Join me on the learning curve of creating a new brand from scratch! After numerous requests for larger size sports clothes in fashionble styles and colours in our retail store I thought I would take the plunge. We are always being chased by offshore companies to take some of their apparel so that is where I started. When the first samples turned up and I couldn't squeeze my body into a 2XL I got the hint that maybe off shore wasn't the way to go. Canvassing friends for some one who knew a bit about the trade resulted in lots of homework - and being told that I was definately starting behind the eight ball! Never one to shirk a challenge I found a patternmaker, a lovely lady who interviewed me to see if I was worth working for (no high heels and mini skirts allowed - just as well I had left those in the wardrobe that day). Off to the fabric guy. Learned a whole lot from him including the fact that over 80% of people that make samples never end up manufacturing. He wished me well though and was extremely helpful. Next on the agenda was a sample hand. Walking around the streets of Marickville frightening the locals by asking "Visa, visa" while searching for a garment maker of that name probably wasn't my smartest move. Over that hurdle and onto the next adventure.
First samples made and what a hit. An order for 10 bras from the 3 people that tried the sample bra on. YES! on the right track. But now to get them produced... First step, need a cutter.
There is a move afoot to bring back garment manufacturing to Australian shores. With turn around times of 4 weeks it is certainly attractive. Being able to speak directly with the person is also a great advantage. Cutter located, fabric ordered and production scheduled. Then it is on to labels and packaging. No-one told me it would be this complex - or that I would have to make so many decisions! What type of label do we want, where are they all to be placed... Language is definately a barrier in this case and it is back to the fabric manufacturer for assistance on care labels having thought I had every thing under control.
Well tomorrow is another day and will bring its own set of chances to learn and laugh :)
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