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Not to beat a dead horse, but...

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:13 am    Post subject: Not to beat a dead horse, but... Reply with quote

There has been some talk, some confusion and some misunderstanding about some comments made on the board about professionalism, and what constitutes it.

This comment was in another thread and I think this is about the closest articulation to what we mean when we say professional:

The good thing is this whole CPSIA thing has caused me to really look at my business model and realize the numbers were just not working. Working very long hours and in the end not much profit, if any. In a way this has been a real eye opener for me and even if they change the testing requirements I will most likely be changing my whole business model.

A lot of people "fall into" the children's business. What starts out as a self-interest project usually gets attention from friends and family and just keeps gaining momentum from there. The person may eventually end up in a place where they run a business but never sat down and mapped it out.

When this happens a lot of things end up resulting from that:
1- pricing that does not accommodate wholesale sales
2- inefficient sourcing that is not suitable in a production environment
3- sewing standards not suitable in a production environment
4- paperwork, marketing materials and items like hangtags, etc. that lack the polish suitable for a showroom or retail store
5- production inconsistencies (cutting, fusing, etc) that are not suitable for wholesale selling
6- lack of understanding of how the process functions

This is not to point fingers at anybody, but to say these are the realities of people who sort of end up in this industry. Fashion Incubator has always been about educating design entrepreneurs (DEs) so that these issues are eliminated and DEs are able to compete in their marketplace as respectable manufacturers.

What often happens is that some people, instead of working on improving these things get defensive and claim that it's their right to have that "weakness" and that it is in fact an advantage. This is all fine and ok but the truth of the matter is a strong economy and lax regulations allowed that to be the case, but a weak economy and strong regulations are completely changing the game.

If you are a small manufacturer, or a large manufacturer, or a micro manufacturer (just you and two machines) you should still have the knowledge and skill set to produce a product of utmost quality with the highest level of efficiency you can achieve. If you CHOOSE not to do that, well at least you know and have made an informed decision, rather than not knowing at all.

This law is forcing some level of professionalism among all childrens' wear producers. From enforcing existing labeling regulations (which a lot of people weren't following) to adding more labeling requirements, to adding the requirement that products be certified for safety. It's a bar being raised which may never, ever be lowered.
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