Each week, MSNBC’s Your Business features experts to share their secrets for improving your business. Janet Goodman started her business Yadabags after solving a problem for herself. She needed a pocketbook to hold and organize her medical supplies plus her everyday stuff. That bag became a business fueled in part by Janet’s savings and enthusiasm for the product. However, Janet’s not making any money because her costs are too high.
When Janet looked into manufacturing in China, which she thought would be cheap, she discovered that she had to produce 1000 bags in order to get the price she wanted. With an order of 1,000 bags unlikely at her early growth stage and budget, MSNBC Your Business set out to find a solution to Janet’s problem by doing what she, and many other designers, believe is impossible, which was finding a cost-effective small batch domestic manufacturer. That’s where Maker’s Row stepped in.
Our co-founders Matthew Burnett and Tanya Menendez did a little homework for Janet and connected her with our preferred factory partner Unionwear who has a minimum order requirement of just 300 units. The total cost to assemble the bag in America was $47 dollars (including material cost of $6/$7) compared to Janet’s original $60. The approach to manufacturing overseas, where labor is inexpensive, is less efficient than the process used to manufacture a unique product like Janet’s in America. By reducing almost sixty steps in the production process, Unionwear was able to significantly lower the cost.
Are you interested in small batch manufacturing? We’ve curated a list of more than 50 American-based Small Batch Manufacturers specializing in everything from apparel to furniture. Get access to our Small Batch Manufacturing List plus our extended Marketplace for only $15 (normally $35). To get full access to the list, use sign up code SMALLBATCH123 to subscribe to our Basic Plan.