I once had a teacher who said that if we simply do our homework and study, the test will be a breeze! And he was right, it worked for me. The same concept easily translates to fashion production.
DESIGN WITH PRODUCTION IN MIND! I know how boring and limiting this part sounds for a creative person like you, but following this motto is the single, most important step to turn your creativity and talent into a BUSINESS! If you plan your production process while you design your product and think ahead about each step, re: the logistics, the cost, the timeline, etc. your production will be easy and will have no tricky questions or surprises.
To help you with that, here are 3 tips you should follow when designing your next season:
- Design with a cost sheet – Knowing your target retail price is going to help you determine your wholesale price as well as your desired cost (fabric cost, labor cost, shipping etc.). This will help you make the right design decisions to keep your product’s price point and will eliminate surprising costs in production. For example: Can you afford to have French seam on your blouse? How much of that expensive fabric can you use on that dress? What is the cost of importing your fabrics (freight + custom duties)? If you need help with costing, check out our costing workshop here or use our cost sheet!
Pay attention to the details – Every seam and every design detail on your product will affect how smooth (and costly) will the process be, not to mention it will need to be thoroughly explained to your contractors. When thinking about the details consider the following questions: Does it have a good reason to be added? What does it take to be made in bulk for production? What will it cost (time and money) and does it justify the cost of it? For example: if you’re looking to combine 2 different fabric will it be easy to sew them together? If you are unsure about any of the above, consult your pattern maker or factory. They have a good understanding of time and cost on their end that might save you from a headache down the line. If you need tips on how to work/communicate with a sewing contractor, click here to listen to our FREE workshop on the subject.
- Design the process, not only the product - Run through the logistics of the process from A-Z in your head. Where is the fabric coming from? How much time will it take to arrive? How many hands will it go through until the product is finished and how to coordinate all these separate parts? For example: Can your contractor apply your trim/hardware or will it need to be sent out to a different shop, if so than when, how and who will send it? Keep things simple. If you foresee any issues with timing, cost, and personalities, address them NOW or choose a different solution.
Remember, time is money so thinking about the ways to make the production process easier for your contractor will reflect in their prices and how willing are they to go the extra mile for you.
Production by its nature (especially the first time) will most likely throw some curve balls at you, but planning ahead will make the difference between a small bump in the road and a deadly accident!
P.S If you need a second opinion or need help to make sense of it all, contact us to book your Feasibility Session NOW!