Dallas meeting June 25-26 2005

Darien Wilson of Zolowear Inc advises me that she and her competitors (all producers of baby slings and the like) will be meeting in Dallas the last weekend of June 2005. No, you’re not invited (yet). I’m not invited either but I’m working on it so I may be road tripping toward Dallas too. If any of you would be in the area and interested in meeting -with no established purpose at the time of this writing- then email me.

I’d like to take this time to reiterate that manufacturing professionals (designer entrepreneurs) are best served by working together. Think of your competitors as colleagues; if you’re all working together and are familiar with each other’s proprietary designs, it’s far less likely that one of your competitors will knock you off because everybody would learn of it and societal pressure being what it is, you’d probably get kicked out of the group for being a not-nice person.

I’ve copied/pasted my previous posting regarding the baby sling business here:

Speaking of niche markets and products, I took a tour through the DE baby sling business (I saw 3 book buyers on the list; made me feel good). Wow, who knew? It seems the DE companies producing baby slings are actively helping each other in very direct ways. They’ve created their own community. They have a discussion list, they swap and test each other’s products and they even have free instructions and free patterns so people can make their own baby slings rather than buying them.

I think that is pretty cool. I’ve been saying forever, DEs have got to stick together and these businesses are doing it. Obviously they learned that paranoia is a business death kiss. I wonder if they’ll form an association, that’d be cool too.

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One comment

  1. Cinnamon says:

    I feel the same way and have tried to stay in contact with a few of the other purse/bag folks like msyelf. I’ve struck up friendships with a few of them, and even got an email once from someone saying that they’d seen the website of someone who had been selling a bag made from the same fabric with the same basic shape as mine. It wasn’t a terribly creative design and it’s one that I no longer sell because I grew tired of making it, so I emailed this person and said I’d notice her design was similar to mine and then suggested that she use another layer of interfacing near the top of her bag to make the shape a little firmer. She emailed me and was very nice and told me that she hadn’t intended to copy my bag but liked it so much that she tried to make it from looking at my pictures online and when several people liked it she put it on her site.

    We then began talking about interfacing sources and actually trading information. It’s become an interesting online friendship, and all because I didn’t attack her for “stealing” my design which was so simple I couldn’t have patented if I tried. But I learned valuable tips from her which I wouldn’t have otherwise if I’d taken an adversarial tactic. And while some bag-makers are often put off that I’m friendly toward them, most are grateful to have someone to talk about things with. And hopefully my love for a specific interfacing will mean that it continues to be made, and therefore available to me and all the other people I’ve sent 1/2 yard samples of.

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