Being an entrepreneur is an exhilarating roller coaster ride! One moment you are killing it and the next minute you are asking yourself why you got out of bed that morning. We all have those specific challenges that can knock us down. Here at Stitch Method we encounter some we didn’t even see coming! For instance, when we started looking for office space we thought “this will be fun! Looking at real estate is awesome!” Wrong. Looking at real estate IS fun. But it takes time out of your day that you need to be working on other things. It takes more time and more money than you thought to find the perfect place, pack up everything, move everything, organize all the people involved, set up the phones and it goes on and on! It was exhausting!
It is tempting to jump right into the fun part of designing your line when launching a new product. We love that part too! However, before you even start to design your new product line, it is important to create a business plan. Writing a business plan can sound scary. But, unless you are seeking funding from a financial institution your business plan doesn’t necessarily need to be that overwhelming. We suggest a basic business plan outlining a few specifics for the apparel industry. Below is our top 5 list of questions that we suggest you address in your plan.
If you read our blog or follow us on social media, you know that we love Tech Packs at Stitch Method. Not only is the Tech Pack a blueprint for how your garment is made, but it also acts as an ingredient list. The Bill of Materials (BOM) included in the Tech Pack outlines every raw material that goes into your garment, how much is needed and where to get it. Creating your BOM not only helps you as the designer to organize everything you need for production, but it also helps to keep your factory organized. Keep in mind that factories work with a lot of different brands so they have tons of fabrics and trims to keep track of.
Walking into a factory for the first time as a new brand can be intimidating. As we always say at Stitch Method, it takes a community to run a successful brand! Your manufacturer is a huge part of your community! They want you to be successful so that you keep bringing them business and you want them to be successful so that they are in business to help. It might be intimidating reaching out to factories for the first time. But, if you have your tech packs for each style, samples to show and all of your vendors lined up, you can feel confident that you are prepared to walk in the door. Here are some tips to keep your first meeting running smoothly!