Posts Tagged :

product development

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!

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

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

540 301 Jesse Dombrowiak

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.

IMG_0469-for-web

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.

IMG_0456-for-web

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!

540 300 Jesse Dombrowiak

Smart Fabrics – New Functions In Fashion

Smart fabrics are bringing fashion design face-to-face with technology, and the possibilities are unlimited.

Smartwatches and activity trackers are on wrists everywhere. Virtual and augmented reality headsets give us a new modality of entertainment and learning. By 2020, wearable devices will represent a market worth of $40 billion with over 240 million annual unit shipments. A growing segment of wearables that integrate technology into fabrics in a visually seamless way is opening up a massive creative space for fashion designers in this highly technical market.

With their invisibly embedded technology, smart fabrics make donning wearables as second nature as throwing on a jacket before heading out the door. Invisible sensors and intelligent analytics provide what we’ve come to expect from wearable tech – communication, health data, exercise stats – and perform more advanced functions such as monitoring one’s emotional state, stress level, and ergonomic posture.

Embedded On The Go

Google’s Project Jacquard enables interactive technology to be woven into any textile. The tech giant has announced it’s partnering with Levi’s to create connected, interactive garments that combine the authentic feel and durability of denim with embedded technology that allows the wearer to interact with mobile devices in unprecedented ways. Scheduled for release in 2017, the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket is designed to enable bicycle commuters to wirelessly control mobile devices through gestures and touch.

Jacquard is a conductive fabric technology developed by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. Tiny components and conductive yarns attached to connectors and circuits allow the wearer to seamlessly interact with embedded technology. The fabric wirelessly transmits touch and gesture data to mobile devices, allowing users to control apps, manage calls, and use other smartphone features.

Jacquard yarns and fabrics can be produced using standard equipment already in use in mills around the world, and the fabric looks and feels just like the fabric consumers already wear every day. Fashion designers can use Jacquard in any garment without any knowledge of technology. This level of versatility means there is essentially no limit to who can use Jacquard in their designs, nor to the types of clothing that can be created.

From Physiology To Physicality

The possibilities of the intersection of wearable technology and fashion design don’t stop at wireless interaction with mobile devices. While most wearables detect physiology, BeBop’s smart fabrics sense physicality: presence, movement, weight, shape, force, location, and size. These measures are rendered as 3D maps of pressure, bend, location, rotation, angle, and torsion. The Berkeley, California-based company’s fabric contains embedded sensors, traces, and electronics using their proprietary Monolithic Fabric Sensor Technology. The only known viable fabric with these capabilities, it is also durable, lightweight, thin, washable, and more affordable than other sensor technologies.

BeBop’s main vertical is the automotive market, with applications in autonomous cars, safety, HMI (Human Machine Interfaces), and OCS (Occupant Classification System required for better airbag performance). BeBop’s other active markets are consumer health and IoT (Internet of things). With over a million sensors in daily use and $5 million in funding secured this month, BeBop’s smart fabric sensor technology has potential applications in almost every type of industry.

With a 67% increase in sales in the past year, wearables are one of the biggest emerging technology markets. As technologies become embedded into the very fabric of the clothing we wear, the potential for innovative and inspiring wearable tech apparel is unlimited. Powerful collaborations between fashion designers and product developers, component makers, electrical engineers, investors, medical device developers, textile manufacturers, and others will dramatically change the function of fashion in years to come.

540 301 Jesse Dombrowiak

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!

 

540 300 Jesse Dombrowiak

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.

for-web-turquoise-rings

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!

540 300 Jesse Dombrowiak

Damon Dash Visits Indie Source

Indie Source to be featured with Damon Dash in episode of BET reality show Music Moguls.

Last week, Indie Source was visited by Damon Dash and BET’s crew to film scenes for upcoming reality series Music Moguls. The new series will reveal an inside view of the lives of hip hop icons Damon Dash, Snoop Dogg, Birdman, and Jermaine Dupri.

Dash, founder of Roc-A-Fella Records and Jay-Z’s former manager, is developing a new clothing line with Indie Source and we couldn’t be more excited! Find out more in the Music Moguls episode set to air in July.

Top photo (L to R): Indie Source co-founder Zack Hurley; Raquel M. Horn, creative director of Poppington; Damon Dash; Indie Source co-founder Jesse Dombrowiak, and Emily Meaker, our client coordinator and director of marketing.

Filming-Scene-For-Web

 

 

540 300 Jesse Dombrowiak

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.

Fit-Scrubs-post-1

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.

Fit-Scrubs-Post-2

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.

 

 

 

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