From Ideal to Real - Part 12: Found a Factory?
Cross your fingers...
I think I found a factory.
In what was a very serendipitous moment, I was speaking to the founder of iFundWomen.com (the crowd funding platform I'm planning to use... more on that soon!) and lamenting about my struggles with finding a factory who would take on producing my bags and straps. She then told me that she happened to know the owner of a local factory, personally, and could make an introduction.
I spoke to the owner, Mitch, and breathed a sigh of relief when he immediately told me that he thinks this is a project his factory could handle. We arranged to come visit a couple days later, so I immediately set out to get my patterns copied and finalized. Thankfully, I had a bit of help.
Mike and I hopped in the car and went to see their facility and to meet with Mitch and his staff in Newark, NJ. Mitch welcomed us to his factory and I demonstrated the bags and straps for him. He was excited about the idea and said he thought they could definitely do it. (I always wonder when I can trust that someone actually likes it vs trying to get my business... though he seemed genuine, so I'm taking the optimistic view). He gave us a tour of the factory and I was fascinated to see all the pieces of various bags and hats coming together. I made it a point to make eye contact and smile at some of the workers and I was pleased to see they smiled back.
We then met with their pricing guy who had looked over the bags to determine where they can create some efficiencies of production as compared to the homemade version I made. He explained that simple things like how the zippers go in and where the seams are can be done in a factory in a more expedited way without sacrificing the quality. I am not too precious about things like the exact way the zipper is installed, so I was happy to get his suggestions.
I really enjoyed talking with Mitch and I left there thinking he "got it" and would be a great partner to work with. It was reinvigurating!
The next step is to make a sample using some fabric that they have on hand to see how they can reproduce the bags and straps and at what cost. I look forward to seeing what they change and how they do it.
In just about three weeks time... hopefully I will have a sample in hand!
I'm incredibly excited to be taking this next big step (LEAP!)