“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your destination” -Earl Nightingale.
The Apparel Entrepreneur Roadmap
The Apparel Entrepreneur Roadmap
The roadmap is a digital platform that empowers apparel entrepreneurs and democratizes fashion!
Tackle domestic, small-batch manufacturing's challenging steps and obstacles using FABRIC's Apparel Entrepreneur Roadmap. The Roadmap is a DIY step-by-step checklist that contains the secrets to no-minimum and small-batch manufacturing and provides a direct pathway into on-demand, customized manufacturing. Now you can provide limited "drops" and personalized/customized products direct-to-consumer on time and on-demand without prior experience, millions of dollars, a large staff, or going overseas.
Virtual step-by-step guidance in...
- Design development - Samples/prototypes, tech packs, patterns
- Manufacturing - No-minimum, small batch, large batch, on-demand, limited drops
- Business startup - Business plan, licenses, taxes & accounting
- Branding - Logos, fonts, colors, voice, brand style guide
- Marketing & Sales - Website, social media, sales reps, trade shows, showrooms, advertising, online sales, wholesale, retail
- Fashion shows and trunk shows - Produce a show or participate in a show
- Growing - Move into on-demand manufacturing or large batch manufacturing
- Consultations and guidance - Save money by learning to DIY via videos, virtual, or in-person
- Hire the Expert Button - Hire our team of experts if you don't want to DIY virtually or in-person
- Downloadable resources - Notes, forms, lists, sources
- Industry contracts - Cutting tickets, sewing contracts, grading/marking tickets, and more
- Tech pack templates and organizational forms - spec sheets, cost sheets, bill of materials (BOM), fabric worksheets, trim worksheets, vendor forms, purchase orders, and more
- Sourcing - Online wholesale material/trim sources and a free sourcing library
- Instructions - How to DIY or provide the information that the expert needs to do it for you
- Haute Tips - Quick video tips
- Video lessons/classes - The "must haves" in basic industry skills including costing, specs, sourcing, textiles, flats, navigating manufacturing, QC
- Links, Referrals and Sources - Wholesale material/trims sources, contractors, and other industry experts
- Quality Control checkpoints - Catch issues before its too late
- Access to no-minimum, small batch, and on-demand manufacturing
It's like having a Production Manager, Technical Designer, Quality Controller, Branding Expert, and Business Coach guiding you. This one-of-a-kind tool is a combination of a virtual PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Consultancy, and Academy. Now you don't have to have a degree, experience, millions of dollars, your own expert staff, or meet high minimums to navigate this complex industry.
How It Works
After upgrading from the Free Membership to the Apparel Entrepreneur Membership, you'll find the Roadmap in your member dashboard. Click on Step 0: Getting Started to familiarize yourself with the roadmap, set up your client folder, and get started. Then you'll independently and freely move around the roadmap to work your way through business startup, branding, design/sample making, manufacturing, marketing, fashion shows, and eventually growing your brand. Skip anything you don't need. Repeat any step as many times as you want. Watch the videos, read the instructions, and download all of the resources along the way. You'll find links into your client folder on almost every step where you can upload everything our team needs from you and we will upload everything you need from us. You'll also find a "Hire the Expert" button on most of the steps to get assistance with any step. With the roadmap, you can hire FABRIC's experts or you can hire experts and contractors anywhere. The roadmap simply guides you so you can provide everything needed to the people or companies you contract out to do the work.
Most apparel entrepreneurs have a good idea for a niche sewn product, but they have no large capital investment, no prior domestic production management experience, no staff, and may not even have a fashion degree.
The fashion industry is set up for big brands with billions of dollars and a huge staff of experienced industry experts. They manufacture thousands of pieces overseas in factories that have large minimums and cheap labor. The more items they make of each design, the cheaper each item is to make. This is known as economies of scale. Economies of scale are cost advantages companies experience when production becomes efficient, as costs can be spread over a larger amount of goods.
This traditional apparel manufacturing process is flawed and isn’t set up to meet the needs of modern, digitally native apparel entrepreneurs who want to make smaller quantities of niche sewn products domestically to fill a need in the marketplace at a competitive price point. So most new apparel entrepreneurs struggle to overcome these obstacles:
- High minimums (MOQ’s) required.
- Large capital investment needed.
- Requires a full-time, knowledgeable and experienced team who understand technical design, sourcing, production management, and quality control.
- High probability of damages and unusable inventory due to lack of understanding of the brand’s role and responsibilities in Quality Control.
- Physical proximity of resources. Lack of local resources. Most domestic resources are in LA or NY. Majority of factories are overseas. Overseas manufacturing comes with…
- Language barrier
- Long lead times of shipping and customs
- High tariffs on imports
- Loss of intellectual property
- Lack of communication
- Lack of quality control
- Unsustainable practices that have made the fashion industry one of the most polluting industries on the planet
- Unfair labor practices
THE SOLUTION - FABRIC'S ROADMAP
The roadmap provides step-by-step guidance through the hurdles of manufacturing to apparel entrepreneurs who may not have domestic sewn product manufacturing experience. The road map puts control, ownership, responsibility, and creativity back into the hands of the brand owner, and it saves the brand owner thousands of dollars. With the guidance of the roadmap, the brand owner becomes their own Production Manager and QC Manager and learns to navigate each step in the manufacturing process independently and domestically. When the brand owner manages each step (pattern making, sourcing, sampling, grading, marking, production cutting, production sewing) in the process, they can....
- Get small batches made domestically
- Own their own intellectual property
- Manufacture on-demand, just-in-time, or only what they've pre-sold
- Customize and personalize their products to individual client orders with unique prints and designs making their product more unique and desireable to justify a higher price point
- Make a sustainable product
- Save thousands of dollars
- Control the quality
- Save time
- Pivot instantly to meet consumer demand
Things to consider
The roadmap is NOT an easy button, but it IS an easier button. Manufacturing a sewn product domestically is not easy. There are many hurdles to overcome. The roadmap is meant to shed light on the hurdles and how to navigate them with guidance from industry experts who have successfully overcome those hurdles personally.
Developing and manufacturing a sewn product is expensive. The guidance in the roadmap is meant to make it more affordable but it will still require a significant investment. However, the roadmap provides the secrets to small-batch manufacturing and Production Management/QC. When a brand can make small quantities domestically and manage its own production, it can save thousands of dollars.
There is a fee to use the roadmap because the roadmap provides valuable guidance, resources, education, steps, and tools. The fees to use the roadmap do not cover the actual labor and materials. The brand will still need to pay for the labor and materials including, but not limited to, pattern making, sample sewing, materials, trims, pattern grading, markers, cutting, production sewing, any branding, marketing, legal, accounting, and business materials it needs. FABRIC offers full and partial scholarships into the roadmap to assist disadvantaged apparel entrepreneurs to make the roadmap fees even more affordable.
The roadmap is not going to solve all of the issues involved in starting an apparel brand, but we work hard to provide as many resources as possible to help solve as many issues and obstacles as we can. We are constantly updating and adding more information and resources to the roadmap so it is always growing and improving. We haven't found anything else quite like this anywhere. The roadmap is a unique, one-of-a-kind resource containing information that would only be learned through trial and error and experience. We're proud to have been able to help hundreds of brands with the resources they need to bring their ideas to life!