When it comes to samples, we don’t believe in unicorns. Because while it certainly costs more to produce more than one sample, it’s an investment that’s entirely worthwhile when you weigh up the pros (many!) versus the cons (negligible!). While you don’t need to make all of your samples at the same time, it’s ideal to finish one and then have the sample room replicate it.
Imagine you’re a factory, and you’ve started discussions with a potential client who already has a sample. Next, you ask them to send it your way, only to be met with hesitation as they tell you it’s their only one. That’s the stalemate. However, though parting with your sample can be difficult, it needs to happen – which is just one reason for why you should have more than one made. Here are the others:
Patterns can be made from pictures, but you want to minimize guesswork when it comes to measurements – which is exactly why it’s better for your pattern maker to have the sample with them. Your sample should be the perfect fit, and to exact specifications – just as your pattern should be. Maintaining the integrity of the measurements through the whole process means that there’s no backtracking when you realize a dimension is a little off. Yes, additional prototypes should be made post- pattern drafting, but this way, your tweaks will be minimal.
Similarly, a tech pack can also be inferred from a photo, but if you’ve made one yourself that then needs an entire overhaul by a factory, that’s more $$$ forked out that you thought you’d be avoiding by only having one sample produced. If you have an extra sample to spare, factories can work faster and troubleshoot potential issues that may arise during production.
Production is the stage where a picture isn’t even an option. The sample will need stay with your manufacturer for the entire process, right through to completion. This process typically takes around 12 weeks, which is a pretty large chunk of time – a quarter of a year! Without a sample for three months, you’ll likely lose out on several opportunities.
Namely, press. Once the buzz starts, media outlets will start showing interest, and will need a sample in order to feature your garment – which is great news for you, assuming you have more samples to fall back on. More often than not, they’ll keep the sample in their clutches – forever.
When buyers come a-knockin’, you’ll need to ensure that you have the means to have your design considered for approval. If you only have one sample that you can’t let go because it’s tied up elsewhere, you could be sabotaging yourself when it comes to profiting from your product.
This post was inspired by an earlier Maker’s Row article by Jennifer Diana.
So, ready to stock up on samples? You’re in the right place – here are 7,000+ factories that can ensure you’re never empty-handed.