Preparing to Launch
You might be wondering what exactly it takes to launch a clothing company. We don’t have all the answers, but we do know what it’s going to take to get us started.
Our Kickstarter goal is $11,000. We hope that means that 220 of you will believe in this project enough to pre-order a tank or tee at the $50 contribution level, because making clothing for you is what we really want to do with the money. So what does that buy?
A professional grade serger. The serger used to make our sample garments is only 4 years younger than our seamstress, and really deserves to be retired. In addition to it’s advanced age, it also does not have several of the features that will allow us to reliably produce professionally made clothing. Take a look at the hem of your tee shirt. Chances are it has a double line of stitching at the hem that stretches a bit if you pull on it. In a factory, a specialized machine only does that stitch. We’re going to be saving a little bit of money by purchasing a machine that does that stitch as well as the other seams in knit garments. Buying the one convertible machine rather than two dedicated machines saves us about $500. And since we only have one seamstress, we can manage with only one machine.
Large cutting tables, cutting tools, and an ergonomic work space. We’ll be able to set our seamstress up with a work space that will allow her to work efficiently and produce high quality garments in a short amount of time. Currently she has to cut out pieces on the floor, one or two garments at a time, which takes a long time. A well set up work space can cut her time in half without sacrificing quality.
Professional pattern making software and a wide format (24 or 30 inch) printer. This will allow us to take our patterns and produce them at any size… and that will allow us to never turn a customer away because we don’t make their size. Larger or smaller, we’ll truly be able to fit any body.
Wholesale quantities of fabric, elastic, and thread. We’ll be able to purchase enough fabric, thread and elastic for an estimated 2 months of production. By buying in bulk, we receive a significant savings which in turn allows us to offer these items at a reasonable price ($25-50) once our web site launches.
Paying our seamstress for her time. Making garments from start to finish requires skill and craftsmanship. We’ll be able to pay our seamstress a fair wage for her work while still keeping the overall cost of the items reasonable for the average person.
We’re all bargain hunters at heart, so we took care to research every last penny that will be going into starting this company. We thought long and hard about each piece of equipment and each expense, to ensure that we can offer professional results without needless expense.
Now what happens if we raise more than our goal?
We thought about this question too, because that can happen with Kickstarter. And we’ve got a few things on our wish list that will make things even better. Like a large format digital tablet. That means that Rene can make a sample garment on her dress form, make all of the adjustments needed to the pattern, then disassemble it, and trace the pieces on the digital tablet directly into the pattern making software. From there it’s just a few minutes of work to re-size it for any customer and begin offering it to our customers.
Also on the wish list is a new professional quality sewing machine. While our line of active wear can be produced entirely on the serger, if we move into other types of garments like button down shirts, a standard sewing machine will be essential. Our current sewing machine is about 50-ish years old. It’s an absolute work horse, but it too has earned it’s retirement. We’d also like to be able to embroider our logo on each piece, just a small tone on tone of our little pig with wings, and a newer machine would enable us to do that.
Adding those two tools would allow us to continue to develop new products, grow and expand our line over the next year or so. If we receive additional funding beyond that, we’d look into hiring someone to do production work part time to allow Rene more time to work on new product development.
Remember, we’re just two days away from our Kickstarter campaign launch. Get signed up on our email list, like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, and tell everyone about Flying Pig Apparel’s active wear for every body!
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