We spoke with our newest Maker’s Row Preferred Factory, Michigan Fashion Proto, to get to know them and introduce them to the Maker’s Row community! Owner Rebecca Clark answered some questions about the factory, how it started as a resource for her own brand, and why Made in USA makes sense. Are you a factory and want a feature like this? Become a Maker’s Row Preferred Factory!
At a glance:
- Specialty: Creation, development, production
- Minimum order quantity: None
- Location: Lansing, Michigan
- Ideal client: Beginners, Small Businesses, Big Brands
- Factory profile: https://makersrow.com/michigan-fashion-proto
When and how did your factory start?
I started Michigan Fashion Proto originally as a pattern and sample making resource. I had just moved back from NYC and knew I would need that type of business in order to get my own line going. I also met quite a few designer here who were in need of the same.
After starting Trybe, my clothing line (trybe.co), I attempted US manufacturing and had a lot of quality issues, as well as difficulty finding short run with flexibility. So, I decided to take that on as well. Using my own line as a means of training and learning allowed me to build up a decent sized staff of skilled makers. Now, Trybe is less than 10% of the business that runs through Michigan Fashion Proto.
Has your factory gone through any major changes since you started?
Yes! Of course adding production was a major shift that took a lot of effort to get right. Along with that, we are constantly reevaluating what we do and how we do it. Embracing new ideas and change is really the name of the fashion game.
Do you work with beginners? Small businesses?
Yes, we work with all size brands. About half of our clientele are new to this industry. We do a lot of consultation and teaching. We find that the more we teach the first time through, the easier and better we all do in the long run.
What makes your factory unique?
The personal touch we put into all of our projects. We generally take the time to get to know our clients and to understand what their needs are. We suggest ideas if we think it will be helpful in any way, and we offer up sources and tips when we can as well. It also helps that we have no minimums.
Why should entrepreneurs make in America?
Pride, quality, ability to oversee everything. To own your own [brand] and not put the control and design in other’s hands. To support our economy. To be a part of the future [and] to be the solution. Quick turn-around time, short run ability…. I could go on, but mostly I love the feeling of being so completely involved in the entire process.
See Michigan Fashion Proto and 11,000 other American factories on Maker’s Row!