Have you been wondering if it's worth it to try and find a good manufacturer that lines up with your core values? Or whether you should just keep making the apparel by yourself?
Let's talk about the Pros when it comes to Manufacturers.
1. Able to free up some time for yourself
2. The possibilities are endless when it comes to design, fabric, colors, etc.
3. You are able to bring in all sorts of different products and not just on the apparel side of things
4. Lower costs of goods
5. Very durable/wear & tear
1. Higher minimum quantities
2. Longer period of time from ordering to shipment
3. Some don't have certain sizes
4. Time Difference
Pros to Creating your own apparel:
1. Faster turn around time
2. More sizes are available
3. Lower quantities
1. Having certain colors & sizes be in stock
2. Higher cost of goods
3. Might not be as durable
4. Not as many color/ style choices
Now that you have seen the Pros & Cons for both of them. Lets talk about it a little more & why I chose to go the manufacturer route after making my apparel for almost 2 years.
To this day I will sometimes make my own apparel when I know I want the items a bit faster than what my manufacturer can provide. When it comes to manufacturing, you have to keep in mind that they are shipping from overseas (more than likely). Shipping cost is much greater whether you choose by air or by sea. When you ship by sea, it is much cheaper than by air but you also have to take into account that shipping by sea takes AT LEAST a month just for the shipping part. Now, you can find wonderful manufacturers that start production right away and get your items shipped out as quickly as possible. Others take a bit longer. Sometimes you'll be waiting at least 2 months for your items to arrive to you once you placed your order. There is also a big time difference dealing with manufacturers overseas as well as a language barrier! But, I found that a lot of them are very understanding and I'm a night owl so I don't have to worry about communication as much.
If you decided that finding a manufacturer isn't whats best for you right now, no worries! You can still make your own apparel at home by purchasing blanks online and transfers. The main reason why I sometimes (very rarely) will still make my apparel, is if the turn around time from my manufacturer isn't as quickly as I would like it. What's nice about making your own is that you are able to press the apparel rather quickly which means you are able to launch them quicker. I do want to preface that by making your apparel at home, things can go wrong and you could waste materials. The apparel also might not hold up as well as the manufactured ones too depending on what heat press you may have. But what I really like about making the apparel in house is that you are able to dictate how much of each size you'd like. A lot of manufacturers have an order minimum which you might not be ready for at this time, and that's okay.
Overall, I hope that this blog post was informative & helps you decide if you'd like to go the manufacturer route or stick to making the apparel in house. Just know that whatever you decide is totally okay! There are a lot of factors to take into place when it comes to how or when you need the apparel.
Hello Brenna, thank you for your blog post.It was really informative. I ve started a shop business (selling decoration items) few months ago and I love watching your videos :) Now I´m glad I found your blog too :) Best wishes from Germany for you and your business, Nicola :)