We see a wide variety of clients at Detroit Sewn. Some are long-time designers who know how to sketch and even create their own prototypes. Some come to us with inspiration pieces they believe they know how to make better. And still some come with no design knowledge whatsoever and nothing other than an idea.
If you are working with a small- or medium-size sewing factory, the truth is you can come to us at any of the above stages of your journey. The big difference is that the less that you have prepared on your own, the more you will pay your factory to do the work for you. This is exactly the scenario you want if you don’t have the time or the knowledge or the patience to do it yourself.
If you don’t have all the answers to your product, whether it’s a garment, an accessory or something for the home or for pets, there are two types of services you need up front: Collection Planning Consultation (whether you have one item or 12), and Product Development.
With Collection Planning Consultation, we learn about your idea, and then we start breaking down all the important details about the sale of the product, such as determining your target market, how much you think someone will pay for the product and where you plan to sell it. These are just a few of the crucial questions that need to be answered up front to know if it makes sense to produce your product.
In Product Development, we determine the very best way to construct your product, taking into account its purpose, the right materials needed to make it, and how much it will sell for (especially if you are planning to wholesale your product).
Your factory can also provide other necessary services that you may not want to or be able to, such as sourcing your fabric and notions (i.e. buttons, zippers, Velcro, etc.), creating your pattern, grading the pattern to accommodate the various sizes you want to offer and more.
Detroit Sewn goes a step further, also offering logo development, label and hangtag design, packaging design and website building.
So really, the answer to the question as to whether or not you are ready for a sewing factory is this: If you have a product you believe in and you are willing to invest some money into the making of that product, then you are ready for at least the first step of a Collection Planning Consultation to ensure you are on track. Better to spend a couple hundred dollars on that consultation – perhaps finding out then your product can’t sell for enough to make money based on the manufacturing costs – than go through the whole process and make that discovery after you have sunk thousands into it.
My advice is, listen to the recommendations of your factory, ask lots of questions, and get a breakdown of pricing and timelines. You are more likely to be successful if you are knowledgable and open to change.