Growing and Managing the Line
So we are going to focus on raw materials were going to be looking at dissecting the product. We're going to be looking at understanding the key information in the key industry terms that you need in order to really understand and communicate effectively with your supplies and you manufacturers so assed, chris said, we're actually going to I'm going to break down the various details of my susie scarfs product, but then we're going to take the studio audience a couple of people up start dissecting their product, really understanding what goes into each element on dh it's always a lot more than you imagine, which is for really no surprise that people actually making it because you you spend time and money focusing in on the small details, but the people just kind of looking and purchasing, you're purchasing a pair of hearing that a lot goes into it rather than just kind of something beautiful on your ears, so we're going to dissect that we're going to go through it and really brainstorm ...
a little bit about that so there's more to assure than just fabric because we all know this buttons thread into lining, saying, with every product, when you look deeper into the actual product, you see a lot more than what you are imagine so what does your products consist off? Think of every single thing and this is also if you're if you're thinking about diversifying your line you're currently making one product you looking at doing something else which is going to sit alongside it quite often if you're used to making one product and you have to think about a new bond it's all you have to start the whole creative process again it's really having to put yourself into that kind of start up mindset and imagine every single aspect which goes into it so whether you're starting with an idea or you're adding and other products onto the line it's really a good level set invalidating process to think of every single element so when I was putting together my ideas for my scarf company I was thinking ok, I just literally brainstorming a big list maker that's like four hundred note pads around my yard resonate with you christi willis maker you know rival is bigger but typically digitally things like evernote and virtual lists but not so much the actual paper and pen okay, I'm okay well I'm a little bit old school but I kind of any anything yet actually okay I feel I have a kindred spirit that's good so I'm a list maker um I was drawing up a list and I think it is the top of my head what does what does making a scarf involved? The word materials had inks, dyes, labels packaging, tissue paper and stickers ok, pretty fairly stickers for you know that the packaging elements sticking on tissue paper at a high level that's already a lot of things I need to start thinking about these are my classes, my raw materials, every single element from the idea from the actual sample all the way through to the packaging, everything has to be considered as a raw material. Then I started breaking it down a little bit further um and really, really breaking it down and I could I could do so many other levels of hierarchy on this, um, but I ran out space on the slide, so I thought I'd keep it at four we're going to do the same exercise on this beautiful flip chart with some of the audiences product, but I just want to talk through this a little bit. So susie scarves we have fabric thread, fabric, color trims and a woven label. Okay, well, the label can also sit within trims its zx kind of when I was doing my my costing on session one I categorized as a true I've broken out here, so when you think about fabric, what I'm thinking about fabric, I know I want to do it the scarf and silk, so I'm thinking so but there's also a cotton silk option as well if I want to do something different so did you start moving into fabrics with these particular materials? And it'll be great to get some some understanding from a kind of jewelry perspective of how this breaks down as well. But there is. There are so many different types of fabric and it's all dependent on the way for the construction of the fabric, saying with with any raw material very the construction of the raw material is unique and there's lots of different variations. So if I if I go to a manufacturing to say, I just want some fabric for my scarf, please, they're goingto kind of close the door, lock it and then probably get security to remove me from the premises. If I just say I want some silk for a scarf it's still too vague this this you have to be so specific in the details, even if you go to you know she fallen george yet or twill which which constructions of fabric you have to be specific still of what kind of weight you know, do you want to finish on it? The mount information that you need to be familiar with in order to articulate your requirements is eyes immense really is a simple is that on every single element, so really when you start off with a with a with a simple thirty five thirty seven by thirty seven square of fabric that you're going to sell us a scarf. This only covers half of the complexity of understanding your old materials we could take to thread I could have cotton thread, or I could have polyester thread. And the advantages of using either of those is the colors for one. And if your dying is it going to take the the die, or is it not going to take the die? So again, it's, by owning my process by understanding the process of what goes into making a product, is going to help me select the right room the raw material. If you think about fabric color there's two different this two different methods I could I could fabric dye. I could screen print I could inkjet printer. I could do a digital print again all kinds of different elements of coloring up the scarf, adding, adding detail, adding prince these are just two trends and woven labels theirs in a hang tag ease the hang tanks that you buy you see on domine or on accessories or household goods that you dissing us is annoying. That's. Just take this pen off in this life, throw it away the amount of work and design which has gone into that one paper product. But you've kind of just discarded because it's kind of you know you bought it you've purchased er there's so much there's so much work which is needed into that and it all has to be considered at a very early stage and more importantly has to be costed it has to be built into the cast implications as well so this I found this was really interesting it was it took like two sheets of paper is yeah I I would never do this just it's tio scribble e to do this on a deck first of all but it's fascinating because you can just take it really really far you can really know what kind of string you know I don't want to use a pin one of the other options for attaching something onto a product a lot of aa lot of countries don't allow people to use pins on when you're importing into important good so if you're selling something one of the country need to check these requirements because pens can you know be dangerous they you know they can hurt you especially children so there's lots of different elements which go into a very basic thing like hang tak if you think a tissue paper there's different types of tissue paper there's different thicknesses do you want it printed you on it planes you want it match you want it shiny all these elements and it's just a piece of tissue paper which you know, you're kind of like, tear open and go oh it's an amazing products and that's just been that and it's like weeks have gone into designing that so it really I found it fascinating just to really understand every single element which goes into a product stuff that you don't think about and from here I want to then kind of, like, bring some product that I've had nothing to do with upon stage and then really kind of do a similar exercise with me during the writing on one of our guests explaining their product. So who? You all got product here, it's all beautiful product. Catherine, I want to start with you. I think because you got some you've got beautiful selection there, all right? Yeah, yeah. All right. Um that's what through? If he wasn't on that side and then I will use the flip charts. I've been dying to use this I should build in a way of getting the flip chart and just scribbling. Okay, all right, let's, take one of these. I'm gonna break down two items. I think let's, take one of these first four. Don't explain what this is now. This is a steampunk rescind tournament. I designed its laser cut from cardboard, and then each piece has cut separately than painted with different layers of spray paint and then they're assembled and then I turn a hang tag with the ribbon. Ok, so what is what's the main material of this corrugated cardboard? Well ok, I would never have guessed. All right, I'm a super lightweight because great big metallic looking thing on your chris was training don't lean over, which is important because even if you have a lot than it's going toe yeah, you have a few christmas issues there. Ok, so you have cardboard on dh do you have, um, different sicknesses or is it ok? So how many different thicknesses do? Two two okay, this one on dh two different thing this is what about the paint? The decoration? This is it sprayed or is it spray paint? And I have primer and different colors of primer depending on what the final color will be for that element and I've lost track of how many paint congress I use. Well, we can say ok, so you have spray painting of primer do you have anything that you use it spray on it to set? It isn't just to kind of fix the collar it'll not from metallic sorries. I use a clear coat on some of the color colors. Okay, so potentially that this is a kind of like a finishing right, all right, finish okay, um, how about the you must have blue as well to kind of realize to get others glue and there is one specific type of glue I tried about half a does there is only one that works ok all right so you've gone through the process to kind of identify did you buy in bulk now because it I typically I haven't got involved because one bottle will last several months perfect okay so you you kind of figure out how much you need on dh talked to me about the hang tax you've got you've gotto is a hand printed um I gotta hang tens I lay a I laid out and anyhow by eleven sheet in adobe illustrator get printed at an office supply a place like staples on my own stock occasionally just my home printer but the stark I like the best doesn't go on my printer and then I have to cut them up on the scrap board scrapbooking paper cutter and print the whole the whole punch right and you use the same quality of card for for all your contacts say afraid you okay um and ah so you have card you have a sorry you hand print them or you haven't you have printing options I typically get them printed at an office supply place picture aiken do small guys great actually if I run out I'll run them through a change a printer but the good stock doesn't go through the printer problems problems problems yeah, it is it's yeah you definitely don't kind of your homework and your trial and error on this and the ribbon would tell me about the ribbon is the same quality of ribbon use for all yeah yeah just partner a thin trip in the kind of get either you know two or three roles for a dollar of the crowd store right? I've also source some of my colors at the paper and trim supplier okay, but I don't need ball quantities of all the colors okay all right so already out of from holding up something which um is extremely is a pretty delicate I want to be too heavy handed with this um this kind of christmas ornament you've got you've got cardboard two different things thicknesses of cardboard you've got spray paint you have primary finish you have blue you have three different elements in the hang tag so that's already harmony is one, two, three, four five six seven eight elements which go into this kind of one hang tag this one christmas ornament excuse me so that's significant if you look at it is that oh it's it is a christmas what I'm not you know putting it down but it's it's when you actually go into it it's incent so this looks this is the same process presumably ok but just kind of different sizes different different shapes yeah and that those air asymmetrical and I typically have sort of like unique lay out there all one of a kind and so those take more labor to lay out and so I don't sell those wholesale that these I know exactly where but the glue in each piece when you just put him together real quick, right? Okay, so I can afford to hold pillows. Okay, so I'm gonna board its full impact now. Um so I want to go under from tall enough weight s o before they want another product would be great. Chris, if we can find out if people chat room can kind of list, take one of their products and list the number of elements is just the kind of like to understand the kind of the complexities of these guys go through as well, eh? So let's take a piece of jewelry now. Ah, which is the most complex which has the most elements do you say probably one of these bracelets that knows both the hand painted owns and beads. Ok, so let's, take a bracelet. Ok, so talk me through the different elements. So what what is so you have the actual faces? The heads first. Yeah. You know, these low sugar skulls are made of sheet acrylic, which are laser cut and then there's a white base coat in the areas and then I cut it on the laser cutter and then hand apply the colors when card a time when the dropper so there's there's particular just finally house for different colors in it I always did they didn't like the way this story has a lot more than four um okay, so you have the skulls which has acrylic as a base coat has a hand applied color who what's the next element a little beats the others check press glass beads check press glass ok. I never heard that term before. Glass beads? Yeah, okay, coming out with a beating jargon here I technical terms, I love it. Yeah, and I pens is that an eye or is it and I okay, I like this because I am learning new terminology. I'm going to be a three and two different size of jump rings. Okay, ok, nice and two matching parts of a toggle fastener. Okay? And then a fast. Nice ok. Is there anything else when when you're working with the critic in the base code and the hand painted colored you need to finish, you need toe anything you spray on it to kind of hold the colors you can hear their permanent color is fashion meant to be applied to things like glass where ok, I don't want to put in the dishwasher okay and what kind of packaging and kind of promotional do you have a hang tag for these oh yeah this one doesn't have a hang tag on it but I would have the same type of hank arrogance I had on them department's only this also has a string oh, we have a new way of getting through said house a stream ok nice so we have a hang tag and also string so that's I want two three, four five six seven eight nine selling the city shall probably just have some of things you know bag for it typically people craft shows don't wait will you give perhaps things if I sell it online and probably won't have like a box of sitting tissue paper great okay, you know I'm gonna put this up here so people can we're not even getting innovating, mailing packaging type of stuff right box and tissues products okay, so we've actually moved up to eleventh elements and that product all of which need to be as we were talking with with shannon earlier kind of everything all the ducks have to be in a row before you can physically start me the box in the tissue can kind of come a little bit later that they need to me that, um it's crazy when you think when you think it's just like oh it's a beautiful bracelet and all the elements and this is the beads and the acrylic you you source locally that's local yes ok well use no source of these locally sometimes have I seen you know I have a supplier that has discount levels by number of items my order and yeah sometimes I'll find someone for silicon beads they bump it up and incoming better discount nice we like that of discounts great okay I wanna switch out now likely what was switching out do we have anything from the chat room chris yeah, we have people who are sharing their products and their materials so red scorpio who makes jewelry he says that they have seven elements that are involved in making their product it's the tile the image the glue resin stringing material beads and a closure for it to class and paintings by k e gilmore says twelve maybe even fourteen tools if they're canada all separately a wood panel sandpaper wood filler paint medium varnish tie back wrapping hex a comb planks boxes tape and they also include thank you notes paper for the sketch tools so I think this is a good exercise because people think of some materials that they may not even realize when you sit down and list them all out it really helps you get a better sense of all of them yeah yeah it gives you a really kind of a better appreciation of what goes into a product have so many also makes you just check that you are costing these things and you're taking them into consideration because moses is oh it's just packaging it doesn't cost anything it's fine and then before you know it you can you're making his beautiful kind of light package tissue with fancy ribbon an artist sold sticker and you know it's cost you five bucks to actually wrap it so so actually do you want to come on up on dh? We're going to switch house and product do some soft product now so the highest level would lose a fourteen fourteen elements. Okay, so that's why I think I'm gonna I don't think I'm gonna be at fourteen sure we can really kind of dissection that will make maybe um okay, so you do for these purposes or pouches I call them zipper pouch is this pouch is ok although in england they would be persons, right? I'm not going to go that's another rabbit hole in here into so many conversations about, uh, purses and wallets and clutches and banks that it just yeah, zipper pouch is the propulsion ok? Yes, making sure this is not going to flip over again already? Um okay, so between the sizes three sizes right here, you only see two, but there is just a small and medium small and large launch, so the medium which I sold out of the craft fair so I couldn't bring it and you hate you and I know it's going I know you're a terrible problem so these are the three smalls so it took me through s o we have the exterior material so is cotton fabric and then it's lined with interfacing I mean not lined on the piece of cotton fabric there's interfacing okay and then the interior is a laminated copy cotton fabric and then we have a breath zipper which you scoop off the table before anyone else can get there and your local order yes accord them nice what else do we have? Um there's um a hand embroidered label ok, so you have the labels it's made of made of rib eye made of ribbon and thread um ok there's a piece of ribbon piece of hidden ribbon you making this up just to get to fourteen now that's the secret to this and then imagine miseries ribbons he could rabbit you have to dig to find it I say there's material hidden ribbon and what to see hidden ribbon do it closes the last seem ok so all this seems a wr hidden interesting except for that one what I just showed giving away my secret so it and it's it's cute has got the eiffel tower on a really way see, europe keeps kind of no no no no so and then um you have a hung tank the red I don't although when I shipped them I included thank you thank you know okay um I'm putting this on a question I want to put it on because all right it's not attached to the product well no because I didn't check with catherine and you kind of gave any notes and you know it's just like fourteen islands is gonna look a bit here a bit ok because I do I do wrap it in tissue paper that I mean that's one way we share yeah and thread uses you know I don't know if threat is uh yeah you have to be have teo you have thread you can't make it be a big part of it yeah um ok two three four five six seven eight nine nine anything else before I do the magic physical I think that's I think that's it nine elements anything changes between the sizes or it's so just more fabric right okay because it is right bigger zipper stereo and you're not including packaging right like for her to send as someone ordered it on etc she's going to send it then she needs to put it in a box yeah right yeah but that's the same also with catherine right? Right. We're just assuming everybody has to put it in a box to get it to them yes it's any kind of additional additional item which is you need to the experience okay I would say probably a way of putting it and I think that's great nine nine elements for a zipper pouch was of a person whichever you whichever you yeah is really backing on the on the underside of the dominant no no they're pretty sturdy because they have ah laminate already on them they're actually the same material just with the lemon eliminated coding guys like you could find this fabric non laminated nice very cool interesting ok that's great oh chris anything anything law any anything to beat number fourteen no, I don't think anybody's beating fourteen right now but people are enjoying this they love the products it's great tio get this feedback and people are just kind of going through and recounting all their materials but seems like fourteen I think it was the highest that's impressive takes some serious planning on with fourteen. Great all right, thank you. Thank you. So I want to move on because we have a whole pile of things to go through. If we have a chance later on we can get some more products up. I think that um so really it's we're talking about kind of breaking, breaking down thie individual product or really understanding the process with every supply, every manufacturer, every process is always things which go wrong there nothing and nothing is ever plain sailing um and really one of the things I really stress when I'm putting when I'm working with brands is always instilling the element of having a plan b always having a backup plan additional suppliers another route execution figuring out so that if something goes wrong you're not left high and dry which can happen and it's by no fault of our own it is circumstances happened so I've kind of put a few questions out here which you know we can engage with the chat room and also with the audience here are you prepared if your supplier fabric dyes out stock or closes their business? So if you needing something an element for dying for finishing glue embellishment anything like that if they go out of business or it's out of stock you know, do people have a plan big do they have you know, a second source this is crucial um and it's it's crucial to its not only will you have like a back up plan, you have an extra supplier, but it also helps for price negotiation as well and it kind of if you have two supplies that you're working with um making the same product you could be more competitive with the price on you can work it uh not to kind of beat them down, but just to be aware of what what the price level it's and certainly if you're buying in quantity um are you prepared if the cost of your material increases and you haven't even of the resource this this khun definitely happening a lot of different different elements I know if we're talking about kind of precious metals on also you know, cotton on wall on dh from from fibres probably paper as well yeah like it's almost clockwork first of the year you have there's a price increase things didn't go up and down and we're just going up um I haven't seen it go down right yeah so um how do you just not to go into too much detail on this but do you do then work the very balls to kind of keep the prices saved you can build it in it's kind of just I feel like the majority of us just eat it for now I feel like the world of greeting cards especially with letter breasts pretty we all have around the same costs right? No one's undercutting anyone so we move as a group right? So there has been discussion as a group. Yeah if and when will increase and it's usually like in twenty five cent increments okay, right? So I don't foresee that happening sometime in the near future right start wholesale pricing goes so with fatima with with your raw materials do you see kind of like massive price hikes because it's like it goes up and down constantly right and you just your prices accordingly or do you just do you kind of anticipate and kind of build it into your wiggle room? I tried it kind of um change in ways that don't really reflect the fluctuation and try to ignore it more say ok, this is like a new line or right or um I don't know well l'd hike up the prison take off the shipping and I just can't go around like that right? So it is definitely suggesting the variables yeah don't rely too much on the price okay interesting so this isn't really random thing only because I was thinking of the worst thing that can possibly happen when you're when you're tryingto and this has happened this has been happy sam to me when I was working in a company and I've also had when was it maybe about four years ago you know, if you heard much about it over here but there's the volcano in iceland and the big the was it called smoke cloud any which is kind of hovering and I was working with with a european company a time and we're just about to launch a huge product line of this on the thousand people fly in for this occasion they had to cancel the whole line thousand people could not get in because there were no flights on it production was was delayed because you couldn't actually bring production and as well it just natural disasters like this it just you can't anticipate them, but you just have to be flexible and work within them. What was the other thing we had? The polar vortex was a year a half ago which kind of this is such a funny term? But it wasn't funny at the time I was working for a company, we we used a fedex a lot to kind of get get things from they would always land in chicago we we lost things for like two weeks because we couldn't get product. So it's um in order damaged by fire or flood that's definitely happened to me and you can't do anything because you can't. The remake is like another three months before you remake it you just have to write off same with with external influences, you have to be flexible and you have to think, no goodness, what am I going to do? That's my livelihood? Catherine stole a bunch of parts that I had painted and I left him outside to dry in the sun. I go inside techshop I come out, somebody took him on the security camera could cease to my walking along and walking past coming back, kneeling down, stuffing their pockets or something and going away and I was like two days away from shipping a fifteen hundred dollars commission for someone for their my grand housewarming party oh so how did you get out of that? How did luckily I had spare parts I hadn't paid yet and luckily the ones they stole where the colors that don't require two days the dry right but oh that I was so afraid I was going to miss my deadline yeah that's that is frustrating definitely frustrating anything from the chat room on kind of like disasters coming in on product would be great tio hear some stories yeah we haven't heard any disasters yet but sassy seamstress says I haven't had a supplier round run out of stock but during the winter busy season I often have trouble getting materials here on time because the vendor is across the country and they have to cross the country when there are snow bad weather and it does delay orders often yeah yeah um have a plan b this is this is my in mantra I just actually I was talking to some friends about this and they say well, you know plan b plan c and plan d it's always kind of four plans of your sleeve I think it's definitely the right way to go definitely if you're making a product which has multiple raw materials you were wearing so many hats you need to almost have like so many hats attached to each role material as well whether whether its options to kind of call upon whether it's active suppliers that you're working with um you can't do anything if someone kind of steals your goods but you know it's with the case of the weather situation it's trying to build in an extra ten days into any kind of winter deliveries I think looking that's probably what I would do so really the first question build a list of five of the elements needed for your products do you have planned these for all of them so that's a shaking heads here in the audience I know it's it's such a kind of like in an ideal world nothing would happen and you would have like four different options just at your finger tips coming up yeah can you imagine being good to hear of anyone if anyone in the chat room has any kind of a good plan b's I think if you're starting out ah is a good thing to think about having you know a couple of different options while you're starting that whole sourcing process but do you have any kind of plan b's well I have I have a bunch of different paper suppliers I have one percent r one like distributor that I used mostly on there they're fairly local but I also know three other places I can get the same paper right if need be ok and also paper that looks pretty similar yeah that I can swap out because there are short like you'll go to buy you know, our stock papers called wild and sometimes wild is not available yeah, so you have to find something that looks very similar to a wild to use for the time being until wild comes back in the stock and is it um oh because I don't know anything about the paper is it's seasonal the certain I mean it's I guess it is seasonal because you've got the kind of like the christmas and you got the uh but you'll have birthday cards and you're producing year round for sure yeah so they're kind of like highs and lows of certain paper type so is it is it no, I think it's just a lot of the paper comes from europe so I think sometimes the mills just run out and then there, you know, literally making paper again and you have to wait until the papers made right and so sometimes you know, paper also the popularity of certain papers copan down and in the paper world the biggest thing is for a lot of the white is matching envelopes, right? They don't necessarily come in systems like that there's a few people companies that create full systems of paper that have several waits with matching envelopes in all the different sizes okay? And so there's become really popular right? And then when those become popular than there's still out yeah and so on and so forth putting up with your material that you use was we're talking a little bit earlier, and you were saying that you have different supplies, you kind of keep trying, and you kind of ended up with one. Would you say that you have a kind of a good support network in a good system of plan? B's fuel cereals? Absolutely. Yeah, it just you won't have to compromise something which he with each one. So one might take longer and shipping maybe a whole week longer. One might be more expensive, but you could get it the day off, right? You know, um, and one might be more ethical than the other one. Right? Okay, so you definitely have a few kind of options to play around with. Nice. Anything from a chaperone seamstress does have plan b says that I keep a list of secondary vendors. Maybe they're more expensive or there's something that I don't use as a primary source. But if anything happens, I can always grab the stuff from these other vendors. Way had another one. They came in. Another problem that happens to people. Things getting stuck in customs office is trying to do some international trade, which can be really difficult to work with. Yeah, that's, that's a tough one, it's, interesting, what says he seems just talking about they may be a little bit higher, so some of the alternatives may it's. Then you have to kind of weigh up the kind of the pros and cons of the wide still need to fulfill this order. For this one time, I will take a kind of maybe adjust my variables a little bit kind of walk with a wiggle room um but there's always a compromise, you also mentioned it. The team with the customs that's, that's, tricky, that's, really tricky. I don't know what you can do with that, you would build an extra time. I always build in a week or two weeks to customs customs clear. Um, and if you're lucky and it comes in early than its, you're doing the happy dance in the middle of an office. But otherwise it's, you're pulling your hair out. It's yeah, but great points. I'm glad chance sunday, that's. Good else. I'll feel happier later on with him.