Day one (In a Geordie Big Brother style accent)
Production/ Factory/ Underground sweat shop visit
I head over to the East end of London town to meet "E". The owner of a small yet thriving clothes production factory in what appears to be abandoned building, but apparently is not. Down some dodgy 'cup of tea for 50p in the builders cafe' alley I find the old warehouse and it is thriving with small, scurrying individuals...whether their speciality is vintage dolls or electrical appliances the place is heaving by the time I arrive at 9am, a good start non the less.
Straining to interpret E's heavy set Polish accent I hurriedly jot down notes on what the score would be if this production team were to become a part of my 'team'.
The deal was:
- Production of my 20 outfits would start from the 20th Jan..eh? 20th Jan! But apparently this is normal and she looked as calm as the proverbial cucumber when assuring me of a definite delivery date before my actual show in Feb. That's good then.
- Samples cost twice as much as what an item would normally cost in production. She showed me examples from a top end designer that she is doing at the moment. So for example a medium difficulty dress would be £60 production, £120 for a sample. A shirt, about £30/ £40 for production, £60/ £80 sample.
I leave feeling reassured in that I know what you can expect to pay for a decent sample. I would like to work with "E", as the samples I saw were beautifully made, and not bad value I feel for production.
I think my solution might be to get my samples made by a top end seamstress on the Island so that I am nearby (and its costs half the price down here), and then move production up to "E" after the show.
Mr zip man I love you, Mr zip man I do....
Down rather smart road in a rather smart area of town one finds oneself arriving for a meeting at YKK. A Japanese company, the place is like Fort Knox (I needed a security swipe card to use the bathroom) and I felt a little bit out of place.
"M" had agreed to meet with me very kindly considering my minimum orders are below their quota so I would have to go direct to a wholesaler, not them. However I needed info as being on the island I'm a bit isolated and I need to be designing, not going up to London all the time.
To cut to the chase "M" was AWESOME!! He gave me swatch cards of every colour zip available, brochures on zip finishings, zip pulls, revolutionary zips...the zip list goes on and on and on.
What a nice man. He got nothing from that meeting and I got everything.
I heart "M" and YKK