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Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 25 of 32

How to Find Suppliers


Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 25 of 32

How to Find Suppliers


Lesson Info

How to Find Suppliers

Someone of thea many questions so after the kind of like, how do you find a manufacturer? Um we'll have to find it is basically had to find a supplier on dso with your key terminology on the product dissected, then you're in a really good position to start sourcing ah it's, having all that information in your head to understand exactly where to go next. So my key sourcing tool this is I'm really going to give out the goods here is going to be this. I only have one pair of glasses on the side not to on my headphones a smaller but this is this is the magic sourcing tool. Um, shameful is it is it's you guys are all probably really familiar with well, it's just it takes a lot of time and effort is using the links that we had earlier, um, of the industry tools um, and using the industry into in the industry resource is to guide your search, use those a starting points on really start to kind of hone in these are the ones that I've mentioned. A previously premier vision is domestic and inter...

national text world I mentioned as well as domestic and international, I found a new one recently called mood fabrics um, some of my students told me about that which they do all kinds of fabrics and they basically if you wanted to look at a small fabrics watch to get a feel of it they sellers for like you know, a dollar of swatch or something like that so if you're thinking about going into something into the power line and you don't want to commit to a huge amount so tiny little swatch but at least it feels better than looking at something on the screen let's see domestic and international they have a lot of information on there as well a lot of kind of sharing on their blog's and there and there and how to guides but there's some tools here that I want to share that I use when I'm sourcing just to kind of collect the information and to kind of keep it current because this will help when ninety when your brain storming but when you're putting your plan you know a b and c together is drafted template emails um per component you know so if you're doing a lot of e mailing out to find new supplies on new products you right in the same email over and over again it's a pain and sometimes have to check the terminology and you may miss something out if you draft template emails sounds really obvious but a number of people who don't do it this will make your life much easier he categorized them by um fabric zipper thread you have it like a template email you can tweak it you can adjust it very slightly to make it more personal you decide you know dear someone it's you know high john um make it sorry I saw your exactly yeah put a little intro in there to make it seem like you're their best friend um but this this is a time saver draft e mails send them out use the phone as well as email it's quicker and more personal really obvious thing I'm I prefer to sit behind my email and not speak to people but I recognize that it's laugh it's true it's just easier I know it's a quiet antisocial it's probably not a good thing to kind of say a great high I'm really antisocial but it's get intimidated so it's for me it's easier just to kind of write an email although I ah I'm making a concerted effort to kind of pick up the phone and I get a better response when I pick up the phone and I get more getting the media response so it's it's more important it's it's something that you have to force yourself to do if you don't feel comfortable doing it um build a spread she I'd like my spreadsheets I like my lists I built a spreadsheet suppliers with their details group by component she's capable I mean there's a lot of nodding heads here that just is easier it just it's trying to find scraps of paper it goes into that you know you want to spend more of your time being creative he don't want to have to be is searching for that supplier that you kind of met sort of at a trade show but he didn't really make an over the name umm here's something that I yeah email multiple supplies at the same time don't use email one and wait for an answer to come back and just like you know spread that spread the love taken out there and then you get all the responses back and then you can start working through them thinking thinking about the kind of the plan a b and c aspect he always won multiple suppliers for defer defer the same product this may be a little bit of excessive I was aimed to have three supplier options if you only end up having to that's still good at least you have a plan b but it's ah by selling out all these e mails by doing all this cold calling or the instant messaging you have the options and that's what you want whether you take them up or not is entirely up to you but it's better to we said this earlier yesterday I think about it I have it and not need it and then wanted and not have it it's better you know, have the information there if you need it ok, so using your key terms list research three suppliers from each component material maker and packaging so that that's I mean it's not something you can do immediately now that you rush off and get your phones, which would be a little anti social so but this is this is a good this is a kind of a really good kind of checklist we went through some great breakdowns of product they had like fourteen elements was all kind of highest aaa highest pitch we had the average was kind of like nine or eleven trying to figure out I mean that successive are being kind of mean here by asking kind of three different supplies for each of those but you know, you get the picture it's a least have alternatives on then you're always prepared let's see that's your plan b uh actually you're still working out and kind of looking at buying fabric from from stores versus wholesaler right now. So what about feels feels zippers again is that you're still you're working on on a kind of ah store basis rather wholesale. Yes, it is on my mind I'm really happy with the brand and the type of the prime using um but it's something that I I want toe yeah, I would I would be open for a different product if it was going to be a little bit cheaper or you know yeah easier to get right catherine how money for some of your components how many up different options do you have in some cases you only have one for things like the hang tag and things like that? Well, the thing I mean the hain terri's I'm kind of making myself but I could get them printed at you know, a number of different office supply places to do printing you don't want to spend more I could go to a print shop if I'm really in a pinch I can use my second best paper and run it for the ancient printer right about the glass beads you have beads you know, there are so many place to get beads and bay area and online okay, so you're pretty covered with, you know and I did yeah and I don't have like a bee the stuff of the beads is so kind of prototyping face so it's not like I'm locked down and all I have to have exactly that teardrop shaped yellow bead right and general bead right out and oh my god when we're going to do now, I've got this order right? Okay, that would that would be scary having that kind of like ah moment going on, okay, I'm anything from the chat room chris well, people are sharing their their sites and we did get confirmation the sassy seamstress dot com for anybody out there who wants to check in on some of the work that she does anything on a kind of key terms or any kind of unique key terms from from different products here's another key term that came up that I wasn't familiar with from brand helen who says f o b means freight on board meeting you're paying for your supplier to transport your goods it's a freight forwarder so that was one that was new to some people in the chat room as well yeah, I felt f o b is very familiar probably familiar to you guys as well in the audience now it za shipping payment term when you're when you're working with suppliers offshore, it basically means well, you can get extremely complicated so I try and keep it kind of quite quite light and fluffy if I can't keep a payment to online fluffy but if, uh if you're buying finished good eso like a finished item cushion or question cover sorry pillow you calling pillows and you know what I mean? I'm really digging myself into a hole that it's part of the price negotiation with the manufacturer you you want to buy a finished product and you want to know that it includes everything which is fabric uh the actual garments trends packaging, shipping and you're the the free on board is it takes it to a certain ah agreed place which is all the way to the actual port of exit from a country on then you're paying for what? For when it was received into your country and all the shipping to your destination to your warehouse. So when you agree on a payment term, if it's like ten dollars, f o b, you know that you're going to get a finished product to your specifications exactly how you want it, you know, in a box in a probably bag with your label is going to be shipped to the port. And then you are informed when it reaches your theo us in this case, and then you have to pick it up with your with your truck and take it to your warehouse. So it's a form of payment term that is used very regularly. Um, so it's ah, but it is payment terms, that kind of scary things. They yeah, I constantly have to kind of action again. I feel in this safe space there. I know you are very honest and sure that I have to refresh my memory all the times on different payment terms exactly what it means, because you get out of the flow of using them and you it's. Not something you want to use lightly. You want to be really clear about exactly what it means, because it can be really expensive if you mess up. So no one. No one likes to mess up, especially if you're dealing with someone. Else's, money and that's. A no go.

Class Description

Once you’ve established your business with a single, successful product, imagining what else to sell can be daunting. You don’t want to end up with a disjointed collection of products, but you do want it to be fresh and exciting for existing customers. In Diversifying Your Product Line, you’ll learn the art and science of expanding your offerings and growing your business.

Susie Breuer is the author of Blue is the New Black: The 10 Step Guide to Developing and Producing a Fashion Collection and in this class she’ll help you generate ideas and make smart decisions about expanding your apparel and/or accessories business. You’ll learn how to:

  • Research the market to understand both price and your customers.
  • Build a concept and action plan for starting out
  • Manage multiple product lines
  • Source raw materials and manufacturers

You’ll learn how to accurately assess a product's viability before you waste time and money developing it. Susie will also teach you how to develop a consistent, logical pricing strategy you can use again and again.

Susie makes the complex process of developing a financially solvent product and production plan easy. You’ll get expert-level insights into all aspects of developing a new product and walk away confident that you know everything you need to know to expand your business.



Thank you for an excellent class on a key pivot point no matter what industry you are in. One stellar quality of this course is how collaborative, friend focused peer culture and (rather than hostile competition or dysfunction competition environment and psychological atmosphere). The structure suggestions enable creativity and acknowledges different mindsets required in different phases. Susie honors the joy that comes from making and creating. She celebrates the interdependence between all stakeholders and the fun and flow as well as learnings and choices from being a 'business'. She is pragmatic but high on the inclusiveness of fun and satisfaction. She is interested and interesting: safe, enjoys being a customer as much as teacher and expressions of creative generation for herself. You can be caught up in the delight of her view of the world if you have become jaded or burnout. This brings perspective and empowerment to your desire and goals.


Susie has this most amazing experience in business - she is fashion royalty - but has an amazing ability to put all her knowledge across in a way that you can learn so easily. I was so pleased that she could show you how to learn from her experience and it would make sense for your business. Pretty much whatever you are doing. I came away from these sessions with so many ideas. But of course ideas are cheap. She has made me understand how once you have an idea, how to make it real. So many great learnings about avoiding pitfalls, practical check lists and honest to goodness 'know how'. I am already putting her advice into practice and can see I am going to transform my business just because of these classes. I am going to come back to those videos again and again. Thank you so much for making this great resource available.


I LOVED THIS COURSE. After being a small business owner for 10 years it is easy to focus on what's right on your desk at that very moment instead of evaluating the bigger picture, to forget how to look at what is working as well as what isn't and how to improve upon your process. Courses like this make me want to jump up out of my seat and get back to work. Susie kept me engaged and focused. It can be a long day but time seemed to fly by. I am really glad I got the opportunity to take the course, not only would I take it again but would highly recommend future Creative Live courses and Susie's latest book. Thank you again for the opportunity and now I gotta get back to work!