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Hooray. I have samples. It’s been quite the process to get these made. I was initially in talks with a manufacturer I was interested in working with. We’d actually got quite far down the line talking, but we couldn’t go any further as I felt the MOQs (minimum order quantities) were just too high. I’m trying to be as lean as possible with production which can be quite challenging in this business at a certain price point. The reason for this is I need to be able to iterate my products based on feedback and not be stuck with lots of product that I can’t or don’t even want to shift. So I had to go back to the drawing board and start to look for manufacturers who were willing to work with me and my lower MOQs.
The samples you’re looking at are the product of one brief, two continents, three countries and a lot of conversations. I wanted each factory to make the same garment, with the same instructions, so I could compare what I received. There are issues across the samples – from construction, to materials, to colours (yes one factory just used a random colour for the pockets and cuffs!?). You can see one is missing print completely, however we discussed this before hand so it wasn’t a complete surprise. As well as seeing the quality of work, what I found interesting about this process is what I learned about communicating with the suppliers. If this is the beginning of a relationship, it’s interesting to see how this first interaction plays out. From their perspective I’m sure the same is true. They want to know if I’m patient, if I pay on time, am I someone they want to work with?
It took me ages to get the samples. Some of this was due to public holidays that I didn’t know exist. I’m sure another reason for the delay is that these factories have real customers, with real orders and I’m the tiniest fish at the earliest stage of production. I have no doubt my sample got de-proritised on more than one occasion.
The important thing is that they are here and I’ve learned something else. The next stage is for me to fly out to meet one of these manufacturers; the one I feel may be the most promising for a number of reasons. A key reason to fly out is to actually make sure the factory exists (!) and to hopefully see the conditions in which the clothes are made. I hope this end up being a step forward and doesn’t result in another visit back to my old friend the Drawing Board.
Regulation, Requirements & Red Tape
I tried for a snappy title, I really did. Regulation isn’t the sexiest of topics, but my, it’s important. It’s important to me anyway. And it’s really challenging to get your head around. I need to start this post by saying I’m no expert. I definitely haven’t got it all worked out yet. However, after …
I don’t like mess, I don’t like untidy spaces, to be honest I don’t deal well with aesthetic chaos. However, you would never think this looking at my house because with two children under three, the house stays neat for approximately 30 minutes each week. These are the first 30 minutes after the (wonderful, sanity …
Inspecting Construction Samples
Just under a week ago I received new construction samples. This was a significant milestone for me because the last time I received samples was back in October 2019. Can we just pause…October 2019, about a year and a half ago! When I first looked into starting Mummy’s Muse, I planned on producing with a …