Being an independent woman who takes care of her own needs and necessities I am quite experienced when it comes to wholesale purchasing and negotiations of products. I remember, for more than 14 years I ran my very own women wear business of wholesale as well as a retail franchise here downtown Chicago. I sampled and came up with designs for majority of the dress in my boutique and the most joyous part of the work was sourcing materials and fabric for my chain of work. There’s an overwhelming feeling of content and delight seeing those delivery containers full of fresh sample rolls of fabric pull over at the front of my garage.
I like any one of you, am a human being and capable of committing errors, and one should not be surprised if I tell you I made quite a few mistakes during my years of fabric purchasing. Today I see even more lapses made by my new designer colleagues at the Fashion Brain. The most significant problem that I couldn’t overlook was the very famous “fabric problem” experienced by people around the globe, which also pushed me to start my “New Designer Program” online tutorials. Purchasing fabrics for your foundation fashion business at wholesale and bulk prices seems like an insider business because sure, it actually is. Even google cannot be your reliable friend at circumstances similar to these.
So, for my respectful clients and audience, I have complied together a list of top 5 mistakes rising fashion engineers make these days with their abilities to find cut and sew manufacturers or retailers for their line of fashion and designs.
1) Unable to grasp the concept of Continuity
This has its roots in how you a person sell their collection. If you plan to provide wholesale to places such as boutiques, you need to source sample measurements first and return to the merchant to purchase mass production yardage. Do not commit the mistake of using a specific material in the clothing collection, show the line/ quality of work to retailers, take orders and later NOT be able to get more when it comes to production. Have faith in me, it gets quite tricky if you run a small merchandise and order small quantities. The number of designers I meet who are astonished that a particular pattern they sourced a few months ago is not currently available for re-order ,when it is needed on urgent basis for production as its demand has sprung high.
2) Plan how you will Use your Purchased Fabric
Purchasing a distinctive fabric only because you fell in love with the design or the person selling it, thinking you will use it one day, will not do you any good. It will hold down your cash, take up unwanted space in your warehouse, and contributes to the mental ability of the brain to function leading to mounting stress levels. Therefore, it is recommended that you buy only the product that is required and will be made into fancy commodity for sale.
3) Sometimes Sample Yardage Will not Use the Same Dye as Production Yardage
I took me around 9 years of running this business to realize that coordinating material/ fabrics is a much better and wiser idea as compare to trying to match them. Sometimes the sample bulk is very likeable and favorite and you will initially send it to the buyer and order for production yardage. Then, at times, arrives a nightmare in shapes of production bulk delivery trucks, private label clothing manufacturer’s samples do not always match exactly the same with the sample that, “oops”, you have already sent and got approved. You now need to use your instincts and other ideas to find an alternative. Which sometimes is quite a task leading to loss of money and a risk of upsetting your client resulting in bad word of mouth, disrupting your reputation.
4) Always check delivered Fabric for Quality
Sometimes rolls sent by private label clothes manufacturers or by other wholesalers may consist of flaws or unequal quality all around. This however is a clear, painless fix. Instruct your labor or manager to always check all the rolls before beginning work or storing them in the warehouse. This eliminates the chance of defects, saving time and space. If any defects are found, the rolls could be sent back on time for rapid correction and an agreement reached, rather than finding months after working that a few rolls are below par and need changing. You could also hire a separate team for this task or pay the existing work force a little extra. This will save your reputation, money, time and initiations of bad relationships in the long run.
5) Hoping to find the Divine Grail of Fabric
Sometimes designers get tired and frustrated, which is perfectly alright, I mean who doesn’t? When you cannot find the thing you need for quite a long time, and your fellow designers boast their purchases of able to find their desired fabric; thoughts of discontent and restlessness inflate. So, what is the solution? I recommend analyzing your work in reverse. Rather than finding for a specific and perfect fabric, have a go at the market and examine what is available in the quantity you need and falls under your budget. This could lead you to meet cut and sew manufacturers, retailers and merchants that offer their products in the lowest possible rates for your brand and company. Once you have a report of what fabric is available in how much quantity and how much does it cost, you can begin purchasing and then designing it if it falls under your specification and budget. The vital trick to designing your collection is to go around what fabrics are easily accessible and purchasable and how reliable is the person you are purchasing from.
I hope I was helpful enough sharing my personal experiences and giving out some advice in my area of expertise. It’s your turn now, make wonders as designers and try making this world a better place.