10 May 2011

The Search for a Sewing Contractor - The First Meeting

I read Fashion Incubator till late last night. It is a wonderful resource and I am seriously considering buying the book byKathleen Fasanella titled 'The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing'. It's available on both Fashion Incubator and Amazon websites. I recommend that you at least check out the website.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've written tirelessly to several garment manufacturers in Thailand, even Vietnam and India. I even e-mailed a sample of one of my designs, which I regretted, especially in the light of them not responding. I am already imagining in my head, my design being constructed elsewhere and sold. Better shake that thought off, the image is not doing me any good!

I realise that it really is true the best way to find a sewing contractor, or any contractor for that matter in this industry is through referrals. A week and a half ago my sewing teacher referred me to a small garment manufacturer that she felt would be able to fulfil my needs. This was after my desperate plea after not getting any replies.

I had arranged to have a Thai friend with me because this contractor cannot speak English at all, as far as I could tell. I even had a back up friend to fill in, in case this friend could not make it. But as fate would have it, neither of them made it. But you know what? I merrily made my way to my first meeting with a gung ho attitude. And 'Just do it!' Echoing in my head.

I brought with me a list of questions to ask, very telling of how inexperienced I am. A document with a list of English terms and their Thai translation (courtesy of Google translate). Only God knew if the translations were accurate. My sketches, samples of clothes that reflected the kind of sewing quality I wanted, a stitching and textile book full of pictures in case I needed to illustrate to her certain aspects of my designs, and a heart full of courage. :)

I made a conscious decision not to even try to pretend that I was not a newbie. I think it was a smart decision, becausen no way would I be able to pull off looking like a knowledgeable designer. I presented myself as I really am, a very small start-up, with little experience, a lot of guts and a sense of adventure.

I felt very happy with how the meeting went, I can tell though that I will have to do some price negotiations in the next meeting. The only thing I was not happy about was that I forgot to check samples of her work. But I am not going to beat myself over this, there will be the next meeting when I hand over my sample materials so she can get to work on making the first sample for my designs.

I could tell by the way she pursed her lips rather sternly that the production time line was going to be later than I had requested. Taking this possibility into consideration I am seriously thinking of amending my collection so that it would still be valid when it goes on the market. So there's ample work to be done. Fine tuning the designs, drawing the technical sketch, finalizing the size specs, design and ordering the labels and hang tags, so that all will be ready to be handed over to her and production can begin.

I took a picture of my garment manufacturer's office, but since it's a very new camera (my husband's birthday gift to me, God bless his soul), the uploading of said picture will have to wait till I get myself familiarised with the camera. But it was a landmark moment for me. A line in time that signified the transformation of a dream into real action. Hooray to the progress of the day.

1 comment:

  1. Choosing a sewing contractor in First Meeting will not solve our needs and problems to produce a good quality of products from them.

    While choosing sewing contractor select the one who has more experience in projects within both large and small firm.A commercial sewing contractor is a best option for huge investment and other business communities.