Hi bzerfoss! Welcome to our forums. Congratulations on your decision to explore starting your own boutique with your own designs. The search for a manufacturer can lead in many directions, but since you are new to the business, I'd suggest focusing on local providers where you can have more control and trust. Sometimes the saving in buying offshore is eaten up with other issues or problems.
You might consider attending some trade shows. Trade shows are an effective way for small and new businesses to connect with companies who are interested in your products. You might also ask other small clothing vendors, in or near your community, who they use, and what their experiences have been.
One final suggestion, it's a good idea for anyone contemplating starting a new business to contact your local chapter of SCORE. S.C.O.R.E is an organization made up of business executives and entrepreneurs, They offer free, confidential counseling and education on almost any area that a small business owner may need guidance in.
Please feel free to ask any additional questions you may have. We've got a great community, that I know will be glad to share their experiences!
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Hello bzerfoss, because you are new to the business I think what Rebecca said is true. A local provider is the best for you right now. Once your business is growing you might then want to import your products from an other country like China, India or Vietnam.
If ever you still intend to manufacture from one of these countries you can try Alibaba. Find a supplier and ask them samples of their products to check the quality. But you need to know the suppliers on Alibaba are mostly big companies, they have a minimal order quantity (MOQ). You can't ask them to make only 50pcs of a new product.
And for kids garment you also need to comply with the quality standards of your country.
Feel free to contact me anytime if you need my services or more information.