Finding a manufacturer

Hello fellow Creative Business Adventurers!

Things are progressing slowly but surely and I am looking for manufacturers while I have my designs finalized with the graphic designer. As soon as my designs are ready, I want to be able to send them off to a manufacturer, lickety split.  I don’t want to wait until  the designs are finished before I start looking.  As I’ve shared with you before, I am the Queen of Impatience.

In a way, I thought finding a manufacturer would be harder than this and in other ways I thought it would be easier.

Why harder?  I have found three manufacturers who were exactly what I wanted, who specialize in working with people like me.  Like us.  They specialize in the artistic side of their industry (not just the corporate stuff).  And they cater to small start ups, but are able to grow with me too.  I didn’t have to use a “Sourcing Agent” which I have read about.  Not at this stage with this product, anyway. I just used Google and seemed to find what I wanted.  I may need to look at sourcing agents further down the track if I expand.

Why easier?  I thought their would be more choices.  I have found three really good potential manufacturers.  Only three.  And while I found them using Google, I have entered A LOT of search words to find them.  I looked at lots of (very bad) websites.  And I’ve sent emails to potential manufacturers who never replied back.

I had to consider not just what I want to do to start, but what other services they could offer me as I grow or if I change the path I go down.  I had to think about the questions I wanted to ask and the answers I needed to hear before I was sure I wanted to go with them.

I asked about their manufacturing methods, freight methods and costs, what production options they could offer me, minimum orders and set up costs. I didn’t really have any information from my Twitter girls or my online courses when I approached my manufacturers.  I just went with my common sense and my need for re-assurance.

While many people say you need to go to Asian manufacturers and many of the products I have say they are a Product Of China or Taiwan or Japan, all the manufacturers I have looked at are based in the United States of America.  While I considered manufacturers here in Australia, I have bought products made by some of them and wasn’t happy with the quality.  I needed to find a middle ground between the quality I want for my products and supporting ethical manufacturing processes.

I guess all the research, emailing and stuff will only get me so far.  Then I just have to take the leap of faith and have some products made.  Going from seeing things in your mind to being created by a graphic designer and then manufactured by someone else again is scary stuff.  Especially when you are a bit of a control freak like me.  I am very “things need to be done properly”.  The manufacturer is sending me some samples which I hope get here quickly.  When I buy my art books from the USA, they can take between 2 weeks and 5 weeks.  Dear Lord, please let it only take 2 weeks for my samples to get here.

I will let you know when the samples arrive, what I think of them and what my next step is.

♥ Coral.


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