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.
I would recommend http://www.alibaba.com/Apparel_p3 for finding a manufacturer.
Learn a little about import/export and look for manufacturers that offer OEM and custom work. This would save you a lot in costs but also be sure to sign a non-disclosure agreement if you'll be using your own designs (especially if you'll be going with a Chinese manufacturer) so they don't sell your designs to someone else.
Hope this helps!
I would start by contacting the American Apparel & Footwear Association:
There are other trade groups to contact as well.
I would go to LinkedIn and join the apparel groups. Once you join you can post (as many do) what you are looking for.
You can contract trade publications/websites for additional advice.
What I found most useful when starting my business was attending Chamber of Commerce meetings, BNI's, seeking manufacturing societies, etc,. I joined several manufacturing and business intelligence organizations and began networking. Some of them are: Manufacturing.Net, Today in Manufacturing, OpenText and LNS Research. People tend to do business with those they trust and have confidence in. Remember, you are not selling the idea, at least not at first, you are selling YOU!
Best of luck
Hello Steven, I am not sure of the distribution part. Here is some information on the other areas.
Manufacturing - There is a town in India called in as Coimbatore. This is a hub for garment manufacturers. The deal here is you name it and they make it. This link will give you some insight on a few:
1) Garment Manufacturers- http://www.grotal.com/Coimbatore/Garment-Industry-C93/
2) Textile Mills- http://www.coimbatorecity.com/about-coimbatore/textile-mills-in-coimbatore.html
The above might be good to create a data base to begin with.
Cross channel + Digital Marketing is changing the way we communicate with end customers. The most interesting concept that is developing I guess is called in as two-Screens. It works like this, kids are more agile with smart phones and devices + Multi tasking. When they are watching a movie/any other thing on a large screen they also text/browse. Giving rise to a new form of attracting end customer to merchandise sales.
Combine the same with a cross channel form of distribution and you have a connect with a customer the way you and your customers want it.
Treating customers as individuals is becoming prime. So when you consider shooting a news letter with latest fashion trends ensure to do a survey with your customer base and send content to them what they would like to see...
Hope this helps. Best of luck.
One of the companies we work with that could possibly provide you some solutions would be Manex Consulting. Check them out at: www.manexconsulting.com Hope this gives you some guidance!
Have you tried the National Manufacturers Association. It is based in Washington, DC
I have found the best way to do this is to find applicable trade associations associations, network within those, and ask around for their suggestions. In my case, I did just that (after weeks of research) and received some key names and introductions almost immediately. I then leveraged Hoovers and did a little of my own investigating to see who the leaders were, their competitors, etc. I found this to work well but it still required some investigation on my part to compare pricing, learn who's most stable, sizes of the companies, and more.
Here in Pennsylvania, we have Workforce Investment Boards throughout the state. These boards are quite familiar with all of the businesses in your area and would be able to help you locate appropriate partners. All states have such Boards, though they are sometimes called Workforce Investment Areas or something similar. Check with the state Department of Labor and Industry to find these Boards.
I agree with Joe Distefano as far ar start out with professionals on Linkedin that are already familiar with the garmet and clothing industry... There are many, many steps that I personally see that if I were to handle your business I would do as someone who use to be in the garmet and clothing manufacturing industry. Patents and Trades to wholesalers and suggested retail marketing...
I would get intouch with a good sound R&D incorporated agency that really can go through each step and can place your idea, your product(s), in a secured world until launch day.
I don`t know what steps you have already done but stealing trade secrets perse` are really big and easy in this world.
have you talked to anyone about this product to see if there is a market would be my first answer and then do you have any experience in the garment world would be my second question .if you have a big enough budget you can get market share with advertising using a direct to customers channel .manufacturing can be done in india,china or mexico . i have a client in the sneaker business you could team up with him he needs a investor and he knows all the distributors and manufacturers
There are one or more trade shows in the US for just about any product line. Go to one or more and talk to as many possible sources as possible. If you are not
VERY familiar with this environment find someone that is familiar to get some insight. If you are not VERY familiar with this industry get a partner that is or somebody will eat you alive, so to speak. That applies to any product line.
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.
I have a great contact for this, he has his own line plus designs and manufactures for all major brands. If interested drop me an email danagvc at gmail.com
He works for everyone one from Maceys to Frederick of Hollywood. I think he could be your best bet for an honest no BS look at what you need.
Hello Steven , Its not difficult to find manufacturers for new business , Social media can it very easy for you , I used to contact manufacturers in china ,India , asking for details a bout different items , giving them shapes or specific required details , they can get you what ever you need , even they produce for you the exact models according to their quantities , Most of the brands are produced in these countries , even some of the traders take the samples to china to duplicate the brand , you can get Distributors through chambers of commerce for any item , by direct contacts , check their profiles before any deal , you can choose them according to their records available .
Are you looking to find a test market yet? In your own backyard? Is there a 'Merchandise Mart' which is comprised of manufacturers reps that are open to new ideas.
Hello Steve, Suppliers are essential to any retail business. Depending on your inventory selection, you may need a few or dozens of suppliers. Sometimes suppliers will contact you through their sales representatives, but more often, particularly when you are starting out, you will need to locate them yourself -- either at trade shows, wholesale showrooms and conventions, or through buyers' directories, industry contacts, the business-to-business Yellow Pages and trade journals, or websites.
Suppliers can be divided into four general categories.
Manufacturers. Most retailers will buy through independent representatives or company salespeople who handle the wares of different companies. Prices from these sources are usually lowest, unless the retailer's location makes shipping freight expensive.
Distributors. Also known as wholesalers, brokers or jobbers, distributors buy in quantity from several manufacturers and warehouse the goods for sale to retailers. Although their prices are higher than a manufacturer's, they can supply retailers with small orders from a variety of manufacturers. (Some manufacturers refuse to fill small orders.) A lower freight bill and quick delivery time from a nearby distributor often compensate for the higher per-item cost.
Independent craftspeople. Exclusive distribution of unique creations is frequently offered by independent craftspeople, who sell through reps or at trade shows.
Import sources. Many retailers buy foreign goods from a domestic importer, who operates much like a domestic wholesaler. Or, depending on your familiarity with overseas sources, you may want to travel abroad to buy goods.
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.