Part 4 of the series 'starting a swimwear label'

I was told that sampling would take the longest, because you have to be utterly satisfied with your garments before proceeding to production. DO NOT start bulk production without being happy with your samples, there is no way back!
(Well.. there is, but it's gonna cost you)

In my case, it took really long because I swapped manufacturers in the middle of sampling. The first manufacturer (through the agency), took immense long to create (only!) 4 different bikinis. When I finally received them, lots was wrong with it. Some were my mistakes and some the manufacturers':

- some stitching was visible when it shouldn't have been (see photo); 
- straps were stitched on turned around;
- off sizing (wrong fit);
- unsatisfying prints;  
- stitching that wasn't in a straight line;
- etc.

After receiving the first samples, I worked on the amendments that needed to be made. Whilst doing that, I spoke to someone in the field who told me that I waited far too long for my samples, and that I should find myself a new manufacturer. I knew it took too long!! I had my doubts already, the samples didn't quite turn out professionally AND now someone else confirmed what I had been thinking.

I decided to quit the agency and to look for a new place, which I happily found short after. The communication was quick, we started straight away and within a short period of time I had my 2nd round of samples at home!! This time, all garments professionally made, no silly mistakes on their end, just the wrong fits which had to be amended on our end (specs!).

Yet, it still took a lot of sample rounds to finally get the fit right. Once a piece of fabric is cut off, you can't glue the parts back together. So, let's say you want 10mm extra fabric in the underarm area, the whole top needs to be re-made. And if it's still not enough after that and you want another 5mm extra, again, a whole new top needs to be made! (Which obviously cost a lot of money and time!)

Anyway, at some point the fit was finally to satisfaction and we agreed on starting production!! Those were exciting times..


Bye for now xx Tara


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