Development is a complex series of tasks, performed by skilled professionals working together, that creates the intellectual property, samples, and sourcing of materials needed to build your apparel designs. A thorough development process ensures smooth, and accurate production of your garments.
A common misconception for beginner apparel entrepreneurs is that they can find and assemble this team with a DIY approach. What ends up happening is that a decentralized team tries to share very technical knowledge through you to communicate with each other. The resulting product can result in something that is full of inaccurate specifications and unsuitable materials. Which means…you have to start over again, costing you more time and a lot more money.
How can you avoid getting to your final product only to discover it is not up to industry standard? Work with a team that is directly involved with your garment from start to finish. When your project manager is sourcing fabric, they can consult with the pattern maker and sample makers immediately to determine if the materials support the execution of the design. What does this look like?
Here is the Development Team roster:
Your brand consultant will kickoff the development process with detailed consultation that reviews everything about your designs, your brand, and your business plan. In this kickoff meeting (KOM) your brand consultant will discuss everything from pricing and margins, to your target customers, to launch timing and strategy. So in short? Your brand consultant will detail everything about the development process: what you put into, what you get out of it, how much it costs, and how long it will take.
Project Manager (PM)
The PM is your executive assistant for the development process. They not only source all your fabric & trims, but they are the liaison between the pattern-maker and sample-maker. They work on creating the tech packs and help to negotiate pricing with the production team. Armed with years of experience in product design, sourcing, and production, your PM knows who the best vendors are to work with and how to negotiate the best prices for your materials. The PM works with every person in the development process to make sure they are working together to expertly develop your product.
The pattern-maker takes all the measurements from the reference samples and creates an original digital pattern of your designs, while consulting with your PM on the specifications of your tech pack. Once your first sample has been made, the pattern maker conducts your fittings to take notes on adjustments needed, then updates the digital pattern and tech pack accordingly. Once your final sample has been approved, the pattern team will prepare your markers (marking) and scale your digital pattern for all sizes needed in your size run (grading).
Our master sample makers work in Indie Source’s atelier to cut and sew your designs using the digital patterns made by the pattern-maker, and according to the detailed instructions in the tech pack. Their expert skills will bring to life your three dimensional garment from a flat pattern and a bolt of fabric. Magic.
Once all of your materials have been sourced, your digital pattern and tech pack is finalized, your sample is approved, and your marking and grading is complete, now the production team has the information they need to get you a labor cost for the construction of your garment. The director of production will work to negotiate the best prices for you while ensuring expert quality.
Could you imagine trying to find, hire, and manage all of these skilled professionals on your own? Not to mention, ensuring they are properly communicating with each other and checking each other’s work for accuracy and quality? Many of the development clients that come to Indie Source knock on our door because they have tried this DIY approach only to be years in, overspent, and with little to show for it. Do it right the first time. Do it best with a professional team like Indie Source.
If you have a clear idea of the designs you want to produce, you are funded, and ready to make this happen, book a development kickoff meeting with one of our brand consultants. Learn more here.