I consider yesterday my first official step into the world of manufacturing. It was far less intimidating than I had imagined. I found the contractor through my best information source, the Fashion-Incubator Forum. There are other methods to find contractors including the American Apparel Producers’ Network and ThomasNet among others. Amazingly enough, this company is actually located about 40 minutes from me which would make things so much easier. Not to mention the fact that I would love to keep production jobs in the U.S. even if it is more expensive.
I prepared a list of questions before leaving which was a great thing because I definitely asked more questions of him than he did of me. Out of respect for Kathleen Fasanella, the author of The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sew Product Manufacturing, I won’t go into detail about all of the interview questions as that’s where I got most of my information. My advice is to think about all of the different components and steps that will need to be taken into consideration when manufacturing your product. You will definitely come up with a list of questions you need answered. Ironically enough, I forgot to ask an important question that of course, wasn’t on my list. No worries, that’s what email is for.
This particular company does everything from pattern making, sample making, grading & marking as well as production. It makes things easier when everything is kept under one umbrella but it’s always best to get multiple quotes to ensure you are getting the best prices. The next step is to get quotes from a few other contractors, then order fabric to produce samples. Slowly but surely, I’m making progress.
If you have any stories about working with contractors I would love to hear them!