We have met a number of new designers the last season who have fallen into this trap. It is so sad to hear the stories of someone who has put $10,000 of their heart, soul and cold hard cash into their passion only to receive a shipment of disaster.
This blog is for those starting out. I want to say, you canít send a picture and a couple of garments overseas and expect to get a shipment back of 1000 amazing, top quality, well-made garments back for a fraction of the price of local manufacturing without any effort on your part, but I canít really say that I can.
What I can probably say is the process of manufacturing overseas takes a lot of detailed information, a lot of checking and rechecking and a lot of fingers crossed.
Firstly, you need an amazing spec sheet.
Secondly, you need to know how to choose a manufacturer a how to create a contract that sticks (even I donít know how to do this one).
Thirdly, you need to know what to ask and when you need to be signing off on it.
Fourthly, you need to be in a position of bargaining so that you have the upper hand.
Fifthly, you need to go over there and check up on production and you need to know what you are looking for and how to fix it.
Sounds easy right! Wrong – This is why overseas manufacturing is for the big boys. People who have had long standing relationships with manufacturers (and even then, as one customer this season attests, does not mean they will do what you said when you said).
In my opinion, you are better to make a small run locally so you can learn all there is to learn while you have little money. You might not make as much money but you wonít lose it all either. Even when our clients have managed to get their money back they still have lost a whole season.
Alternatively, you could work with someone who has an office in Australia so at least you are dealing with someone whose door you can knock on. Then all you need to worry about is the minimums they require for the time they need to put in.
Believe me, there is a way you can work locally, as long as you are not trying to compete on price.
Call us to discuss the best solution for your business (03)9940 1510.