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Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 24 of 32

Understand Key Terminology


Diversifying Your Product Line

Lesson 24 of 32

Understand Key Terminology


Lesson Info

Understand Key Terminology

Understand the key terminology, which is something you know, shannon mentioned earlier on about understanding I'm being able to really talk about the terms and their materials with confidence, and we talked a lot about that in session one about having a credibility and you have you have credibility with how you're working, when when you know the terms that you're using and you understand them so he's trying to order food without knowing the language when you kind of go to a new place and you're trying to figure out you just arrived and you're starving and you've no idea and he's, just like, well, that looks kind of noise have no idea and I can pronounce it, but I'll take it. So knowing the key terms, eyes invaluable, I would say that it it's it's, right up there with building partnerships and respectful communication is knowing what you're talking about when you're ordering the materials, the advantages gives you credibility gives you a faster response from from the supplies, a better ...

outcome, and I always I always say, industry empowerment. It makes you feel really confident in your industry. If you can kind of rock on up to a trade show and you could say it's a beautiful fabric, oh, that's, a beautiful material. Um can you can you let me know what the minimums, the surcharge, the lead times? We're going to talk about all these all these terms, but it just gives you that sense of confidence of people going to take you seriously. So we're going to work through a couple of a couple of examples off industry terms specific, and I'm hoping that with that I'm going to learn from you guys today as well, the terms that I kind of put out there would be great to hiss some some very specific industry terms from from the different products that we see. So this is this is interesting this ties really closely in with what shannon mentioned only iran, his manufacturers and suppliers of busy people, they don't have time to educate you as well. I've always found the supplies in the manufacturer's I've used that they've always been really willing to to share their story and their expertise and how they produce on the passion that goes into producing their product. I don't know how much of that is actually that they're happy to do it or the fact that I don't leave their office until they tell me, um, I think I'm kind of these, okay, just don't you know that they're looking at their watch and I wanted to go into appointment. But I find it fascinating to understand how they got into the business what what goes into their products? They're supplying me it gives me ah more of an understanding, a better education but it's not their duty to do that I've been very lucky with the people I've worked with that I've been able to learn that, but you cannot rely on it and a shannon also mentioned that only iran so material terms so this is where I I'm really looking to kind of learn from the guys in the chat room and also from you guys hear any extra industry terms which kind of unique to your product so for material terms, the ones I'm very used to working with his lead time minimums surcharges r f d which is actually ready for dying which we use for fabric is kind of a state ready for dying and quality specifics so the meaning we have a very simple translation so lead time length of time to produce minimums is a minimum order required surcharge is an additional cost for under order if there's if there's a minimum there's nearly always a surcharge and our ft is ready for dying um and we use that new familiar with that casting nodding your head okay, right? Yeah it's there's two different terms is our ft ready for thai and there's pft prepared to die so this this is very fabric focused right now, but lead times, minimums, surcharges, I think a pretty generic because everything has a time scale of how long is gonna take on is always nearly always minimums involved when when you're ordering materials, unless you're buying really low claim in, actually you buy from a fabric stores right now, so it could be a cz minimum is probably, you know, a yard or something like that. Um, so I have a couple of kind of questions here, which I'm going to use his example, so I want to order some fabric and there's two ways to ask the same question, okay, I'd like to order some fabric, please. How much can I buy? And when can I have it? Thank you. Oh, and can I have it? Can I diet as well? That's. A very simple way of asking. So that would be kind of me not knowing anything about the industry and just going picking a burn phone. Ok, here's, another way of doing it. Hi. I'd like to order some silk advertise sixteen and then forty five inches wide. Can you tell me the lead time, minimum order, quantity and any surcharges involved also is your fabric or ft, thank you. So there's two different approaches, so by knowing the key of the industry terms relevant to my product, aiken can literally pick up the phone and ask this and someone is going to be a lot more responsive to the second one then they are to the first one they probably the the email would go straight into the trash the phone would be put down or that I be put on hold with some kind of light tinkly chinese hold music for like an hour, then they would probably hang up. Um, do we have anything about from the chat room? Chris about kind of interesting industry terms unique to product right now? Should we come back to them later familiar with was o k, which stood for one of a kind custom made products bo o k I've never heard a fact and I'm right on down to liken it again. Sure, absolutely go ahead, catherine e really made something it's not something they're planning and reproducing it's like oh it's you know, something they made out of this cool stuff they got it, eh is of vintage stores. Antiques store. Yeah, I had custom a lot on bespoke they used spoke a lot in europe, but ok, one of a kind that's great. I just start throwing that into this kind of random conversations now come up so yeah if you're not in the chat room yet get in there learn some new tricks click on that chat icon and let us know any terms that you've been using that we may not be familiar with nice um I'm gonna help onto another slide so question analysis so when I was the question I just asked the imaginary supplier was my request was about lead time it was about minimum order quantity was about the surcharges and also the fabric ready for die so the information I can expect to get back in their response is really a lead time an indication is if they have it in stock or if they don't have in stock um how long how much extra time is needed if they have to order it and this is something that you would then put on your assumptions list okay if you're working with the supplier the minimum order quantity is for this particular fabric I was enquiring it was one one bolt was a bolt of fabric which in this case is fifty yards sometimes you can get much lower sometimes you can you can get a yard or two yards it's very dependent on the supplier surcharges if if I ordered under the minimum amount if I ordered wanted like twenty five yards there may be a possibility for me to get that twenty five yards but I talked to pay an increase of twenty five percent potentially that's whatthe surcharges so it would be the cost of fabric plus twenty five percent but what would then I'd have to weigh up whether it was worth my what kind of cost and time tohave lest fabric a little bit higher cost because if I'm if I'm working from my bedroom I may not have enough space for twenty five yards for fifty yards of fabric but twenty five could be worth so get fifty yards of a cab story yeah, absolutely it's it's totally a balance this is where you have to kind of weigh up um you know you're costing your budget um and or ft we already we already spoke about ready for dying and there are all these your your assumption that you're working with a wholesale supplier of fabric yeah, so I so I would I would work through all my suppliers um and stop basically building that lists I'd build, you know, spreadsheet probably would do this on a laptop rather than a notebook, but I would I would just start collecting all this information s o that I would have my plan a and my plan b on my plan c on define needed because this is just basic fabric I'm talking about here this is basic annd I'd silk, you know often offer role I'm going to do all the embellishments all the colors tease me everything myself so I just need a basic quality which is a certain weight a certain we've on a certain type it can be you can get that in many different places but some places will have a higher minimum potentially some won't carry stock so all these different elements of value or information pieces for me to put in my assumption shape okay but it's also the industry times catherine prototyping would he always went to get your material for your prototypes from the wholesale supplier or saying it's I well I want a prototype the's I don't want to commit tio twenty five fifty yards of fabric I'm going to go teo this distributor right up and sammer fell and get a few yards from them and tried out first right? So if I was so this that's two answers to that if I was completely starting from scratch and I had no previous experience and I had no stock no stock fabric then what I would probably do is go to a local fabric store because I'm also I'm not just testing the fabric I'm testing the the style and the stitching and everything like that so I was doing an absolute first first most prototype I would buy a yard or two yards of fabric from a little store making sure it was the same weight it was same we've and then I would make the prototype from that um if I'd already been in business for yeah, six months or so I would probably have I may have built up a relationship where they can maybe have like an off cut or something like that that they could send me or I would potentially use something I already haven't stopped but if it's for if it's a new style and interesting kind of style creation or something which is unusual construction I would I would potentially by something locally making sure it was the same weight in the family room with the same wave so it would they would work in the same way it's not uncommon when you when you have accounts with distributors yeah to get samples right? You know yeah, I would say it's not uncommon for me it'll from my experiences while working wearing with materials they will send you they may charge you you know, for a price for it but it's still possible to get like a yard or two and then you have like an absolute minimum of bolt would be fifty or like twenty five meters or something like that, right? Yeah similar thing for manufacturing terms way have a few of the manufacturing terms which I think a pretty generic is while production lead time, length of time used to produce in order production minimums, minimum order quantity they'll take and some peace some factories of manufacturers will have a production minimum surcharges additional costs for under minimum order quantity so you will have surcharges with raw material as well as manufacturing and that's again it's something that you negotiate um the production minimums to really dependent on where you go I know places over in in asia that actually have very low production minimums and those have extremely high ones saying was working in the u s as well it's a really mixed bag I think it depends on the product that you're working with and also the location so I have another question using the production information hello I am a scarf brand and I want to place an order for three hundred silk scarves can you tell me the production minimums current capacity I have a protest sample a tech pack fabric ready and I'm looking for a book delivery at the end of august so that's a really detailed request that's a lot of information in there because I don't want to go backwards and forwards on communication I want to give him everything I need and with a bit of luck I'll get everything back so we're going to break that down and we can also flip back to this so my I want to know what the production lead time is I also wanted to understand the production minimums and surcharges so their answer to my question would be production the time as one months but they're closed august so place in july so that we talked about this in the time in action on the session one sister going yet we can absolutely take your order, but you know, we're going to be on a beach, you know, with a lounger so you need to place your order early or otherwise it's not going to get in production minimums, so they're telling me the production minimums at twenty five pieces, so they have a kind of a low production, so three hundred pieces, okay, so they're telling me my question about capacity is like how much space so they have, can they actually this is my order, can they can they reach it? They're saying yes, they can no, no surcharges involved because their minimum is twenty five ok, so if I just flipped back let's, go back on the question hello, I'm scott front place, an order for three hundred soul scarves, production minimums there I'm basically given them everything, and shannon also talked about this coincidentally or a proto sample, a tech pack and fabric ready and I'm looking for a bold delivery at the end of august, so I'm literally handing everything to them on a plate. Tell me exactly what I want there's no dispute and they're going to come back and say essentially say, yeah, it's fine, but book early because we're closed in august so it's giving all information so you don't have to go backwards and forwards and waste a week and understanding what's required so tip number I'm going to say twenty five I think having within twenty twenty, twenty six maybe I don't know ballparks a lot of tips is a lot of this is very tip rich yeah this workshop so research and then request that's always my I like alliteration um from head, toe, hand research and request I could make a t shirt out um researcher information it doesn't really go into a lot of detail you take the time to your responsibility to know exactly the key terms, the know the terminology to know what you're asking to understand the response more importantly, you don't want to get a response and just go on us great, I have no idea what this means, you know, which is the worst thing because if you agree to something which potentially, you know could not work, okay, but also it's not just kind of the key fabric terms in material terms, we talking about industry terms, it's business terms as well, which if you're starting out it's sometimes the most obvious thing, which you just kind of, you know, I totally understand what that means, but you know, you can get caught on the fly a little bit so ah, units of measure on this is interesting because I have no idea when it comes to kind of like jewelry and seven pressure what kind of units of measure that you work with this is they talk about grams ounces things like that when you're talking about both right? Um so I, uh yeah metric imperial embellishment methods printing, beating application embroidery um finishing dying payment terms eyes important testing requirements as well testing requirements, finished product and also for raw materials when I mean kind of testing when I'm thinking about is if you're if you're making, um I go back to clothing again, the things don't shrink that things don't fall apart if you're making a silk scarf, you don't want the fabric to split because it's a very kind of fine you want if you're selling a scene, he wanted to stay together. Um, I think probably for jewelry, catherine what kind of it's? Like it's the strength of the links probably in the chain you talking it feel yeah, yeah that's um problems with jump rings that are not rigid enough, right? Right. Um, do you have any kind of quality fatima quality things that you always kind of test for on your product? Yeah, absolutely a a lot of the casted things I have to actually work what's called work hard and ran. So a lot of like hammering and pounding to make sure that the molecules air tighter. Ok, there's, no space in between interesting metal. I didn't know that, chris. Anything. Anything from the chat room when it comes, tio key terms specific to different products. No, not really seeing any other terms coming. And now people are just still sharing some links to their work and kind of getting to know one another in the chat room. But it seems like that one of a kind was one that a lot of people were not familiar with. So that one's good, but no, no others coming in right now, but I'll let you know if any, do you great. Okay, so there's a few reference books which I which I use just kind of everyday basis for doing research when it comes to kind of construction, but also industry terms on good reference tools. I put them up here the very um, I would say the more kind of fashion and accessory specific, but they do have a lot of interesting on dh, very relevant tools for other products as well, probably not paper. Unfortunately, I need we need to find a book, and I need to kind of stick it on. There is a link but a power production, terms and processes even if you took the apparel out of that production terms and processes it's a fantastic, detailed book, you have a lot of good information in there fabric profession is all about different fabrics if you wanting to kind of go into a fabric line or diversify into product, which is made from fabric is all different kind of constructions and weaves that's really that's an invaluable tool for me constantly referring to that so they just kind of some of the reference books I think I think they are in included on the bonus material as well, I believe I can kind of ah follow up with them. So really the question on this particular one is can you name some product specific terms? We've already touched on a few um if you if you don't and you're learning some nuance, then start making a list I think is one of a kind is I love that I'm going to start making that, um a couple of more coming in here another one that people are using hand thinking rather than using stamp for inking they use hand inking and another one that is being used in some designs aspect ratio to get the custom photo jewelry that red scorpio is creating the pictures that she uses need to be in the right aspect ratio, okay and some more information on the hand thinking sassy seems through says that using hand inc instead of stamping, gives it a richer color. It takes more time, but the results end up being better. Okay, anyone in the audience heard about handing king no it's an education. Yeah, I love it. Great. Like distributor's, web sites will have glossaries of the terminology for their products. Yeah, that's. A great resource is, yeah, I I I do a lot of research on that and always learning kind of new tools. And also you could there's. Also, a lot of industry bloggers out there really happy to share a lot of good information and good methods of a understanding the techniques on calculations when you're working on how to kind of put products together as well.

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!