Hello World Fashion has been working with start-up brands for almost 2 years and has gone from being just another sample room to becoming a full-blown brand building studio. We specialize in helping apparel brands start-up, scale and succeed at new and innovative business models.
Hello World Fashion used to be part of another business. I worked for that business as the Design and Development Director, and when that business went OUT of business (long story) I decided to make them an offer to buy their sample unit… moved it down the street… and boom I was in business.
Looking back, it may have been “not” the smartest way to do things.
Jumping in is something I would not normally recommend for my clients. (Planning is usually a better… uh…. plan.) However, I wouldn’t change much. Bootstrapping Hello World Fashion has been challenging, rewarding, and incredibly humbling. I have helped so many amazing people and have been living and breathing fashion which has always been MY dream.
I jumped [into this business] because I wanted to be in the fashion industry, (Always have, always will.) I wanted to help others with what I knew (fashion and technology), and I wanted to be part of the solution. This industry is flawed in many ways. Sustainability, Technology, Re-shoring…yeah yeah those are all important issues waiting for solutions… but another problem is the lack of common sense. It is surprisingly in short supply.
Our industry, when compared to other industries, has been holding itself back from massive growth by not taking a step back and looking at things beyond the bottom line.
I have been an independent designer, I have worked for large companies, I have taught classes, and I have worked for small start-up brands, I have volunteered and I have consulted. Across all of my experiences, I have consistently asked myself “how can we make this easier for more brands and designers to get in?”
I work with a very talented dispersed team of women freelancers whom all happen to be moms at this moment in time (I will be writing about this soon!). I have an amazing in-house team that keeps everything moving forward. I have worked with great partners, suppliers, manufacturing units and as technology platforms. I have spent countless hours on the phone talking to different people who are looking to start their brand. (Which I LOVE to do! Go here for a free session.)
In doing so I have been asked A LOT of the same questions. I thought I would share a few them here:
QUESTION: What is the price/cost of my product?
ANSWER: Well, first things first- what are you making? I have been asked what the price of a product is before I have even seen a drawing of it more times than I can count. Now, I know where this is coming from… you only have so much money so you want to know up-front what the investment will be. That is totally fair! Unfortunately, it is so difficult to tell a person the cost of something before understanding the materials, the quantity, the quality requirements, etc.
We built Hello World Fashion to have an open pricing platform on development specifically for this reason.
The costs for developing a style can range from $300 to $5000 dollars depending on how complex your product and supply chain is. This does not include your production. You can check out our 12 Step Program for Fashion for more information when it launches late July. Please sign up to the mailing list to be notified!
QUESTION: Will you sign my NDA?
ANSWER: Probably not.
Ha ha… no I’m not trying to be a jerk… and neither is anyone else. This is just not feasible for a person who is in the business of creating fashion to do for the most part…
Nobody owns the trademark on pants.
I hate to say it but unless you have a product that is bound by some technology innovation or is patentable/patent pending the signing of an NDA actually means that we would be in conflict even before signing. There are only so many ways to innovate a garment, they are mostly constructed the same way. IF your product is actually a legally defensible innovation- then yes we will absolutely discuss and possibly sign your NDA. We love to work as long term partners on innovative projects that push things forward, but we do not sign for things that will not fall under that category.
QUESTION: Why does it cost more to make less?
ANSWER: Its called “economy of scale”… and there is a huge misconception if you are very new to the fashion industry that it should be easier and cheaper to make just twenty pieces? Unfortunately its not. Fashion has been driving costs down since before the industrial revolution built machinery to make the process of making fabric and making manufacturing easier.
Fashion is not just glamour, runway models, and champaign. This industry is one of the oldest industries in the world. It has been finely tuned to squeeze every cent of profit out of the process.
The cutting of the fabric happens in bulk, with large saws and each cut can be done on 100s of layers producing 1000s of products at one time. Sewing factories make sure to cost the garments by timing everything. By everything I mean the picking up of the fabric → inserting into the machine → sewing the seam → and then setting it down… timing the process to the second. Everything from spinning yarn to shipping to the customer has automated as much as possible and continues to automate with innovations coming out every day. Manufacturing apparel is actually engineering…. not just designing.
The US is participating in a large way in a new model of manufacturing by supporting units called micro-factories. These micro-factories often offer MADE TO ORDER and MADE TO MEASURE clothing, knowing that this production method is on the rise as consumers become re-familiarized with the idea of custom apparel. While it will still probably cost more per unit to make these one-off items… the trade-off to the environment, to a startups bank account, and to your customer is quickly becoming a reality that is worth looking into.
We work with new and innovative companies specifically to nurture them into a successful MADE TO ORDER and MADE TO MEASURE production model, giving them the knowledge and the toolsets to grow their business one piece at a time.
We offer this service as part of our PARTNER PROGRAM and offer a co-op type of facility where brands can co-own the capacity of our sample room as if it was their own.
Please drop us a line if you are interested in our 12 Step Program for Fashion or our Partner Program. We have built our company on the idea of partnering deeply with brands to help them move towards their goals of launching their own brand.