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Sewing Contractors – Finding the Ideal One

One of the major challenges faced by designers is finding the ideal sewing contractor who makes quality samples at an affordable rate. In scanning the online forums and hearing the cries of designers, the stories can be harrowing to say the least. New designers traditionally look in the following areas for a reputable sewing contractor:

  • Internet search
  • Local Chamber of Commerce
  • Trade Directories
  • Yellow Pages
  • Sewing Forums & Blogs
  • Fashion schools

Possibly the best way to secure the services of a trustworthy contractor is to ask someone in the business if they are able to recommend a sewing contractor who can assist you in creating your product. You may get a better answer from a non-local source as your local competition may be stiff and designers a tad bit tight-lipped on their sources.

Despite the challenges faced in finding the right contractor for some, there are tremendous success stories of the girl next door who becomes an international sensation. We hear of their glitz and their glamor but far too few tell of their trials in the trenches. Their successes though huge in our eyes were far from an overnight one. It is from these folks we would love to hear how their journey unfolded and where the bumps in the road were. Perhaps we can also request a little hand sketched road map to avoid the snakes in the ditches.

Snakes in the Ditches

Speaking of snakes in the ditches… several years ago I had a brain-wave about one of my purses. A lady I was doing business with recommended a sewing contractor to construct it for me. I was so happy to have found this person even though he was on the other side of the world. He was polite, professional and extremely promising; he promised to do everything I requested.

I decided to test his services with a sample. Though the delivery was much later than promised I finally received it. It was a beauty! I ventured to try several more bags despite a few warning signals. With the funds and designs for my second order off to the contractor I waited patiently for my new samples. The samples never came, only requests for more money.

I did learn several costly lessons from this and other encounters that I would like to share with you.

  • If the promises sound too good to be true, they usually are
  • Some references aren’t worth a hill of beans
  • Avoid making advance payments in full
  • Have a photo of your product emailed prior to paying the balance
  • Beware of a contractor who constantly changes his prices after reaching an agreement
  • Ensure that you are able to meet with your contractor regularly to make certain your product is made to specifications.

What Are My Options?

In the event that you are not able to find your dream sewing contractor you need to have an alternative plan. So, what does a designer do in the meantime? You start where you are with what you have. You do not have to quit before you’ve even started. Your journey as a designer usually begins with small steps rather than huge leaps.

Here are a few options to consider:

  • A joint venture with a reputable person who can bring the necessary skills to the table
  • Where possible, use ready-made products that can be enhanced or embellished
  • Take short courses that get you directly to the heart of what you need to perfect

Your courses do not have to be from a formal university; avoid the fluff and get to the meat of what you want to do. For many designers, the ideal sewing contractor just might be you.

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