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    24 Replies Latest reply on Dec 30, 2011 9:55 PM by Sophia_Myles

    Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??

    Inspired2009 Wayfarer
      I am looking to start my own higher end swimwear line and am looking for any suggestions on how to get started. Currently I have samples made up of a few of my designs and am writing a business plan and thinking of a name- however, I am having the most difficulty finding a manufacturer- preferably in the USA however open to legitimate companies overseas as long as I would be able to still have a say over the quality. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
        • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
          RanksIntl Adventurer
          Hello!

          It's great that you have already gotten so far into your plans! You are definitely on the right track as far as starting with your business plans.

          There's a plethora of manufacturers out there you just need to look in the right places for your specific business. May I ask: what is it about manufacturers that you have seen so far that you don't like? If you can narrow down what you don't like then you will be able to find the best fit for your needs. If you can give us some more information, maybe there are tips that we can give you. If you are searching for professional help finding a manufacturer I can help with that.

          Renee`
          1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
              Inspired2009 Wayfarer
              Hi Renee, that is just the problem- when I search for manufacturers online, I usually find companies wanting to sell their clothing to a reseller instead of wanting to make my designs. Since I am at the beginning of this search I have not started a list of guidlines other than two obvious ones- price and quality. I also was wondering what I need to bring to the table when meeting with a manufacturer- do they go off of my samples, do they need specific patterns etc.
              Thanks for your help and suggestions!
                • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                  RanksIntl Adventurer
                  Hello!

                  When meeting with a manufacturer you need your designs: sketches and pieces already created if possible. You will also need swatches of the fabrics that you may want to use as well as color schemes. You need to make certain to come to the table with an open mind and the ability to accept suggestions on their part while maintaining the fact that it is your line.

                  You may find it better to look internationally depending on your specific needs and the amount that you are looking to invest into the venture. I know of a couple of places that may be good for you but without knowing your specific info I can't be sure that they will work. For instance, are you looking for a company that will source the fabric or will you purchase it yourself? What is the price range that you are looking at for a manufacturer? Etc.

                  If you would like some advice or want to bounce ideas off of me regarding your guidelines, etc you can email me at the address in my profile. Look forward to speaking with you!

                  Renee`
                  • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                    RanksIntl Adventurer
                    Hello!

                    I tried posting to you and I am having some trouble with it. I have answers to some of your questions and possible ideas for manufacturers. If you leave more info like the amount that you are willing to pay for a manufacturer, etc then may have options. If you would like some assistance in coming up with a list if guidelines which will be helpful in your search email me at the address in my profile and I will be happy to help you with that.

                    Renee`
                    • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                      prettybag Wayfarer
                      hii, our company offer the manufacturing service for your own design. if you want to know more details please feel free to contact :
                      e-mail: handbag001@hotmail.com
                      MSN: handbag001@hotmail.com
                      website: www.handbag001.com
                      Contact person: Jany
                      Thank you!
                  • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                    TaxPartner Wayfarer
                    I would start building my team of professionals. Every business needs someone focused on Operations, Sales and Marketing, Finance. Depending on what your budget is, I would put the word out that you are in need of a small manufacture that could handle a startup swimwear line. In today's economy, that may not be hard to find.
                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                      dac2828 Wayfarer

                      Inspired2009, I do a lot of overseas business. I've sent millions to China, and they are not very easy to deal with. They could care less about a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars in business. DO NOT use China to help you develop samples. Its very inefficient. For you, I would strongly recommend keeping it close to home. I'm not in the textile or seamstress business, or whatever its called, but go to local companied in your area that use a sewing machine and either throw them a few hundred bucks. Or, even better, have the employee using the sewing machine do it on the side for you. Heck, go to a retirement home or something, what hobbyist wouldn't like to earn a few bucks and be a part of the up and coming hottest designer swimwear company ;)

                      Good luck! Although, I don't believe in luck, but maybe you do.

                       


                      If you have a larger budget which it doesn't sound like you do, go to the big boys in the US if that even exists, however be careful, try to get free samples made.
                        • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                          Inspired2009 Wayfarer
                          Absolutely- any insight and ideas are greatly appreciated. I am still stuck on finding a manufacturer. I also am needing to know what a realistic expectation is to pay for reproduction of my designs. I know it will probably vary greatly with location of manufacturer, quality and design...
                            • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                              dac2828 Wayfarer
                              Inspired2009, where the product is made will have absolutely no effect on the quality. What about my idea to go to a retirement home, or any small business that uses a sewing machine then having the employee do it on the side for you?

                              Inspired2009, finding a manufacturer is not like going grocery shopping. Unless you have a large order, NO ONE is going to want to waste their time unless you make them believe in you if they're large, or if they too are small, and do need the couple hundred bucks. I don't imagine sewing some fabric together is terribly difficult.

                              If you don't mind me asking, how much start up money do you have? What made you decide to start a designer swimwear line?
                                • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                                  Inspired2009 Wayfarer

                                  dac2828, I posted an ad on craigslist yesterday looking for a seamstress that would be a good fit and got an immediate response- there seems to be a lot out there. Also, my mother currently makes my samples for me which is great! I have also been asking around at fabric stores if they know of a good seamstress. I am still trying to get a feel of how much I am going to need to spend to startup and have up to $10,000 to use currently.
                                    • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                                      Inspired2009 Wayfarer
                                      Oh, and I decided to start my own swimwear line because every season ( i live in AZ so the season is long =) I try and find a nice suit and have a very difficult time. Went into a swimwear boutique and the sizes were redicuous- very far off as I am diffinitely a small, maybe a medium and had to try on a large which still didn't fit properly! Also, my friend and I each made 3 of our own and we have received fantastic feedback including several people that want us to make one for them as well. I have not seen anything on the market that look like my designs- most everything I have seen in catalogues, stores, online can be quite bland.
                                        • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                                          dac2828 Wayfarer

                                          Pretty cool Inspired2009! $10k isn't too horrible. You better want it bad otherwise the headaches and frustrations won't be worth it! How do you currently make a living if you don't mind me asking? Do you plan on keeping your day job and doing this on the side?

                                          I started with $20k, and have been at it full time for 6 years, I started young. My guess is your pretty young too?

                                           


                                          Start selling! Look at all those sales you may have lost, if people have been asking. Have your Mom make a couple extras, but you better make sure you give her some money weather she accepts it or not, no bogus deals either, money. You could give her a percentage of your gross profit until you can get going. All you need is one piece to make a sale. Do it legit from the beginning, have you done the basics yet, its only a few hundred bucks if that to start an LLC. I do not recommend a sole proprietorship.

                                           


                                          I will tell you I have many relationships with lots of business owners that all together do probably over a billion a year in revenue and not too many get the concept that in order to make money you must focus on providing the consumers value. You seem to have that down.

                                          Make some cool swimwear that makes people happy and fills a void, and you'll be A okay... maybe. I hope your a risk taker.
                                            • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                                              Inspired2009 Wayfarer

                                              Thanks! I currently have a sales and marketing position for a rather large company and plan on keeping my day job until this shows real potential. That is why I am taking it slow trying to find out the answers to all of my questions and starting off small.
                                              It sounds like you are doing well and are happy with your business! Yes, I would consider myself young.

                                               

                                              Good advice pertaining to my mother- I had actually thought of a percentage of each sale as well!

                                               

                                              No I have not started an LLC but know it is not a huge undertaking and will cost about $50 I believe (still trying to think of a great name for my brand). Do you know if I need some sort of licensing? I was asking a store about purchasing fabric in bulk quantities and they asked if I had a license....
                                                • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                                                  dac2828 Wayfarer

                                                  Starting small is a good thing, I think. Perhaps the fabric supplier asked if you had a business license. When you form your entity you'll get a Federal Tax ID and articles of organization. Depending on what state your in you will need some sort of traders license/s, just a $100 or so from your counties courthouse. There is more but not important if your the only owner and don't have employees.

                                                  In Maryland, you just don't have to pay MD sales tax at the time of the transaction when a business purchases from a business. From my experience the business license is more to have your companies information on file with their company, company letterhead, business card, nothing special. I'm sure you can buy fabric without it for the same price, money is money weather its from a business or not.

                                                   


                                                  Some other advise, get your books right from the beginning. Its really so simple if you have half a brain and are decent with numbers. Know your income statement and balance sheet. Get it right from day one, perfect it, this is by far the best advise I can give to someone new starting a business. Your financial statements are the key to knowing your business and growing it.

                                                   


                                                  About me, I am never happy with my business', lol, I didn't have someone like me to teach me. I learned a lot of what not to do, not so much what to do. I have certainly done a good amount of business and many amazing experiences and achievements. And, I do make a pretty good living for myself. I do focus a little too much on the future rather than the right now. Overall I'm very happy, and I will certainly never regret choosing self employement over... not being self employeed. haha
                                    • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                                      ProjectDream Newbie
                                      Inspired2009 congratulations on taking action on your dream! I would love to find the perfect swimsuit as well. In regards to your basic RFI a resource that may be able to assist you is the federally-funded NIST MEP network. Although this national program is designed to assist small to medium-sized manufacturers become more globally competitive, most of the state/local offices are willing to assist with referrals to appropriate manufacturers at no charge. MEP offices have access to a database of all manufacturers and can filter them by the products they produce using NAICS/SIC codes. To locate an office near go to www.mep.nist.gov and click on the map. From there, just select your state and then contact information. Most states have at least one MEP office, you can also go directly to your state's MEP site at www.arizonamep.org.

                                      I hope this information was helpful!

                                      Good luck!
                                      • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                                        Dr.King Newbie
                                        Inspired2009,

                                        I can help you with the marketing of your swimwear. If you want it to become a name brand I can help you put a celebrity face with it. You can email me at dr.king_authentiks@yahoo.com I can also give you some great advice like do not get your samples made in China and do not send your money to China unless you are connected to a large US company.

                                        Dr. King
                                        • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                                          lauralew512 Newbie

                                          Hi Inspired2009, I realize this post was made 2 years ago, but in the hopes that you may see this, I am basically in the same situation that you are. I am working on starting a swimwear line, creating my own prototypes and patterns, and figuring out a budget and raising money to start manufacuring small lots. What has your experience been so far? Any tips for me starting out manufacturing with a small budget (5-10K total)? Just wanted to drop by because I recently made a very similar post to yours. You can see my stuff here:

                                           

                                          dijaswim.com

                                          facebook.com/dijaswim

                                          twitter.com/dijaswim.

                                           

                                          Thanks!

                                          • Re: Starting my own clothing line- suggestions??
                                            Sophia_Myles Tracker

                                            I think nowadays most manufactures are tending to sell things they already have rather to produce from an original design, whatever, it may depends on how large your order is. BTW, are you going to have a physical store or an onnline one?