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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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