At Maker’s Row we break down the making process to make it easy for beginners and experts alike. For beginners, you can use the six stages as a guideline for your production process. Think of each as a step. For experts, you can use each stage to filter factories so you can find the ones that can help you with that stage. Depending on the factory, each stage can be taken differently, so it’s very important that you go to the capabilities tab on their Maker’s Row profile to see what they can offer you for that stage of the process. Below is a general overview of what each stage means!
So you have an idea, but need help refining it. Factories that have Ideation capabilities can help you do that. For this stage you need to gather up your sketches, references images, and anything else that can help give the factory an idea of what your product is going to look like.
From here you can create a tech pack, which outlines all the specific specifications about your product including measurements and materials. On Maker’s Row you can find a list of technical designers.
When you filter out ideation factories, you will see a list of 30 technical designers and pattern-makers to assist you! Here is what this Portland factory defines ideation as:
“During this phase we work with you to understand your brand vision. This includes a creating a clear DNA of the Brand, Design Ethos, Consumer Profile and Competitive Landscape to ensure your brand is successfully positioned.”
If ideation helps you hammer down your idea, then pattern-making hammers down how you’re going to make it. Pattern-making is essentially creating the template that will help you assemble your product. Sometimes it is made of paper, other times paperboard or cardboard.
You can find over 70 pattern makers on Maker’s Row! Here’s how a Seattle factory defined the stage:
“Just as blueprints are vital for a home. You’re patterns define your garment. We will make impeccable patterns to ensure that production goes smoothly and your concepts take physical shape.”
Factories with materials capabilities can help you source the raw materials and components that you need for your product. This could range from fabrics to labels to hardware.
Here’s what this Chicago factory says they can provide in terms of materials:
“We have an extensive database of vendors and suppliers from fabric to trims to printing, and more. Curated from over 10 years of tradeshow sourcing and working with our preferred vendors for development and production projects, we provide sourcing solutions to fit your project needs. Our In-stock materials include knit and woven muslin, elastic, zippers and binding for prototyping purposes. We offer full-package production pricing for quantities that reach full consumption with vendor minimums.”
Most importantly however, this acts as the reference point for every other unit of the product that you make. Think of it as a contract between you and your factory. This article help you through the sample-making process.
Tooling consists of creating the tools or adjusting existing ones to make your production run as smooth as possible. This goes hand in hand with production. Common categories of machine tooling include fixtures, dies, gauges, molds, cutting equipment and patterns. Proper tooling in place is extremely important for properly produced products.
The final step is, of course, production. This is the stage where your products are actually produced. We feature a wide range of factories from apparel to furniture to jewelry. Just search for the kind you’re looking for and choose the perfect factory!
We have a wide range of factories that can handle small batches or large production runs. You can use various filters in our search screen to find the right fit!