Posts Tagged :

interview

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!

540 300 Jesse Dombrowiak

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.

 

Jesse Dombrowiak

Interview with Production Manager of Electric Yoga

You. Are. Electric. This slogan is found on Electric Yoga’s website and definitely describes the feeling woman will feel while wearing one of their pieces. Customers are deemed as “electrifiers” according to owner, designer and master yogi Michelle Bohbot. Bohbot opened Electric Yoga in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles with her daughter, Stephanie Bohbot, with the purpose to combine modern fashion and function to each of their pieces. Each of these characteristics are evident when browsing their online store. Leggings feature bright colors and unique designs with the perfect mix of Nylon and Spandex. Accessories, outerwear, tops and bottoms are also sold in their store It also helps that Michelle Bohbot was previously a fashion designer for 20 years with Bisou Bisou. Indie Source conducted an interview with the daughter Stephanie Bohbot, who is the production manager at Electric Yoga. Read on for Stephanie’s view of how she produces their successful line. www.electricyoga.comIMG_0952

Interview conducted by Laura Stone

Q1: I see you are a production manager for Electric Yoga. Why did you decide to work for Electric Yoga?

A1: I believed in the line and its potential. The colors were different. The patterns were sexy, but most of all the bras were supportive! I knew the line was heading in the right direction.

Q2: What are the day-to-day duties of a production manager? How would you describe the lifestyle?

A2: Constantly meeting with different factories. Attending trade shows and expos to see what are the latest trends.

Q3: What is the most challenging part of what you do, and how have you been prepared or have prepared yourself to tackle it during the day-to-day?

A3: Being organized. I was very disorganized and in order to succeed in production, you must keep every file and document every change. Files within files needed to be made. Once I figured that out, my life as a production manager came together and I was able to work more efficiently!

Q4: What do you wish you had known before getting into fashion production?

A4: How organized you have to be. I wish I was trained on being organized.

Q5: What advice would you give for people trying to start their careers as production managers, or any other part of a fashion production team?

A5: That you must believe in the products and that you have to wear every item to decide what changes should be made and go from there.

Q6: You have your line manufactured in the United States. What are the advantages of this?

A6: The quality is amazing. The feel of the material is luxurious. You don’t see sweat marks. Every item either has a dual function or is super detailed and catered to the woman who is active.

150 150 Jesse Dombrowiak

International Clothing Line Shares about Creating Apparel

As one of the exhibitors of Magic Marketweek Feb 2014, Indie Source, got a chance to meet with Founders, Sheena Gao and Laura Krusemark from the brand International Citizen (i.CTZN), who was also awarded as being “Best Emerging Designer,” for Magic Marketweek’s 2012. We wanted to sit down with i.CTZN to hear more about their personal story on creating an apparel line with global appeal that is unifying various cultures from around the world. Here we got the scoop from some eclectic ladies that have some interesting strategies and techniques to share with aspiring designers. Our interview is as follows:

 

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Q: Please tell our professional network at Indie Source how the brand of International Citizen came about? What was the brainchild behind iCTZN?

A: After 15 years of working in Apparel Product Development with some of the leading retailers in the U.S., as well as mentoring many talented designers from Europe, Asia, and U.S.A., I decided I had the perfect opportunity to launch a fashion line, something I had been wanting to do for a long time. Along with my talented friend, fellow fashion designer Laura Krusemark, we formed International Citizen Design House, LLC also known as International Citizen [i.CTZN]. The brand is based on inspiration from both of our passions for world travel and fashion.

 

Q: So, how do you take an idea and concept that spans world-wide, meant to unify all cultures, and develop an apparel line that reaches a broad spectrum of individuals to create mass appeal? What type of research did you both do before going into production with your line, so you knew you would attain a global desirability for your brand?

A:  From our world travels, we’ve realized there is a niche market for our unique style that blends cultural details into the garments.  We incorporate these cultures and countries by showing their flags as patches or screen-print calligraphy in different languages but all with a universal style that is comfortable to wear and easy for travel.

 

Q: Is there a particular age demographic for iCTZN? If so, can you please tell us more about your target consumers and who you feel are the buyers of your brand of clothing and why?

 A:  Our demographic is between the ages of 28 and 48. We target a middle to upper class individual that has a strong level of education, works in the creative field, is inspired by travel, international cuisine, music and learning about the cultures of others. Our clothing stands out clearly from other brands and the demographic we cater to is always excited when they get to touch and feel our product. Its all about getting in front of the right people, at volume.

 

Q: Is i.CTZN currently abroad in any specialty stores that are located in foreign markets? If so, how were you able to tap into those markets? Please give our network some solid tips to break into certain markets based on some of your personal experiences of being in the industry in regards to building iCTZN’s brand on an international level?

A:  Yes, we are currently carried in stores in Tokyo, Japan and have lots of interest from Germany, Spain and France as well as Canada. We were able to find these buyers by doing trade shows such as MAGIC.  We find the best way to break into the market and find new buyers is by doing these trade shows…as many as possible for the best exposure. We have also done fashion shows and been featured in magazines which helps for the branding and exposure, but for actual sales, tradeshows have been the most valuable.

 

Q: If you are physically not in markets abroad, does i.CTZN produce a lot of online sales on a global level; and if so, what type of online marketing have you done to be effective in gaining an online presence of followers to promote sales abroad?

A: We have our website online and we also promote and sell on Amazon and Etsy which are both Internationally known sites.  We also have followers on our Facebook fan page, Twitter, our blog, Youtube, Instagram and Pinterest – all of these sites provide international exposure and allow us to have more the most reach.

 

Q: Where is iCTZN housed, where can consumers purchase your clothing– in stores locally here within the US and online, and how did you connect with the owners and boutiques of some of these stores?

A: We are based out of West Hollywood and consumers can purchase our current inventory on Etsy.  However, we predominately focus on wholesale to buyers for retailers.  Most all of these storeowners have met us through doing trade shows such as MAGIC.

 

Q: Can you please share with Indie Source and our followers some current projects that i.CTZN is involved in that our professional network of followers would be interested in hearing about, so we could keep an eye out and promote iCTZN with these endeavors?

A:    We will be showing with RAW Artists fashion show coming up on April 13th in Hollywood and also working on partnership and licensing with Paramount Pics.  Please follow our progress on our Facebook fan page, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates and news on International Citizen’s events.

 

Q: Since the world is so big, how do you strategize and determine what destinations to hit up first, and what are specifically some pre-marketing tests that you perform to do some of the analytics to verify if i.CTZN’s clothing will be well received in various countries abroad?

A: We have worked with a marketing company in Spain, who have recommended testing our product in fashion capitals such as Berlin, Milan, Barcelona and London. We have discussed a gorilla style marketing technique(s) to introduce the brand to their markets and see how well received they are.  In our four year experience, our feedback from European countries as well as Asian countries have been very positive so I know we would have a good customer following there.

 

Q: Lastly, what does i.CTZN mean to you and what type of lasting impression do you want i.CTZN to have within the industry of the world of fashion and for your consumers?

A: We are dedicated to promoting the power of universal oneness and creating openness between cultures and countries through unique men’s and women’s fashion. We hope we can continue to represent this vision and create a lasting impression within the world of fashion for many years to come.

International Citizen Apparel

International Citizen Apparel


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