How can we make it easier to do business pt.2

Continuing from yesterday’s discussion, let’s talk about framing, problem perception, bias and expectations with what has become a break away topic of being able to find contractors on the web -in spite of my expressed dismay.

Framing: Most people are an expert at something. You excel in your own domain. To make it easier for yourself, you naturally want everything to fall into that domain as much as possible. It’s efficient, a cognitive short cut. However, specifically because you prefer searching on the web -that’s how you solve a sourcing problem- you expect others who may not use this as a strategy, to comply with your preferences. The reality is, they’re not going to change any sooner than you will.

Problem perception: Because your domain is your paradigm, you cannot help but to interpret and assign the cause and source of problems through that lens. The conflict lies in that your domain isn’t someone else’s anymore than their domain is yours. How others attribute the source of problems is vastly different from the way you do. They’re not likely to change anytime soon because that’s not how they perceive the problem.

Bias: If two parties can’t even agree as to what constitutes the ground rules, why become frustrated that they will not change for you if you will not change in ways that are meaningful for them? You are asking them to do something you will not. This is not to say I don’t think contractors shouldn’t have to have a web presence (they should), largely because it is more convenient for us (be honest), I’m trying to get you to think beyond polarization.

Expectations: People underestimate the difficulty of performing tasks they do easily and consequently overestimate the performance of others on the same task. Meaning, you excel at your domain (web strategies) and assume everyone does it as readily if not better than you do. Therefore if others do not meet your expectations, the cognitive shortcut is to presume they are either stupid or stubborn -or both. Hardly a fortuitous beginning.

Contractors know sewing, not the web. They don’t understand its salience to their enterprise anymore than many of my visitors sufficiently understand the importance of the  advice I give here. In many ways, I see no difference between you and our theoretical contractors. Don’t lament the contractor’s eventual demise, worry about your own because neither of you will survive. While you’re frustrated they’ll go under because they can’t be found in ways you’d prefer to find them, they’re frustrated that you won’t last either due to questionable spending and planning priorities. How many stubborn people visit and comment here who think reading the site is good enough? It’s more than they knew before so they don’t need my book. A better question is why do you hold expectations that you will not fulfill yourself?

Summary: It all boils down to human nature and being aware of your own biases rather than picking out the flaws in other’s perceptions. It’s just life. If it were possible to change other people, they would have changed you long ago. :)

Let’s try framing the question again looking for the big picture. You can’t change anyone, only yourself. No one said this was easy. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be a problem.

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31 comments

  1. Jill says:

    I guess I didn’t understand yesterday’s question. I thought the point was to find out what contractors could do to make it easier to work with them. But what was the point? I feel like we all just got a good lashing. I am almost to the point of giving up on being a DE. Why? Here’s my list as it pertains to pattern makers:

    A) I can’t find you.
    B) The ones I did find via a web search (“pattern maker”) and sent an email (via their open invitaion on said website) did not even email me back to say “not interested”.
    C) I’ve read on this blog from some of you that you’ll only work via referral. Wish every industry could be that picky. That’s pretty intimidating to a newbie who is not in a major fashion center nor had any experience in the industry.
    D) This industry seems closed to outsiders. You seem to have all the business you want and not be in need of new clients.

    Thanks for letting me vent…

  2. Vesta says:

    (Again, the assumption going in is that said contractors *want* DE business.) Obviously, DEs want to find contractors, and lament the difficulty. But at the end of the day, if the contractors want more business, then it is their responsibility to make themselves easier to find. I’m sorry, but that’s business. So if they go the way of the dodo because the web is “too hard”, or it’s not their expertise – wah. You can be a luddite, or you can keep the doors open. Choose one.

    Jeez, at the very least, take out a yellow pages ad. I don’t know any DEs that wouldn’t think to look there, too. Or are phone books too new-fangled?

  3. Kathleen says:

    A good lashing… hmm. I wrote that as neutrally as I could. DEs and service providers are two different mindsets. That’s what makes us each good at what we do. Try as I may -and I do- I cannot write in a manner guaranteed to not offend you. Hopefully someone else will come along and expend considerable money, skills, resources and time to start a blog providing advice that is 1. free and 2. in accordance with your preferences and opinions. I have tried to open this industry by creating a forum so you could get insider information. I know you were a member but never posted. Obviously the forum was not aligned to your preferences but is the only tool I can create considering the confines of cost effectiveness. You roll with what you’ve got. I can’t please everyone.

    Vesta, I understand your frustration, I do. Yellow pages ads are very expensive, like thousands of dollars per year (no exaggeration). Even in podunk Las Cruces NM. Barring an ad, if you have a business telephone, you’re listed in the yellow pages according to category. I can tell you that in 15 years of being listed under “sewing contractor” or “pattern maker” (a dual listing is several hundred bucks a month), I’ve gotten MAYBE 3 telephone calls from a DE. MAYBE. That’s 3 calls in 15 years. All of the other calls are from people who want me to replace their zippers or hem their pants.

  4. Lisa Bloodgood says:

    A line that goes along with the bias paragraph: If you want me to be tolerant of you, you have to be tolerant of me. Probably goes with the whole entry. Definitely goes with more than that.

    Right now, or should I say still?, I do stuff via word of mouth for friends and friends of friends. So I haven’t done a yellow pages thing.

  5. Rocio says:

    While I can share the frustration that some of you express (yes, some of my colleagues are very old school) I also understand where Kathleen comes from

    I’m a bit surprised to see that other than a “shortage of service providers with a web presence” (which doesn’t apply to us) , there aren’t any more suggestions.

  6. leila shams says:

    you know what, i feel like we’re all bitching about the same thing. there needs to be a website that connects the right designers to the right contractors – something super easy to use that isn’t a burden on anyone – something funded and researched by advertisers – fashion pr, trim and fabric suppliers, grading companies, fashion schools – a yellow pages for des. reviews would be great too and would help to get ads. every day there are contractors going out of business and designers going out of business that could certainly have helped each other. especially in this project runway world – everyone wants to be a designer and no one knows how.

  7. Vesta says:

    Leila, isn’t that what this site is supposed to be?:
    http://www.apparelsearch.com/

    Kathleen, I had a raging headache when I wrote that comment. Sorry. But my point stands. Given that yellow page ads are expensive and limited in scope, contractors who want more business need to suck it up and get a simple, one-page website. And then answer their phone and be nice. OK, they don’t have to be nice. They have to be professional. I completely agree with a comment on the first post that said many US vendors generally have an attitude problem. We’ve talked about that before. I’m sorry, but every single overseas sewing contractor I’ve worked with has provided better customer service than every single domestic sewing contractor I’ve worked with. (Not that I haven’t found domestic contractors that I could work with, because I have.) They want my business. US contractors by-and-large treat me as if they’re doing me a favor.

  8. Marie-Christine says:

    Mmm.. In this case I have to agree with the lashing bit, sorry Kathleen.
    Just because someone knows sewing doesn’t mean they can know -only- that, if they’re running a business. Do you sewing contractors not know anything about accounting, or not pay your taxes? Do you not know anything about shipping or require everyone to pick up their stuff in person? Of course not.
    And if you don’t know anything about accounting, you.. hire an accountant :-). So why is putting up a simple website any different? Especially at a time when you can easily get a CMS-based site (like spip or joomla) where you can update your info as easily as you can put it into a word processor. The reason people in general look on the web is that it’s a lot more efficient, and less geographically bound. Ignoring that isn’t old school, it’s putting your head in the sand.

  9. Kathleen says:

    I wrote this last night but didn’t post it:
    I think it’s an easy way out to think that the problem is not being able to find contractors. I think the problems are greater than that. It’s easy to point at the lack of something and say “all of my problems are based on that” but I don’t think it’s true. Imagine that there was this wonderful contractor mall out there and at least some of you could find a lot of what you wanted (these networks already exist). It still would not be enough to please everyone. This mall has already been done, at least five or six times that I know of. And yeah, you’ll need advertisers because people (users and advertisers) sure don’t want to pay (hint). In the end they all flop, the resource base is never enough to satisfy everyone. Why is that?

    For the sake of argument let’s just say everyone can find a contractor resource. Will that solve your problems? It won’t. That’s what I’m trying to get everyone to see. You can’t get ahead if you’re sparring at the wrong target. Right now, you’re shadow boxing, feinting at yourselves.

    Btw, I haven’t heard of any contractors going under lately other than some who need to. A weak economy is shaking those out. You don’t want them. They have other problems.

    I wrote this, this morning based on a comment from here:

    Where things break down is when you do searches like the ones listed by Sabine. Now Sabine ought to add a geographical qualification to her searches if she meant to really find someone, and should probably always say ‘contractor’, that’s something else. But really, you have to think like a librarian – what are common keywords used to find businesses like yours? What are the semi-official terms, and the ones really used?

    Here, Marie-Christine is closer to the original intent of my postings. The words practitioners use in any field are different from what laymen use. We are in our world, how can we possibly guess what words the uninitiated use? Why are we to blame for this? This presumes we hang out in places you do on the web when most of these people don’t use the web for anything beyond looking at dirty pictures and checking the sports scores. I’m trying to tell you in this post that your paradigm of the world is not ours and berating us because we cannot possibly guess is useless if you don’t get what you need.

    Look, you guys have no idea of the gamut of mis-used terminology we run across through out the spectrum of the process. NO IDEA. Assuming we know them, some words aren’t just wrong, aren’t just annoying (nails on a chalk board) they’re legally wrong! Why are we responsible for this? What you’re really asking is that we lower standards, not walls. This just isn’t reasonable. You all do not know the massive expenditure of time is takes to have a basic conversation. Every DE uses terms differently, it’s exactly like having to learn a new language with every single person who comes along. We have no clue what you’re saying. It’s like going to a foreign country and demanding that everyone, from the street cleaner to the hotel maid, fluently communicate with you in a language you made up. We’re not called arrogant americans for nothing.

    Here’s another sample of a mis-interpreted paradigm:

    If you feel queasy about putting out some information in public, think your competitors will benefit from knowing some stuff about you somehow… But your competitors probably already know all they want to know…

    See, this is another example of grafting your perceptions and motivations on us. Paranoia is an element of your world, that’s a fear you have. We work together. My best friends are my competitors! We might be slightly jealous or envious when a friend gets a contract we would have liked, but paranoid? Hardly. It’s laughable. Nobody seems to understand that I’m saying our problems are much greater and deeper than anyone realizes. All of these things are merely symptoms, not the cause and it’s complicated by the fact that no one understands that the expectations you derive from filtering these mis-interpreted responses through your lens is the barrier to everything.

    Okay, so if this topic is just supposed to be a public flogging of how bad contractors are then have at it. We can all post how awful they are and then we can sit back, relax and all go home. There, we’ve vented. Feel better now? Contractors are to blame for everything and everyone else is innocent. The problems DEs create are very minor in comparison and contractors are too stupid and stubborn to realize that. Now, just what has this solved? Nothing.

    I think most people are trained by a consumer culture to have the idea that because they have some money to spend, that they are the mountain. Problem is, they aren’t. They’re Mohamed. The mountain is large, inert and isn’t aware of its own existence much less Mohamed’s and were it self aware, having pressing issues of its own that Mohamed knows nothing about, wouldn’t move to Mohamed anyway. The basic premise you hold is that your job is profitable. It’s not. It’s a money loser. We don’t make money on you till you’ve been at it awhile. Problem is, many of you mis-prioritize to the extent you don’t survive to reach that break even point so we are very careful about those we invest in because it is an investment. I think I’ve only made money on 3-5 customers in 15 years. I consider myself fortunate to break even by covering my costs but I often don’t.

    So go ahead and continue to flog contractors because you can’t find them. Continue to believe and reinforce to yourselves that they are stupid and stubborn even tho they are doing something you can’t. Continuing to fuel divisiveness, blame and disrespect is the only sure way to solve these problems.

  10. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been both a DE and service provider (pattern/samplemaker and small production CMT). Just from personal experience as a service provider I’m scared to advertise my services. I get all of my clients through referral and I still get so many lunatics/diva/cheap clients. It’s really draining to deal with them and I can’t imagine the kind of people I’ll get by advertising my services to everyone.. It’s not that I don’t want the business, I’m really grateful and I do have nice great clients, BUT it’s just not worth it sometimes. So maybe those people who don’t advertise do it for that reason. I don’t know…

    Anyway, back to the topic, as a DE, I think service providers can improve by having better communications with clients. I know it’s not one of their (our) strong points but it’s really important and miscommunications can be fatal. I think we need to speak the same ‘language’ and it’d be great if the service providers will let us know of their ‘language’ upfront.. Usually the good ones do, and they’re always honest.. I think fact sheets with types of machines, stitch samples, and list of what is required from DEs are great because sometimes I don’t know what kind of information’s needed. Not smirking when I say stupid newbie things also helps… :)

  11. Miracle says:

    ———vesta said:
    I’m sorry, but every single overseas sewing contractor I’ve worked with has provided better customer service than every single domestic sewing contractor I’ve worked with.
    ——————-
    I agree.
    Kathleen, no offense, your contractors colleagues can cry me a river. This is where it’s at. It has nothing to do with strengths and weaknesses, but everything is moving towards the digital domain because it’s quicker, faster, easier. You and I have discussed previously, that if there were some company focused on SIMPLE solutions, like single page websites, for apparel industry service providers, it would be great.
    Unfortunately, too many companies are focused on these overkill, broad-spectrum, internet marketing solutions that cost too much and are too complicated.
    Of course we are more in tune to the internet as a sourcing tool, because we’re clearly into it, but the reality is, old people are gonna die and the more time goes on, the younger the new entrants will be and this next generation will have been raised on email, texting, social networking, etc..
    You know what I do now when I find a company I might want to do business with? I go see if they are on linked in, facebook, etc. If they tweet, if they have a website and web listings in other places. I go see if their email address is @domain.com or at some free email (more points given to gmail than to aol, etc).
    Why? Because the more on it they are the easier it will be to do business together.
    Someone like me may not be typical, but will soon be.
    India, Vietnam, China, etc. are going to run you guys out the DE game because while you’re sitting around going “why are we being blamed for this”, they are on it. They are trying to be found by any means necessary. Once the smaller companies start getting wise, your overseas equivalents, they are going to start picking off business.
    Your advantage is that the slow to change domestic providers still have a safety zone. It’s challenging to find small production overseas contractors. But they exist. And they’re hungry. They learn quickly.
    I wanted some gift boxes, really high end. I found an artisan in Thailand using Thai silk to make boxes. When I first contacted her years ago, she was hard to work with. Lots of back and forth. It has been about a year and a half and she’s sending email campaigns of new styles asking for pre-orders.
    Domestic businesses who want to start going on and on about the difficulties of having an online presence– I have a very small violin to play.
    Sorry for the tone. Things aren’t going to go back, only forward. Get on board or get left behind.

  12. Kathleen says:

    Get on board or get left behind.

    I get it. I KNOW that. This is part and parcel of my entire argument. They will be left behind and they will go under. Why would you waste the time to play a violin for them? Move on. The average visitor here is not the average DE. F-I isn’t a bastion for people who don’t like to think or read. Don’t confuse the average experience here with the average DE across the board. The very thought makes me shudder. The average luddite contractor prefers to exit the industry than to work with the average DE so why would you spend another moment’s thought on them?

    But I’m also saying this is a double edged sword. Worry less about whether they will go under and worry more about keeping yourselves afloat. You can’t change anyone and continuing to blame helps nothing. You can only change yourself. If enough of you can grow beyond blame and find common ground which will then help your partners evolve, that is working towards a solution. The ones that don’t, die, so who cares? Let them go. That is my point.

  13. Miracle says:

    The ones that don’t, die, so who cares? Let them go.

    I think it’s because as we do business, we see companies that are viable, that could be better at it, with some spit shining. So when you asked how can the industry make it easier, that was one of the first things that came to mind b/c *to a lot of us* those issues are easier to resolve and get out of the way.

  14. ken simmons says:

    My Goodness! I miss reading for 2 days and there is this huge bruhaha over contracters not wanting to have web pages. I agree with whoever said they don’t want to hear from new DE,s, They usually want to know how they too can be rich and famous with their ORIGINAL idea that is not even original. And they have to hurry. My eyes glaze over. I say buy Kathleens book and please leave me in peace.

  15. Lisa Bloodgood says:

    Maybe have the sheet with stuff offered/requirements and you can’t work together till you have your ducks in a row. I know I would want to know if I had the wrong seam allowances or something, I could go back and fix them, then we could work together. Or with whatever issue. Yes, DE’s shouldn’t be divas and contractors should respond to calls/emails (I understand you’re busy, but at least have someone call/email so we know if you’re willing to work with us or not). But we should at least communicate enough to know if we’re a good fit for each other. Of course read the book.

    I’ve done a lot of custom clothing and costumes that I’ve patterned, cut, and sewn myself. I’ve had many people who knew exactly what they wanted and were open to suggestions to improve the item. I’ve had others whose hands I’ve had to hold and stuff worked out ok with them, too. I’ve had just a few people who were nasty and thought they knew more about sewing than I do. They weren’t willing to work with me and were insulting or threatening or, like one guy, suddenly demanded the item in progress and all the scraps and never said why. Apparently no one else finished it because I never saw him wear it when I happened to be at the same event he was. sigh

  16. Cheryl says:

    Jill
    You are not alone…I couldn’t agree more with all of your points.
    I worked on a response for about an hour and decided not to post it because the response to the last post/question I asked was brutal and tangential. It made me very uncomfortable and very cautious of ever posting again. If I could have sent this to you personally, I would have.

    I’ve learned a lot from this Blog and Kathleen’s book, but in response to all this “can’t get a website’ hoo-hah… please! If my grandmother can get a facebook page, then a contractor can setup a webpage. During my search for a full-service provider/contractor – anywhere in the US – a website was a basic requirement, phonebooks would have done me no good.

  17. Sabine says:

    No Eric, we can’t! gotta put my 2 cents in! :)
    Kathleen I am waiting for the book to arrive, then I will learn the accurate terms.

    As for the search terms I used, it was more to find “competition” then an actual contractor. Whenever i outsource, i am never happy with the results, i always like my work better. So I make my own stuff and if I can’t, i buy the machine i need to do so and learn how to use it.

  18. Maria S says:

    Wow. So interesting… I’ve learned so much from this discussion, and now find myself even more lost than I felt before.

    I am that average newbie customer you guys don’t want to waste your time with.
    I have designs, prototypes, patterns, and a wish list. No wholesale orders yet. But the thing is, in order to get behind a booth at a trade show and start taking orders, I felt I needed first to find my contractor so I’d know what I could reasonably deliver and at what price. Reading all the comments to these last posts I realize that my domestic contractor doesn’t really want me to find him/her until I’ve read Kathleen’s book.

    OK. I get it. I was planning to read it anyway, but with my time availability (reason number 1 why I’m looking for a contractor) it will take months before I can be educated and moderately worthy of your time. And then, I still won’t have a clue on whether I can take the minimum volumes you guys require.

    So it seems to me that in order to even attempt to enter this industry, I will have to suck it up and find myself a “friendly India company” more willing to get me the product I need to get started. I much preferred a domestic company working with my same currency, language, time zone, legal requirements, etc… Somebody also who I could act on, if I found that they were selling my designs to others.

    I would be willing to pay a reasonable hourly fee for initial consultation time if that’s what it takes to start communicating to find out whether you can help me or not (I completely understand how frustrating it is to talk with people who have no clue about your work and expect to get it for nothing — I used to be a freelance web designer!). I could also take the attitude and rolling of eyes at me while I know I’m a newbie . But if finding a domestic contractor is already impossible, I’m really not sure of where to look to find one that is willing to work with newbies like me.

  19. Al S. says:

    WOW!! I started designing handbags about 2 yrs. ago.I don’t sew or design for that matter I just thought i had a good idea.My first seamstress was a girl at the cleaners.She did a decent job but it just was’nt my “vision”.I found a few contractors/pattern makers on a handbag site hdb.101.com .Where I found Jan M. who was more then willing to try my handbag design.I did not even know what a pattern was .I was just hot to get my design sewn.She’s the one who turned me on to kathleen’s book/blog to enlighten me.HA .I found the internet /people(contractors) US to be more then helpful. Manalucci design ,Vic V. more then got my design DOWN and schooled me in the process (a bit expensive for me ) .Then i found 2 more ,more local/cheaper!!I was in Chicago now WI.Unfourtunetly one became ill ,but she was great !Now my other bagsbylazar just great !Helpful in every aspect and great work and above all very ,very reasonable for all the time he has spent with me and the bags!Go USA!

  20. Vesta says:

    Maria S: the minimums won’t be lower in India (overseas), so that’s no solution. And no one’s going to sell your designs to someone else. Just stop worrying about that right now, before you create problems for yourself. (Read the book.)

  21. Maria S says:

    Thank you Vesta. What I meant is that I’ve heard of sad stories of people contracting overseas and running into that problem. Never heard of it in the US. It is a factor and one of the reasons why I wanted to work domestically. Thank you for the reply. Definitely will read the book.

  22. Maria S says:

    Sorry for the part 3… Just wanted to clarify – in case it wasn’t clear, that I completely understand why professionals want to filter their customer requests (as somebody commented earlier). I just hope that there’s a way for newcomers to enter the industry. Maybe we can’t start with the best of the best… I know we all need to pay our dues.

  23. Marie-Christine says:

    Kathleen, I wasn’t speaking for myself when I said people were paranoid about putting info on the web. But I have talked to people worried about putting their shop hours up on the web because their competitors might stay open later, or burglars might know when they were closed, I have seen people who think putting up their business phone number on the web will make them targets of Internet super-stalkers.. Sigh. This is paranoia rooted in ignorance, usually seen in people who have no online life but hear about it on TV.

    I think your response kind of merits a post of its own… The issue of what contractors look for in a customer is an important one, beside the symmetrical one that we’re discussing here.

  24. Ellen says:

    I am a contractor here in North Carolina and I would say yes we should make it easier for you to find us. I am in the process of getting a website up and it will describe what we are about, our products that we can make, our services and contact info.

  25. Kathleen says:

    Not being able to find a contractor is part of a much larger trend. Interest in working in any kind of manufacturing is down dramatically meaning it’s easy (but pointless) to make a target of those who are still around. With the central problem being that fewer people are entering any kind of manufacturing to replace aging workers, it becomes an exercise in futility to exhort contractors to step up their game. Somebody needs to fill the gap, why don’t you step up your game? I do understand you have lots of reasons why you don’t choose to do that but that’s my point. It’s similarly difficult for contractors to do it for reasons that are -tragically- scant discussed here. These are the problems we should be discussing, not whether contractors have web pages or not. That you need them to have a web page does not mean that they need one.

    The symptom is that you can’t find a contractor. The indirect cause is that there are fewer contractors to go around. I assert we are better served by undertaking the difficult work of discussing the myriad causes, not the symptoms but try as I may, I can’t get anyone to see that.

  26. Kathleen sweetie, I’m finding it hard to follow what you’re asking.

    You are asking manufacturers to tell you what service providers can do to become easier to work with.

    Manufacturers are telling you that service providers could make themselves easier to find, and that would make them easier to work with.

    I hear you coming back, saying No, No, that’s the Wrong Answer. The Right Answer is that there should be more service providers. (But you can’t clone yourself, so that is not actually something manufacturers will ask you do to make yourself easier to work with.) Or maybe the right answer is that the cost of crude oil should reflect the fact that there is ultimately a limited supply of it, so that transportation becomes expensive and production relocates to where the consumers are and creates an employment market? Except that service providers can’t do anything about the price of a barrel of oil, so you aren’t going to get manufacturers asking that they do that either.

    I know that what you are asking is blindingly obvious to you: you have ten pages of 10-point font on it. It should be blindingly obvious to us. And I do come here to stretch my mind, so it’s fair to ask us to do the work ourselves. But for myself, I simply don’t understand the question. I don’t know what kinds of things you are asking manufacturers to tell service providers they need — especially if service providers aren’t going to do any of them.

    Is that your point — that there is nothing service providers can do to make themselves easier to work with?

    If that is the case, is it possible that the manufacturers here recognize that — which is why they aren’t piling on with the helpful suggestions?

    I’m sorry to be so dense. This is really important stuff.

  27. Tom Lo says:

    Tom here again. @Sabine, thanks for the search terms, and @Miracle, I’ve been trying to get out there on the social media sites — twitter.com/caapparel (follow me!), Facebook pages, blogging (caapparel.tumblr.com), and also starting to do SEO for key words that get me placed in the most visible and trafficked sites. So, I’m doing my part, as well as directories and such.

    But, @Jennifer has a great point. I get a lot of crazies coming to me. “What? I can get this made in China for 50 cents. And you can’t match that price for my 100 pieces. Oh, and I have four colorways.” Part of me DOES want to be found, but part of me is scared by who will find me. I get all sorts of folks who come to me thinking I make my own fabric, and I also get those that know the business and throw their attitude at me. So, part of me DOESN’T want to be found. :/

    It all depends on the customer and what kind of rapport we have. I’m at a point where I cut bait soon–I cannot finance customers that don’t pay, and I can’t babysit people that don’t want to do their part of the work but still expect miracles. The ones that are good, I ask for business, the ones that aren’t, I don’t.

    But, from the DE’s side, many manufacturers don’t share their contractor info. I don’t have to explain why, especially if the contractor is good. We’re a shrinking pool…

  28. Cheryl says:

    It has been brought to my attention that I need to clarify my earlier post (Feb. 24th) – The ‘last post/question’ I was referring to was in the Member Forum, not the public Blog. I apologize for any offense.

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