How can I find manufacturers and distributors for a new business?
I am looking to create a new line of clothing geared towards individuality and moving kids and adults into more professional and classier outfits that retain expression.
You can try alibaba.com, made-in-china.com and globalsource.com if you are looking to manufacture overseas. The sites for most of these manufacturers may not be reliable and I would suggest hiring an agent if you cant travel overseas yourself. As a designer I am currently living in Bali producing my own apparel line. As an agent, I am sourcing ethical manufacturers here as well as focusing on sourcing organic and natural fabrics/materials. I can understand how daunting it can be try to figure all this out, that is why I decided to come out here myself.
If you have more questions, I'd be more than happy to help.
Steve This is a TUFF space to enter. Many of the previous comments are spot on. You can fund inventory the way almost all clothing brands do by using factoring. But you will need designers, sample cutters, a huge inventory and supply chain to be ready to fill orders and this startup money is difficult to find. I would recommend that you attend and walk the MAGIC Show in Las Vegas. This is not for magicians but its the largest clothing show in the world. Network. Ask questions. Attend the seminars. Then decide how feasible this is. Good luck!
I would check hoovers.com. To start you could use one of their free trial periods, and if it is beneficial, sign up to use it on an ongoing basis. If you are looking locally you can also try SCORE. My wife found a manufacturer for her invention through the local SCORE office.
Best way is to locate them based on the type of product you have. If manufactures does not have to re-tool their shops to meet your requirements then your association with them will go smoother.
We can assist you in finding a manufacturer as well as provide as sales team to show the line to retail customers.
We work with only vetted vendors.
If you use Alibaba or similar service be careful.
Do you have the designs ready to go?
Do you have the financing available to produce the line?
What is your timeframe for moving forward?
What are your plans for "next" seasons designs/colors?
Steven: I'm a brand builder, marketer and international business consultant - maybe useful to your objectives ? Dont know ? Quite resourceful ! Must say I love the description you have given above! "geared towards individuality and moving kids and adults into more professional and classier outfits" ... its about time ! Regards - Andrew
All depends on what your estimated retail price will be - will you sell to retail or have your own chain? Or sell online in your own mall/site? The usual suspects are all great for manufacturing - you just have to go traveling for a while and see who can provide the best product for the price you want to buy at. There will be a lot of months in research and design development until you can build up a cohesive line of clothing to sell to your target market. So that means, you have to be passport ready and visa ready to go all around Asia, Indian Ocean and possibly North Africa. But first, have you really done due diligence on researching what you plan to make is truly marketable? PM me if you need my assistance.
To have the best suppliers on board is one of the key decisions you have to make. If something happens to your supply chain your business will suffer.
Thus it is important you know in detail what you are looking for and what not before you talk to anybody.
If you are looking for a supplier multiple criteria are important:
- Quality: This should also include how are you going to audit the quality of your products if your supplier is not close to you. You might want to have a sample done first which would be the benchmark for your quality.
- total cost: Cost will define your pricing on the market. Do you know what prices you are going to sell for?
- delivery: Response to orders and delivery on time
- packaging: How are you going to pack your clothes?
- customs: Depending on the region you are dealing with you will have different import regulations.
- supplier location: based on your "company policy" you may not want to deal with certain regions,
- and their may be more based on your specific requirements.
Once you are sure about your answers you can start to go to look for your supplier via suggested channels, e.g. Chamber of Commerce, textile manufactures organizations, social media and more.
In the end you have to build a strong relationship with your supplier, especially in the start up phase as this will define the success of your business.
I could assist you with the manufacture part if you would like to do that in India. We provide "practical advice that works" to SMB owners and have done this previously for a U.K. brand.
Steven, global sourcing sites such as this are a good start http://www.globalsources.com/manufacturers/x/Clothing/Thailand-Suppliers-of-Products.html, start small to make sure you are getting the quality you want etc. I have found it easier to do business in south east asia but it will depend on your background and if you have a trusted rep on ground in the source country.