of the many niche and local fashion shows that pop up in every city. It could be Eco-Fashion Week in Vancouver, Indie Fashion Week in DC, or standalone shows in your city. 

Online Lookbooks

Polyvore.com and Wear.com are both popular online lookbooks that can help young designers get organized about the clothes they love online. Again, the sites trend young and female, but the perks are that you can see what’s trending, save looks for later, and gain followers in the meantime. 

People Watching

Activities don’t have to be around fashion to be inspirational. If you want to develop a new clothing line, it’d be better to go to a yoga festival or retreat than New York Fashion Week. If you’re into weight lifting, it’d be better to go to gyms and competitions. If you want to design streetwear, then go to popular neighborhoods where your target customer lives and just see what they’re wearing. It’s called people watching. Just, this time, do it with a goal in mind. Sneak in some photos, jot down some notes, and save that inspiration somewhere good.

2. Get Organized Around Your New Clothing Line

You don’t just want to expose yourself to outside influences, you also want to be disciplined about how you catalog ideas. Here are some ideas for how to do that. 

Evernote

Evernote is perfect for organizing photos, notes, articles, and more. With the Evernote app, you can upload images or jot down notes; with the Evernote Chrome extension, you can clip articles and websites. Then, it’s up to you to create dedicated folders, called notebooks, and tags to organize and hone your first looks. Create different notebooks for inspirational designers, for specific clothes, for research into manufacturers, and more.  If you want to take it a step further, make a goal of adding one new designer or look a week, and jot down alongside it price points, fabrics, functionalities, or anything else that attracts you and could guide your future line.

Pinterest

We’ve mentioned Pinterest before and it has the potential to be a one-two punch, not just as a source of inspiration but also as an ongoing digital scrapbook for organizing ideas. With the Pinterest Chrome extension, you can also pin anything and everything you find on the web that catches your eye along with some notes. It’s more visually oriented and less dynamic than Evernote – you’ll need a separate spot for deeper research – but it’s a great start. Similar to my recommendations above, you can make a goal of uploading x number of images to Pinterest a week or creating y boards a month around looks you want to design. 

Collages & Scrapbooks

Another way you could get organized is through old-fashioned collages and scrapbooks. They don’t have to be big, colorful affairs – even a simple notebook will do. As with Evernote or Pinterest, you can go as shallow or as deep as you’d like, using it just to save looks you like and ideas that pop up in your head or also to solidify serious research into colors, materials, and market research.  For example, you could take a 5-subject notebook and dedicate 1 subject to outside inspiration, 1 subject to specific looks, 1 subject to materials and colors, 1 subject to pricing research, and the final subject to market research. The point is just that you take it beyond inspiration to something concrete. 

3. Hone Your Inspiration For Your New Clothing Line

The next step is realizing that your collection isn’t just about you. Really, it’s about your customers. If anything is responsible for the failure of most fashion designers (and business owners in general), it’s this. Ultimately, your new clothing line must cater to the wants and needs of your customer base if you are to succeed, and that means thinking about the following items as you focus your collection. 

Target Demographic

Who do you see as being your main customer? What age group do they fall into? Where do they live? Do they live on a ranch in Billings, Montana or in a high-rise apartment off Michigan Avenue in Chicago? Do they wear cowboy boots or stilettos?

Knowing how your target customer uses their clothes and how they like to purchase their clothes is one of the most important aspects in designing and selling a successful line that grows stronger with every passing season.

The three most important parts to knowing your customer are:

  • Age
  • Personality profile
  • Purchasing habits

A connection with your targeted customer is huge and it’s directly related to your future success. I recommend taking your weapon of choice above, whether it’s Evernote, Pinterest, or a scrapbook, and showing it to your target customer (preferably not friends and family unless they’re the brutally honest type) and see what they say. Incorporate their feedback into revisions of your designs.

Think About Trends

Looking ahead and seeing where trends are headed is big. Are trends heading from black and white into multi-colors or perhaps from solids into plaids? Staying ahead of the game will keep your line fresh and successful.

These will help you analyze upcoming trends:

  • Trend reports
  • Market analysis
  • Forecasting

Analyzing fashion trends and following trendsetters will only increase your chances of developing successful lines. 

Forecasting and market research sites to follow:

  • Trendstop
  • Business of Fashion
  • Pantone
  • Style Lens

Positioning is Key

Positioning is a PR term for what makes your new clothing line different and, in the crowded marketplace that is retail, this is crucial. It may not even be that your new clothing line is really that different, but how you think about positioning will still help you design your collection now and market it later. Maybe it’s introducing traditional fabrics to a new niche, like Allbirds did when they sold wool sneakers to Silicon Valley techies, or it’s putting new tech in boring clothes, like Indie Source customer Scrubs did when they put anti-microbial fabrics in scrubs for medical professionals. Ask yourself, what is the it-factor in your collection? Why will it excite customers?

4. Decide Key Directions For Your New Clothing Line

The “key directions” of your new clothing line means we’re not just talking about the broad outlines of a new clothing line, like inspiration or target market. It means we’re really getting down to the brass tax of what your new clothing line will look like. Are we talking summer dresses or muscle shirts? Eco-friendly bamboo or luxurious cashmeres? Flamboyant colors or neutrals?  Streamlined silhouettes or lots of pockets? There are four main components that new designers need to consider when designing their very first collection:

Color Story

The trend and color forecasting site Pantone.com can be used to help you develop color standards. You can go with a complimentary or monochrome scheme to tell your story throughout the collection. Paying close attention to trending colors and designs will help you decide which direction your collection will take.

Color wheels are used in retail settings to put like clothes in a pattern that flows flawlessly from color to color. This helps retailers draw the customer into a specific product. Color can make or break any piece of clothing and is important when creating your collection.

Design Functionality

Fashion isn’t all fun. As any athlete knows, fashion can also serve a primary functional purpose. For mountain bikers, clothing needs to breathe and sealable pockets are a serious utility. But, even outside of athletics, function can be huge in ways that most of us overlook. Winter wear may benefit from outside pockets large enough to fit gloves without looking bulky. Inside pockets or easy packing would be a boon to frequent travelers who are nervous about thieves and travel light. Professional women may want fabrics that look sophisticated but don’t need dry cleaning. As the expression goes, form follows function, and this is especially true for clothing designers. How will the design functionalities of your clothes enhance them for your target customer? 

Garment Patterns & Reference Samples

At this point, we’re getting very close to what your future line will look like. The garment pattern is literally the pattern for the clothing you want to design. If you’re not here quite yet, never fear: you don’t need a degree in fashion design, the ability to sew, or expensive software to be a fashion designer. What you do need is a general idea of what you’d like to design (see above) and reference samples. A reference sample is an item of clothing that resembles in some way the clothing you’d like to design: it could be the garment pattern, it could be the design functionality, or it could be the materials or colors. Hopefully it’s all of these in combination. If you don’t have the technical skills to draw up a garment pattern, a good reference sample can go a long way towards fleshing out final designs with a capable manufacturing partner.

So, are you ready to take the first steps towards your new clothing line? It’s time to stop being a dreamer and start being a doer. Here’s the quick and dirty cheat sheet that’ll prepare you for development of your line.

new fashion line
1024 683 Jesse Dombrowiak

How to guarantee demand for your new fashion line

L.C. was my favorite alum on the MTV reality television series, Laguna Beach. I looked forward to each new episode every week. The drama was tantalizing and addictive. Yet, I watched mostly to see what the kids were wearing and trying to figure out what the next hot trend would be.

During the Laguna Beach/The Hills run, Lauren Conrad, known as L.C., put together runway shows for charities while still in high school. Years later, Lauren became a big name in fashion with her new fashion line. She sells her designs at department stores like Kohl’s. Quite the accomplishment!

Living the designer lifestyle can be exciting and lucrative, but starting a new fashion line takes money, traveling in the right circles, and talent. For the young, entrepreneuring designers of today, it’s not as “easy” as it was for Lauren, but it IS possible! If you’re ready to start today, we have a quick and dirty cheat sheet that’ll help you get started for development.

With a little talent, ingenuity and a lot of hard work, the dream CAN become reality. So, where do you start?

1. RESEARCH THE MARKETPLACE

When you want to start a new fashion line, from shoes to under garments to hats, you have to first and foremost, know your market.

Knowing your market entails researching trends and market powers. Most importantly, it means understanding who your ideal customer is. For whom do you want to design? Which customers are you targeting?

Knowing your target customer helps you determine the following:

  • Price
  • Design
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Distribution

So, who is your target customer? Understanding your customer’s demographics goes hand in hand with determining your marketing strategy. Think:

  • Age
  • Income Level
  • Profession
  • Geographic Location
  • Shopping Habits
  • Interests & Hobbies

IF YOU DESIGN IT, WILL THEY COME?

Lauren Conrad lived in an area that lent itself to developing major trends. She was able to play this into her marketing strategy. Younger, impressionable customers looked to the West Coast for the next fashion trends and she grew up in an affluent neighborhood, which definitely played an important part in her success.

She lived within her market base and her following on MTV was huge. Her marketing strategy was built from her own backyard. To be that lucky!

If you don’t live in a fashion metropolis, how do you research and find potential customers? Here are a few ideas:

  • Google your product and analyze competitors
  • Check subreddits
  • Talk to people
  • Follow relevant social media brands and personalities
  • Shop (online or offline)
  • Go where your customers frequent, i.e. clubs, music festivals, beaches, business districts

UNDERSTAND THE BRAND OF YOUR NEW FASHION LINE

One of the best ways to find customers is to actually go shopping! Go to the stores that reflect your style and where you would love to sell your line. Observe everything from the actual customers to the showroom floor. Visualize your product in the store.

Focus on your brand’s personality. Here’s how:

  • Imagine staking your claim in the market – where do you fit in?
  • Find your unique selling position (what do you have that they don’t)
  • Give your brand/product a personality:
    • Simple or Extravagant?
    • Bookworm or Sexy?
    • Serious or Goofy?
    • Modest or Over-the-top?
    • Outdoorsy or Corporate?
    • Dry or Flamboyant?

Describe your line as you would a person. Give it a personality!

KNOW THE COMPETITION FOR YOUR NEW FASHION LINE

Knowing your competition inside and out will help you define your line. As with all things, keep an open mind and look at everything from different perspectives. Find out what works and what doesn’t and why.

Analyze, analyze, analyze!

Look at these aspects:

  • What are your competitors doing well?
  • What are they doing poorly?
  • How do they position themselves?
  • How do they market themselves, i.e. look at:
    • Their business model 
    • How they target customers 
    • How they advertise

Visit their blog or subscribe to their newsletter. Keep them in your sights and you’ll have a leg up on your competition.

THINK QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY

When starting out and finances are tight, keep your collection pieces to a minimum. Instead of creating 20 pieces, stick to 5-10 pieces, maybe even 3-5.Less is more. If you make too many of a product and it doesn’t sell, you’re out the money and your shelves are filled with stale product. As with all businesses, it will take a good season or two to create your best collection and you don’t want to go all out before you’ve tested the market.

Keep your collection and marketing fresh and current. Building a win-win relationship with buyers is crucial, so keep your line fresh and moving. They don’t want to see the same pieces over and over, any more than you want overstock that doesn’t sell. Stay smart, stay fresh and don’t over-produce.

PLAY TO YOUR AUDIENCE

Talk to your customers and test in small batches. Lauren Conrad already had an audience in high school, through television exposure and parents with deep pockets. It worked for her and that’s cool, but most of us do not have that luxury.

You want to create products that excite people. A line that they are willing to max out their credit cards for. (Been there, done that!)

You want something that resonates with your audience and totally engages them. Communicate with your customers through:

    • Brand Ambassadors
    • Social media advertising
    • Sampling events

It’s better to lose $100 finding out that a product doesn’t work, then to spend $10,000 on producing a product that doesn’t sell and sits in the storeroom.

Two ideas that can really help and are smart moves:

  • Convince a retail shop to carry your samples
  • Give out gift cards/promotional goods to consumers for taking surveys on your product
  • Test 1-2 sponsored posts with influencers to see what happens
  • Run $100 in ads on social media to see if your product resonate with customers – and start meanwhile experimenting with digital marketing

RESEARCH, START SMALL, AND TEST YOUR NEW FASHION LINE

Minimize risk by testing the market and learning about your consumers. Two designers tell you how they create successful lines.

Fashion designer Meir Yamin of Donatella Dress goes for the vibrant colors, embellishments, and sophistication that would come out of the Kardashians, bringing out the celebrity persona in everyone.

He believes in testing designs by showing samples to customers and getting any feedback that will direct and promotes an upcoming collection.

The fashion design house, ICTZN, uses social media campaigns to test markets abroad, including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest (my favorite)
  • Blogs

They also use:

  • Short video posts
  • Online competitions
  • Videos of their fashion shows
  • Behind-the scenes footage

They use this guerilla marketing technique, which is a low cost, unconventional way to create buzz about a potentially killer new fashion line. It’s online marketing at its best. The key thing is to research, smart small, and test.

Finally, there are crowdfunding campaigns. If you think your product is incredibly unique, you might have a shot at building some early buzz. Kickstarter is one of the most popular crowdfunding platforms for creative and artistic projects.

Here you can, according to Jake Joseph, who ran a successful campaign for men’s underwear on Kickstarter, “genuinely understand your audience while developing an approach to providing them with a highly unique outcome.”

BUILD ON THE SUCCESS OF YOUR NEW FASHION LINE

Start by following some of the examples here and, along with your talent and hard work, you’ll be able to grow a line that may even rival Lauren Conrad’s someday! If you’re ready to get going, download our quick and dirty cheat sheet that’ll help you get started for development.

We can all dream, can’t we?!

Sure, and nothing is impossible with the right marketing technique and hard work! Pound that runway, research your intended market, and know your customers. The customer is always right!

Clothing Manufacturer: How to select a Clothing Manufacturer
560 315 Zack Hurley

How to Select a Clothing Manufacturer

Pairing up with a clothing manufacturer for the first time is a bit like online dating. First you offer up some information about yourself. Here’s an example of an excellent bio:

“Hi, I’m Natalie. I’m a former Olympic volleyball player. I’m creating a line for tall women like myself who get excluded by most athletic wear brands who don’t carry tall sizes. This is my first collection and I have a very limited fashion background. I do have a background in marketing and worked at a large agency for many years. I am planning to leverage many of my athlete friends’ voices to promote my brand, as well as the many media contacts I’ve accumulated over the years. My first collection will consist of 3 styles: tanks, leggings & track jackets. I’d like the tanks to retail at $45-50, the leggings at $92-98, and the track jackets at $119-127; and, based on my research, I’m aiming for manufacturing targets of $14-16, $22-27, and $29-32 respectively. I don’t want to produce more than 300 units per style for my first collection. That’s all I’m comfortable selling in the beginning.”

You may not be there yet, but this is the kind of information that’ll land you a solid first date. We’re talking:

  • A general description
  • The number of styles you’d like
  • Retail price points
  • Manufacturing price points
  • Target number of units per style

If you don’t have these, take a look at our other blog posts that’ll help you get started – and then come back here:

After you share everything about you, the next step is to make sure they know what your needs are. Sounds exactly like a date, right? Just maybe a bit more straight-forward…

“I’m looking for a clothing manufacturer who has the time to show me the process and is okay with me being new! They won’t just take orders from me but will also give me advice on the best way to achieve price and quality targets, providing their professional opinion at each step. They are transparent with me about their operation and will give me insight into the products we are creating together. They will allow me to keep any patterns, samples, or other IP that I have paid to create. They are great communicators and do what they say they are going to do.”

Next, ask yourself, what do you need in a manufacturing partner?

Just as in the dating world where you’d want a guy who’s attractive, funny, and rich, but usually have to compromise, there are important characteristics to look for in a clothing manufacturer. In the manufacturing world, it’s weighing between speed, price, and quality. While great clothing manufacturers will have all three, it’s usually best to prioritize your needs and rank prospective clothing manufacturers so your final decision will be easier.

Here are your options:

Speed: Made Here, Sold Here – Fast.

Imagine you have a big trade show, fashion event, or meeting with a buyer that is paramount to your brands success. You MUST have samples by then. Speed, then, is your choice. Or consider that you’ve just arrived from a trade show with a stack full of purchase orders (PO). Your buyers require delivery on a certain date. This means you’re under the gun and your delivery requirements must be communicated to your clothing manufacturer upfront. Be clear about whether your manufacturing partner has the capacity and bandwidth to move at the speed you need or if they’re too busy dating other brands and can’t commit.

That said, it is wise, even without hard deadlines, to have a plan for when you’d like to launch your product. From there you can work with your clothing manufacturer to create a timeline for production and development. Because you may not know all the processes involved (i.e. garment dye or stock fabrics?), your lead time will vary based on important decisions you make with your clothing manufacturer. Keep communication open and chose someone who will give you time commitments for every deliverable, i.e. “Patterns will be completed by this Friday 9/15 @ 4pm.”

Quality – The American Craftsman

With thousands of fashion brands starting up each year and the many already established brands you’ll be competing against, we highly recommend that you place quality as a key priority. The best way to show a clothing manufacturer your quality standards is to bring in samples that you absolutely love from other brands. You can show them the sewing work that you love and even which areas you think can be improved. Work with your clothing manufacturer to understand how different sewing constructions impact your price points. Ask them to explain how they will ensure quality and what their quality control (QC) standards are. Their response will tell you a lot about how they will protect your product and you will know if they are a quality match for you.

PriceThe Commodity Play

Contrary to what the media will tell you, producing in Los Angeles is still an extremely viable move. Especially for brands that choose to sell direct to consumer, dependence on retailers who squeeze margins should be avoided. To determine your price points it’s best to start with your retail points and work backwards to understand target wholesale and manufacturing price points (See 5 steps to an apparel line budget).

Good clothing manufacturers will ask you about your price points, and great designers will know their price points. Do not be frazzled. They ask this so that they can get you to where you need to be. By working clearly within a budget from the get-go, your clothing manufacturer can make material, fit, and construction decisions that allow you to hit your target price points. Be clear, be honest, and, if you have a price point you need to hit no matter what, a good clothing manufacturer will tell you one of three things. Be prepared:

  1. “NO. No possible way can you hit that price point – try Bangladesh and make sure you’re producing over 10,000 units.”
  2. “MAYBE. You could hit this price point but you’ll have to strip some things. Maybe use a less expensive fabric, do only one color screenprint and up your quantity to 500 from 300.”
  3. “YES. We can make that happen based on the information given.”

One final note on price via the old adage, you get what you pay for. I’ve been practically harassed by production teams demanding prices that can only be attained from overseas countries with very poor working conditions. These same companies complain about poor quality and bad communication while aggressively requiring prices that would put the clothing manufacturer out of business. There is a large underground network of clothing manufacturers exploiting their workers by paying them below minimum wage. If you go this route, you will likely not be able to establish a reputation of quality clothing and it will be much harder for you to build a sustainable, growing brand.

Now that you’ve given some detail about yourself, what you’re searching for, and what you value most in a partner, it’s time to play the field a bit and see what kinds of clothing manufacturers are out there. What is the difference from one to the next, and how can we identify a “player” from someone looking for a long-term relationship?

Know the difference:

Sewing Contractor

This is literally just a sewing house. They do not source materials, make markers or cut fabric. They expect all materials delivered to them to be organized and they will only sew what is cut and ready to go. By working with them you’re committing to managing the other portions of production yourself.

Cut & Sew Clothing Manufacturer

This is slightly more extensive in support. These clothing manufacturers do not source any materials and sometimes require that you provide completed markers. If you don’t know what markers are, continue below for a better fit.

Full-Package Clothing Manufacturer

Full package is the whole enchilada. These clothing manufacturers are setup to support the entire process from procurement of materials to marking, grading, cutting, sewing, printing, finishing, folding, and packing. They are setup to support organizations that want to streamline their production and don’t have money to pay a full-time production manager running around the city overseeing all productions.

*PLAYERS – A WARNING

A traditional clothing manufacturer, the player, is entirely focused on the end game. This can apply to any of the above, sewing contractors, cut & sew manufacturers, or full-package clothing manufacturers, so be sure to sniff it out as soon as you can and stay away. Traditional clothing manufacturers care only about big quantity orders and expect a purchase order (PO) prematurely – they want to take you home before buying you dinner. This is because they have experience working with larger brands who come to them with already developed products and a PO for substantial units. Here’s a conversation that I have witnessed dozens of times.

You: “Hi there! I have a collection of 6 styles that I’m looking to produce.”

Clothing Manufacturer: “Great, send me an order of 500 units and we’ll make you a sample.”

You: “Um, OK, I can’t place an order of 500 because I don’t have a sample yet. Actually, I have no tech pack, patterns, or materials either. If you can help me with these things, I will put in an order.”

Clothing Manufacturer: “You place an order and we will help you. No order, no deal.”

*CLICK*

This clothing manufacturer clearly specializes in production only and does not have a service that supports new designers. Make sure that if you need a clothing manufacturer that provides guidance, mentorship, and a complete service, you make it clear upfront.  

A Match Made in Heaven

After taking these steps, we’re sure that you and your clothing manufacturer will be a match made in heaven. The key is to focus on the needs of your brand while taking into account your goals and your budget. Just like a relationship, you’ll want to end up with somebody honest and transparent who complements your strengths and weaknesses; and, just like in the real world, it’s best to go in with an understanding of what the industry looks like and all of the shady characters that you’ll want to avoid. Luckily, there are lots of great clothing manufacturers out there. Isn’t that what your grandmother always told you?

560 315 Zack Hurley

5 Budget Mistakes To Avoid As a New Designer

Costing and pricing are among the most difficult – and most crucial – decisions new designers undertake in building their first line. The financial logic that goes into launching a successful fashion line can be counter-intuitive and sometimes requires that we readjust the way we approach costing and pricing. After many years helping burgeoning designers get started on their brands, I’ve come up with a list of the 5 most frequent budget mistakes that hinder new designers.

1. STOP ASKING: “How much does it cost?”

The problem with the “how much does it cost”question is that costs are just one part of the equation. Costs alone won’t tell you if your business is viable. Is $1,000 a lot? Or is $10,000 more realistic? Do I really need $100K to start this line? When you look at costs first without understanding your business and how your business fits into the market at large, you’re really only thinking about your current spending habits. But starting a business isn’t the same as shopping at Forever 21. Comparing a capital investment in your business to the cardigan you bought last week isn’t the best way to grow a lucrative business.

Instead, everything comes down to risk. The question isn’t, “How much does it cost?” but “How much am I willing to invest – or risk – in the business?” If that number is identifiable as one part of your overall business objectives, and you’re clear about it, then congratulations, you now have what we call a budget. Your budget will drive your decision making and, once you decide your budget is the #1 priority over price or quality, then you will find a way to either:

  1. Make costs work within your budget, or
  2. Realize this business is not for you and you want to start a service business that requires less startup capital

2. START ASKING: “What is a customer willing to pay for my product?”

Many new designers fall into the habit of looking at pricing as “cost plus”: understand the costs and then add a profit margin, but there are two main problems with this approach. First, this approach mentally chains you to the product, rather than to the customer, and leaves you vulnerable to changes in customer preference. Second, when costs increase, and they will, you will suffer from established prices and lower profit margins. “Cost plus” leaves you doubly at the whim of the market. Instead, the question is, “What is a customer willing to pay for my product?” and for that you have to roll up your sleeves and do some research. The first follow-up question is:

“Is there something comparable in the market to my product?”

If YES, we’ve got more to figure out:

  1. What products in the market are competing with your’s and how are your’s different?
  2. What are the price points of the competing products on the market?
  3. Who is buying these competing products? Is it a different demographic than you expected?

List out these answers in an excel document to start putting together your market research. This is preliminary, but will give you a great starting point for pricing your product. Once you know your retail price points you can start to build out a budget for product cost, operations, marketing, and more.

IF NO:

Then, good news!  You now have the opportunity to pave the way for something unique and entirely different than anything in the market.  With no competition, you’re in a great position! On the other hand, you may not have a market for your product either. Your job will be to make your prototype sample and take it out into the market to test viability before you begin to produce at scale. For steps on how to do this, see last week’s post on how to start a fashion line that sells.

3. Remember that developing your product has a cost separate from production

While you may be excited to get started, try not to get ahead of yourself! Before producing 300 units to turn a profit, you need to build prototypes and samples of your products. This stage is called the product development stage. It is the most important phase in the creation of your business. This is where you get to source fabrics, engineer your fit, and create the styles you’ve envisioned. The product development costs vary according to how many products you’re developing, the complexity of the products, and the source materials. At the end of the process, you’ll understand exactly how much your cost per unit will be when going into the next big stage: production.

4. Build a budget for your Proof of Concept (PoC) and Market Fit Testing

If your company wants to stay lean, the best recommendation is not to rush into production after creating your samples. Instead, go to the market and talk to your consumers to gather insight. It would be even better if you can get pre-orders! Take this time to create strategies to build awareness and buzz for your product. Use brand ambassadors, social media advertising, and sampling events to create demand and test marketing channels and messaging. While these ideas can be costly, it’s better to lose a few thousand to find out that your idea isn’t viable than to spend a hundred thousand only to realize nobody wants to buy your product. Include in your budget line items for market fit testing and decide what success would look like.

The ideas below will cost you almost nothing:

  • Convince retail shops to let you put your samples in their shop and watch how customers react to your product
  • Give out gift cards and other promotional goods to potential consumers to take surveys about your product
  • Go out and earn your first paying 30 customers and make them excited about your product. Give them something special for believing in your vision and pre-ordering. Just make sure you and your manufacturer are very clear about how many weeks production will take so you can keep your delivery promises.

5. Invest 100% of the profits back into your company

When starting out, it is absolutely important to put any profits back into the company. By putting every cent that you make back into your business, the business revenue has a chance to stabilize. A stable business can pay dividends throughout your life. In addition to having a marketing budget from the get-go, use the profits from your sales to invest in more marketing, development, and production where needed. Remember not to overproduce and, once you have a hold on inventory, make sales and marketing your number one priority.

How to Start a Clothing Line that sells
560 315 Mary Vallarta

How to start a clothing line that sells

While anybody can start a clothing line, not everyone can build a profitable fashion business. It takes entrepreneurial spirit to have consistent revenue and profit. How can someone create a successful clothing line? Fashion entrepreneurs need to work hard, understand market trends, and be flexible. Sales data and customer feedback will help you determine price, design, distribution, and everything else you need to be successful.

Before going through each step of creating a successful clothing line, it’s important to adopt a sales mindset. One of the biggest mistakes that new fashion business owners make is to get stuck on the idea of creating and protecting their brand. Instead, they should be focused on creating a profitable business. While having a flawless social media presence is important, for example, it more important to concentrate on the bottom line. I’m here to show you how!

My name is Mary Vallarta and I’m behind FAB Counsel, a consultancy with the sole purpose of empowering entrepreneurs to build successful fashion companies. I have almost a decade of retail experience after buying for Macy’s, BCBG, Metropark, and Bebe. Wanting more creative freedom, I co-founded FAB Counsel with my business partner to help independent designers take their concept to market. My partner, too, has extensive experience under his sleeve, having owned and run a menswear boutique and managed contemporary brands. Starting with just $150, we turned FAB Counsel into a 6-figure business.

I am not sharing this with you to brag, but to make it clear that what you are reading comes from professionals with experience in the field.  Our experience is a mix of corporate professionalism and small business industriousness. In this guide, you will get the benefit of both large and small business wisdom.

So, let’s get to those steps: here’s how to start a clothing line that sells!

1. Start small and test, test, test

Research and data are essential to starting a new business. Research can help show trends in the market that business owners should be listening too. Many new businesses have no data on whether or not their fashion merchandise will sell. The best way to minimize risk is to test the market and understand your consumers. Here’s how to do that.

Identify the market void your product serves

Ask yourself if your product line fills a void in the market. Does the market need another shoe or jewelry brand? The answer would be NO. However, the market may have space for an affordable line of sustainably-made casual basics for petite women. By examining the market and getting granular, we have an opportunity to identify both a need and a target market.

Be precise about your target customer

Once you have narrowed down the market, you can begin to understand your target customer. Knowing your target customer will help you determine design, price, marketing strategy, and distribution. In the example above, we saw that petite women who care about sustainably-sourced material would be our customer. Now that we have our customer segment, we need to understand their demographic.  What is her age, income level, profession, and likely geographic location? The answers to these questions will already start filling the gaps in your marketing strategy.

Figure out how you will distribute your line

The Internet is the most popular method that many startup fashion brands use to reach their customers – and for good method. It is more convenient and inexpensive to market directly to your shoppers than to find intermediate buyers without a track record of sales. Whatever method you use, remember to pick a plan that will be the easiest for your customers to find you while fitting your budget.

Next, comes production

Start small with a starter collection. An extensive collection will be a challenge when it comes to managing inventory and marketing styles, especially when you do not have any hard data on what will sell. Make your starter collection streamlined and cost-effective. It is better to have five amazing pieces rather than 25 that are so-so. Then, when it comes down to ordering units per style, order the minimum, so you do not get stuck with extra inventory. Being sold out is a better problem than surplus stock. Plus, once you see which styles will sell, you can order more and start to get a handle on movement.

Start marketing your line

Marketing is key to getting the word out about your fashion line to your target customers. Without any promotion, how will consumers know you exist? Knowing and understanding your target customer will help you to identify which promotional channels to use. Even better, get potential customers involved in the development of your line and ask them about their shopping habits along the way.

Get out there

The mantra in entrepreneurship is, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” While this is less applicable to fashion lines than software, there’s a valuable lesson there for fashion entrepreneurs as well. Do not let perfectionism get in the way of putting your merchandise in front of potential customers. Whether it is hitting ‘publish’ on your website, setting up shop at a farmer’s market, or launching Instagram ads, taking the jump is the first step towards understanding your market and improving your sales numbers.

Analyze the data

Now it is time to look at the data and understand who bought how much of which styles. Most likely, you will be surprised by who bought what and have your assumptions challenged. Take Timberland. They thought their target market was blue-collared men who worked labor-intensive jobs in construction and home improvement. It turned out it was the hip-hop community that embraced them. While it is important to outline a target market, it is also equally important to go with the flow when you find out you were off. Analyze the data, listen to the market, and be flexible.

2. Use the data to improve your line

Combine your sales data with customer feedback to make improvements to your line and move the company forward. If one product is not selling, change or remove it. If another is going gangbusters, order more units and make additional styles. Analyzing and understanding data will be crucial to continued revenue and growth.

3. It is time for some critical decisions

After running tests and seeing the data, you need to ask yourself if your company has a place in the market. Is your business still not selling even though you have listened to the market and made changes, whether it was to your merchandise, marketing, distribution, or operations? If so, it may be either that there isn’t demand for your product in the market or that it is not differentiated enough from the competition. If on the other hand you see growth and profit, then you just might have a concept with wings!

4. Scale up your business

Now that you have decided that your concept works, your new focus is to make sure that it grows! Growth can mean many different things: investing in branding and marketing, hiring employees, or diversifying your product line, or all of the above. Whatever you decide, identify quarterly goals and focus on incremental growth. Always concentrate on the bottom line and make sure your growth decisions make sense for you and your budget.

After reading these steps on how to start a clothing line that sells, you have a better understanding of why starting small is more beneficial than starting big. Small tests give you the flexibility to stay nimble and reduce risk when market forces push you in new directions. Now, you may be thinking, ‘What do I do now?’ Now is the time to take action and use this information to start your fashion empire.

How To Create a Clothing Line Budget in 5 Steps
560 315 Jesse Dombrowiak

How To Create a Clothing Line Budget in 5 Steps

One of the first questions we ask our new development clients at the beginning stages of creating a clothing line is “what is your budget for the project?” Most new designers and entrepreneurs have no idea how to create a clothing line budget. We know that creating a budget can be overwhelming when you’re first starting out, so we decided to outline a few important budget components that we share with all of our clients.

Here are five steps for how to create a clothing line budget for your new clothing line.

1. How much can you spend in total?

It might seem elementary, but the first step to devising a budget for your project is to look at your finances and determine how much you can spend in total. Lots of new clients will say they do not have a budget, and that they are willing to spend whatever it takes to get their clothing brand up and running.

But, let’s be honest, most of us do not have an unlimited pile of cash to funnel into a new business. So sit down and take a look at your finances to see just how much money you are willing to invest in your new brand. Once you have your total budget, you can then decide where to allocate your funds and how to utilize your resources best.

2. How much do you want to spend on product development?

Once you have an overall budget, the next step is to split it up into a handful of different buckets, including product development, manufacturing, and marketing. With international production and larger orders, these buckets get more complex, but we will assume you are starting small and your clothing line will be USA-made.

As for what to budget for product development, you can use our in-house Product Development Program as a guide. For fabric sourcing, trim sourcing, pattern making, and cut and sew for your samples, clients typically spend between $1,500 to $2,000 per sample. We recommend that you devote at least $2,000 to each sample to create a quality product that will be successful in the marketplace.

3. Decide on your target price per unit for manufacturing

Once you have allocated funds to product development, calculate how much you can spend on manufacturing by focusing on the cost per unit to produce in bulk. To determine your target price per unit, start by learning the industry standard retail prices for similar products and work backward. Find out who your competitors are and what they are charging for their products. Their prices will allow you to hone in on a target retail price and get closer to how much you could reasonably make off of the sale of each unit to earn a profit. From there, you can determine the target price per unit.

4. Choose your method of distribution

How will you be selling your product? Will you be selling your clothing to stores or will you be selling on your e-commerce site? Many new businesses start out with a Shopify site to keep web development costs down, but some hire a web developer to design an e-commerce site for them. Decide how you want to sell your product and figure out how much you will need to spend to make distribution happen.

5. What is your marketing strategy?

For a startup clothing brand, we recommend allocating a significant amount of time and resources to marketing your product. Clothing moves when there’s buzz. If funds are tight, we recommend utilizing free social media marketing tools such as Hootsuite and Buffer to get started.

If you have extra budget for advertising, Facebook and Instagram ads are a great way to jumpstart your company’s social media audience and promote your brand name. Alternatively, PR is also possible with little to no budget if you are willing to come up with angles yourself and do the legwork of finding and contacting writers; and influencer marketing on Instagram is a marketing channel that many budding designers have used with success.

We hope these steps get you started on your clothing line budget. Is there something you think we should add to the list? What unexpected costs derailed your budget? Leave us a comment below with any questions or comments. We love feedback.

540 300 Jesse Dombrowiak

Crowdfunding: One Way to Finance Your New Clothing Line

Among the many doctor and actor aspirations, lays an ambition many are not equipped to start: creating their own business. As many startups disappoint before they’re fully able to thrive, a middle ground of uncertainty is present: how does a novice idea meet the demands of initial costs, provide a product worthy of consumer demands yet provide an opportunity to gain loyal customers willing to purchase at my inauguration? Enter Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform that provides potential entrepreneurs with the opportunity to turn their dreams into reality.

There are many variables contributing to the success or deemed failure of companies; some externally or internally known while others are not. Whether or not the variables identified to the failure are presented, it’s best to reflect upon the factors contributing to success. I had the pleasure to speak with two very successful brands– one that has had recent achievement and the other still in the process of a crowdfunding triumph. Whether you’re planning the next great funded project or simply looking for inspiration from relatable businessmen, Ryan Beltran from Original Grain and Jake Joseph from Jake Joseph Underwear are idyllic.

Before investing in inventory and product development to begin any business venture, research and adequate testing are needed to determine if your product is in demand. With that said, Ryan Beltran believes “Crowdfunding is a great avenue for testing products and gauging potential demand” as it develops a platform for advancing decisions to determine to continue or not. It’s also a great platform due to the audience – “an overflow of people who appreciate creativity and I wanted to reach and work with those people” reveals Jake Joseph.

As one of the most funded fashion projects to date, Original Grain fuses local wood inspiration from their Pacific Northwest hometown and modern eminence that results in a captivating timepiece. “Our primary goal when launching Original Grain (OG) was to develop a product unlike any other on the market. We wanted to create a watch that would ‘turn heads’, but was top notch in terms of its quality. That’s to be great at making our watches and provide a good experience for each and every customer we have.” With plans to solidify OG as household name and eventually expanding into a lifestyle brand, “the only way I can get there is  to focus on making a high quality product and continuously innovating our product offering.”

Original Grain

Jake Joseph elevates a traditional, hidden piece and “adds quality and workmanship to an often neglected garment”– underwear and proves that internal details and value of the first layer of adornment is equally vital. Insight to this piece was gained as this was in the process of development just as his project was launching. “We are constantly looking for ways to design products that are not just beautiful, but offer a solution too. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are terrific platforms to introduce the The ZenSho Collective – the first underwear to never rise.” Ultimately, passion is vital Joseph believes, “be passionate about the product you want to introduce and illustrate that passion in your product and its benefits.” Genuinely understand your audience while developing an approach to providing them with a highly unique outcome, just as the exclusive underclothing of Jake Joseph has done.

jakejosephco

Passion coupled with an essential connection with your audience and quality product, all combine to make both of these company’s successful crowdfunded projects. “Kickstarter is an amazing community of people that want to help companies get off the ground…you just gotta go and do the dang thing.” Provide an experience for the consumer by revealing your story; when done effectively, the generated buzz will appeal to the need of your consumer now while also illustrating ideas for the future. “People love helping others achieve their goals, especially when they’re genuine” concludes Beltran. Therefore, the highly advantageous and mutually beneficial Kickstarter are highly recommended for the inner entrepreneur in all.

Original Grain: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/originalgrain/original-grain-all-natural-wood-and-stainless-stee

Jake Joseph: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/678444944/jake-joseph-redefining-mens-underwear?ref=discovery

By: Storm Tyler

***Update: Check out one of our brands NAMAKAN FUR: they just ran a successful crowdfunding campaign and we’re now in production – product to be completed January 2017

540 300 Jesse Dombrowiak

Meet Indie Source Trim Specialist: Johnny Quintero

This 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 specialist, 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!

Contact Us

We'll send you newsletters with news, tips & tricks. No spam here.

First Name (required)
Last Name (required)
Phone Number (required)
Your City (required)
Your Email (required)
Subject
Message

    Free WordPress Themes, Free Android Games