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  • #978409
    blackfox
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    Hi All,
    This is my first post and I am very new to all this, as Title suggest, I have an idea and no idea of where to go from here… so hoping someone may be able to assist.

    I have a found a bit of a gap in childrens clothing for a specific type of childrens wear (believe it or not LOL) and would love to have some clothes made and set up an online store.

    The problem is I have no idea where to start. Purchase the material and have samples made? My mum can sew but I really would like these outsourced from the start as I dont plan on making these items. Do I need a ‘designer’?

    Also, I really would love the clothes to be made in Australia but it seems so much more expensive.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    TIA

    #1106887
    Anonymous
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    Hi blackfox,

    Welcome to the forum, and thanks for joining us.

    This long thread might contain some handy tips for you: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/working-smarter/1796-small-business-childrens-baby-clothing-label.html

    All the best for the new venture,
    Jayne

    #1106888
    TheGoldenGoose
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    • Total posts: 860
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    Perhaps you could get your mum to sew some to do a little product testing at a market to see how it flies? You can gain a following there.

    Thoroughly recommend http://www.berganblue.com.au for any online store development.

    Would suggest you start with markets, think big but plan along the way. Grab yourself a business plan (many downloadable online) and nut out some core details.

    Best of luck! :)

    #1106889
    blackfox
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    thank you both very much !

    I did plan to start with markets, forgot to add that bit in, so might be best to get my mum to sew for those and do the product testing that way ! Thank you, great idea.

    #1106890
    JacquiPryor
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    • Total posts: 2,344
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    Hi Blackfox,

    Also be mindful that if you intend to operate as a business, there will be some other things you need to do – such as registering a business name (or company name depending on which type of structure is best for you) and obtaining an ABN. If you choose to brand your items with their own unique name/label – make sure you’re not infringing any trademark rights in Australia, and also determine if you need any sort of insurance to cover you for the type of products you will be making etc. (All very boring stuff I know, but ‘must dos’ if starting a business :))

    Check out this page at the ATO website to help determine if you are becoming a ‘business’ in the eyes of the Tax Office.

    All the best with it :)

    #1106891
    Webber Insurance
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    • Total posts: 32
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    JacquiPryor, post: 118683 wrote:
    Hi Blackfox,

    Also be mindful that if you intend to operate as a business, there will be some other things you need to do – such as registering a business name (or company name depending on which type of structure is best for you) and obtaining an ABN. If you choose to brand your items with their own unique name/label – make sure you’re not infringing any trademark rights in Australia, and also determine if you need any sort of insurance to cover you for the type of products you will be making etc. (All very boring stuff I know, but ‘must dos’ if starting a business :))

    Check out this page at the ATO website to help determine if you are becoming a ‘business’ in the eyes of the Tax Office.

    All the best with it :)

    Hi Blackfox

    Great to see you embarking on your business journey.

    Further to Jacqui’s email with the insurance, creating children’s clothing and accessories is usually classified as a high hazard occupation. The main exposures relate to parts breaking off the clothing and creating a choking hazard to the child. Due to this, insurance can cost higher than other retail type businesses.

    If you can find someone else to design and manufacture locally in Australia, it will go a long way to reducing your business’ exposure.

    Feel free to contact me if you want anymore information.

    #1106892
    Z4CHARI
    Member
    • Total posts: 39
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    Hello BlackFox!

    It’s great to see more inspired minds!
    – Have you registered a business name?
    – Do you have a business or marketing plan?
    – What is it do you want to achieve from this?

    Ask your self those questions.

    You stated you wanted to perhaps sell products online? That’s a great idea! PM me to have a chat about your idea and maybe i can give you a hand in giving you a jump start!

    #1106893
    erinna
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    • Total posts: 135
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    I would produce a few samples via your mum’s help, then also get quotes for producing using a contracting sewing person, fabric costs, labels, tags etc, to get an idea of pricing for production, what your minimum run would be, therefore your own markup, to reach a wholesale price, then RRP (if thats the way you want to go)… then do market research at potential retailers/stockists, asking parents directly etc. People will usually happily tell you their thoughts if you ask. :)

    If you’re in Melbourne, let me know and I will give you the details of my fantastic sewing lady :)

    I think with regards to Australian made, you will find there is a specific market for it, and those folk will happily spend a bit more to support local business.

    Would love to help if you need a sounding board, or ideas etc for marketing, producing, promoting etc.

    Just remember, everything takes longer than you think it will, so dont get discouraged :)

    #1106894
    GoPromo
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    • Total posts: 6
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    blackfox, post: 118617 wrote:
    Hi All,
    This is my first post and I am very new to all this, as Title suggest, I have an idea and no idea of where to go from here… so hoping someone may be able to assist.

    I have a found a bit of a gap in childrens clothing for a specific type of childrens wear (believe it or not LOL) and would love to have some clothes made and set up an online store.

    The problem is I have no idea where to start. Purchase the material and have samples made? My mum can sew but I really would like these outsourced from the start as I dont plan on making these items. Do I need a ‘designer’?

    Also, I really would love the clothes to be made in Australia but it seems so much more expensive.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    TIA

    Hi, I am an importer in all products including custom made clothing, the first thing to remember is when having cloths made in Australia you are already going to pay 400% more than if you purchase from a factory in China. When dealing with China you need a relationship with the factory and need to purchase in larger QTY’S. Minimum orders per design and size would be around 500 units. If you need any assistance please message me.

    #1106895
    Avatar Consulting
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    • Total posts: 151
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    Do a business viability assessment first

    Hi

    A business plan that helps you detail all these questions and good comments into a single document is necessary before you invest too much money into your idea.

    Before the business plan comes a small matter of testing your idea for its viability, its ability to pass the ‘is it likley to work’ test.

    You need to do some rough numbers on how many sales you think it will make in a year, multiply this by your sales prices, and then subtract all your expectated expenses.

    If your idea looks like it might make a profit then you start with the business plan.

    I would be really suprised if you did actually find an area of the market left untapped, and in any case this industry is very difficult to make money in due to overseas and online competition.

    The quality and safety standards your clothes would have to meet would add a significant expense before your even made one sale. Think of things like;

    • can children choke on buttons
    • are the clothes fire tested
    • do they contain illegal chemical in the design process
    • if using patterns, do you own the right to use the pattern
    • getting a contract with your designer so you own the label & design
    #1106896
    SavvySME
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    • Total posts: 201
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    Some really valid points, and I agree with testing the viability first.

    I’ve gone down the road before and I did fork out the investment to get stuff made in China, and with the minimum order, it was a lot of stock. In addition by ordering so much stock, if you eventually discover a defect or something not done correctly, sizing for an example – you’ve wasted a lot of money. This is from my experience from ordering large quantities of false lashes and setting up a fashion label as well.

    I suggest you use your mum or a small local seller to tackle the initial orders (until your traffic goes up I’m assuming it can be handles locally) that way you can also develop your products, get feedback on sizing etc and develop a good pattern to use to manufacture your product, you have a clearer idea about the fabric etc.

    With manufacturing in China, you must be very specific and clear if you want to quality to uphold. Usually clothing manufacturers will ask for a pattern or if you need to set one up – the one off fee’s can be costly. I’d be budgeting at least 10k for your first run of clothes (due to minimum order quantity) set up of “patterns” or stencils they need to install into their machines like a “mold” as well as tags and packaging. You also may need to co-ordinate between factories if you choose to make your tags elsewhere. I wouldn’t be pinning on the tags manually here if you order that many pieces.

    Again before you throw that much money in test how popular the idea is first :)

    Hope this helps

    Thanks for reading,

    Wendy

    #1106897
    MyGreatIdea
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    To add to Wendy’s advice, if and when you do start manufacturing in China, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

    Most important is to get yourself a quality inspection firm. I have one based in Hong Kong and for US$280 they go to the factory and conduct quality testing based on the guidelines we have provided. Invaluable.

    The contract we have with the factory includes them covering the cost of any reworks if the inspection does not meet our guidelines.

    And also keep in mind that a trip to the factory in the future will cement a good working relationship.

    Just for now though, I’d be concentrating on testing your product locally and on a small scale to begin.

    Good luck!

    Wendy :)

    #1106898
    SavvySME
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    • Total posts: 201
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    To add again to Wendy’s advice because that sparked something from sitting next to a workmate who ran a furniture store from a factory in China, the quality is a huge issue. My friend used to have quality ups and downs monthly. One monthly it would be great the next month – if you loosen your requirements or are less strict – it will go down the drain. This happens frequently especially if your quantities are small – you are small fish to them and usually factories have so much business you are not a priority. so what Wendy mentioned about having a quality inspector is invaluable.

    But warning they also come with management issues. Sometimes Chinese standards and Australian standards are very different. What they think is reasonable you may not so you need to be VERY specific. In addition you need to continually coach them to make sure they keep up the standards.

    Think the Wendy’s are on a roll today :)

    Thanks for reading,

    Wendy

    #1106899
    jamee88
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    • Total posts: 18
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    Firstly consider, you want to start a small business online. Can your mother sew for all the orders that come in? You may want to start out on a small scale, but what if you are successfull in getting a large order. how will you cope? do you have enough money on hand to invest incase you need it?

    #1106900
    BrettM33
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    Hi Tia,

    I’m interested in the fact you said you would like them made in Australia.

    Obviously most clothes are made offshore because of the massive savings in costs, most go down this route and maybe you should too.

    However sometimes it’s goo to differentiate yourself from the group and really promote the fact your clothes are made in Australia, this will allow you to sell at premium prices. However if you think your niche is already a good enough selling point then perhaps you don’t need to differentiate yourself too much!?

    I guess it all depends what business model you want to operate under.

    All the best with whatever way you choose.

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