Successful Fashion Designer interview with Kathleen Fasanella by Sew Heidi

SFD 015: Find a Factory in the USA to Make Your Clothing Line

You’ve reached out to clothing factories and manufacturers, but no one replies! Learn essential strategies about how to approach them and what terminology you need to know so factories will take you and your clothing line seriously. Get industry insider secrets from expert Kathleen Fasanella to learn how to find a factory in the USA to make your clothing line.

Kathleen Fasanella is author of one of the fashion industry’s best resource books, The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing. She’s a trained pattern maker with almost 4 decades of experience, and now owns a factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In this interview, she shares why speaking the right language can help factories and vendors take you seriously, how to make sure your production stays on track so you don’t get bumped out of line, and why designing isn’t always as glamorous as it can seem.

You will learn:

  • Less expensive and more effective alternatives to FIT or FIDM for technical design
  • Why you may be more technically inclined than you think (hint: if you can sew, you are)
  • The difference between a manufacturer and a sewing contractor
  • How speaking the right language will help suppliers and factories take you seriously
  • Tricks to find a factory in the USA to make your clothing line
  • Why you should only produce one style with a new factory
  • The realities of being a designer, and why it’s not as glamorous as you think
  • How to make sure your production stays on track and you don’y get bumped out of line for a bigger order

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SFD 015: Full Podcast Transcription

Heidi: Hey everybody this is Sew Heidi and you’re listening to the Successful Fashion Designer Podcast we all knew that the fashion industry is brutally competitive and it takes loads of hard work to get ahead the problem is that everyone’s secretive and tight-lipped about their ways. After working as a designer and educator for over a decade I wanted to help break down those barriers and bring you valuable knowledge from industry experts and this show is exactly where you’ll find that whether you’re trying to break into the fashion world make yourself more marketable launch your own label or become a successful freelancer we’ll help you get ahead in this cutthroat fashion industry. This is episode 15 of these Successful Fashion Designer Podcasts, and today I’m chatting with Kathleen Fasanella a author of one of the fashion industry’s best resource books called The Entrepreneurs Guide To Film Product Manufacturing Kathleen is a trained pattern maker with almost four decades of experience and now owns a factory in Albuquerque New Mexico in this interview she shares why speaking the right language can help factories and vendors take you seriously how to make sure your production stays on track so you don’t get bumped to the back of the line and why designing isn’t always as glamorous as it can seem.

Kathleen: What designers really do in real life I would never ever want that job designers in real life have extremely difficult jobs you know they’re basically it’s not basically their project managers.

Heidi: Before we jump into the interview I want to remind you can help to show out and make it easier for others to discover by leaving a rating on iTunes if you enjoy this episode I’d really appreciate it you take 60 seconds to do that visit to leave your rating and thanks for your support and help to access the show notes for today’s episode visit now on to the interview with Kathleen. So tell us just a little bit about kind of who you are in the industry and what you do.

Kathleen: Okay. I’m a pattern maker and I’ve been doing it for 37 years I started my career working for brands back when we still had factories in the US and everybody manufactured their own stuff and then I started freelancing in 1995 so I guess that’s 22 years now and you know I’d been doing consulting before then I’d been I was you know the term consultant was always kind of a was not something you ever wanted to admit to anybody in you know polite company that you did it’s funny how things have turned around but so I was a production troubleshooter and so I would you know went through you know different plants mostly in the Americas and would do troubleshooting in those factories so they would be you know optimized and you know I did training but in factories so it’s kind of been you know strange I guess different certainly just the turn about how things you know work now anyway so about two years ago I guess two and a half years ago I just got bored and it was becoming in Greece you know I do my work I do the pattern and prototyping and the training and all that kind of stuff and then pass it off to contractors for the contractors to do production and then what happened was it was becoming increasingly difficult more difficult for me to find contractors who could do the kind of work that we that were known for here we don’t we do more higher-end type products you know we do complex production code suits you know that kind of stuff certainly more complexity as far as products are concerned not teas and not t-shirts yoga pants and that kind of stuff we don’t really do that kind of thing so in order to find contractors that did more you know complex production it was just becoming harder and harder and harder so we decided to open up our own factory and then you know thought it would be a good opportunity to realize some long-term goals that I had that kind of you know things that I’ve been working on through the years and just was never able to do it in kind of a more expedited fashion which is specifically the manufacturing boot camps that we do which is it’s strictly a charity people just they don’t understand you know they you know think that they’re supporting me in my business by signing up for boot camp and it’s like no we lose money on this you know but we bring people in twice a year we being volunteers and from all over the world and over four days we cut in so products that we then donate to charity and the products that we make are complex we don’t again we’re not making t-shirts and sweatpants you know we’re making children’s coats you know children’s winter coats this last spring we do it we do it in the fall we do it in the spring and in this last spring we’ve made 200 pairs of pants most of our products go to needy kids on New Mexico reservations we are dead last in every economic indicator and social indicator in the United States you know we’re like 50th place for everything so we keep our products here and we bring people in from all over the world and you know it’s very successful it’s we don’t really we don’t really need to advertise it you know do an announcement and we’re full you know I now six months in advance when registration is open and we fill in 30 minutes you know.

Heidi: Yeah. That’s amazing…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …and what type of people are coming to this this boot camp and what are their goals are these people who just want to have a further understanding of the manufacturing process or are these people who are doing it to help and give back on a charitable level as you mentioned or what are some of their goal in terms of attending the boot camp?

Kathleen: Well we have a range of people which is great I like to have a whole cross-section I’m pulling up the bios of these people but for example some people start their own lines okay so they want to know more about the process and that kind of thing we have people that are employees of other companies so we probably have oh probably I’m going to do a count we’ve got one two three four five six seven eight nine probably about thirty percent at least thirty percent of the people who come already have jobs in the industry and they work for other companies and a lot of times their companies pay for their training here so and then other people are just you know curious and frankly I wish we had more of them because you know some of the designers that sign up they basically don’t have any skills but the few we get home so as people that so as a hobby we get a very small percentage of them but I really like them because the ones that are brave enough to sign up for this usually have really solid skills then they end up being quite valuable they might not know much about the industrial process but we do complete training here but they have good handling they understand construction and they understand how things go together you don’t have to explain to them that you need to backstitch you know when you’re starting and ending a seam but we actually don’t have any requirement so I mean it we take people first come first serve which means we get you know we have lets you know we’ve got one two three four five six seven eight nine about 30% of the signups for this next boot camp basically have no experience you know or so little it’s…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: …yeah, and you know we’ve done this before we I mean that’s kind of its kind of the cool thing that we do is that we’re able to take I mean there’s no trick to getting a bunch of very experienced people and doing what we do turning out a hundred you know winter coats or two hundred pairs of pants if you got a crack team you know people that has experience…

Heidi: Sure:

Kathleen: …it’s quite another thing if you’ve got 30 percent of your signups don’t even know how to sew.

Heidi: But this is so cool and this is something I’ve had conversations with other people about so I would love to get your insights and a couple things I’ve heard you say in other interviews that you know you guys are slammed and you and correct me if I’m wrong that you get more demands than you can handle in terms of manufacturing and one of the challenges is finding the labor to support that is that…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …correct?

Kathleen: Yeah, and that’s one of the reasons why we do this with the idea that people will see this as a viable career and especially in technical support because everybody wants to be a designer but what people don’t realize is that for every designer position there’s something like you know you need at least ten other people to I’ve you know 10 to 20 other people to support that position so we’re very top-heavy right now we’ve got all these people want to be designers and know we’re not even close to the number of people to support them you know.

Heidi: And so what does leads to which it sounds like some of the conversations I’ve had with other people could be correct from what I think I’m hearing you say is that if I’m interested in breaking into fashion but like you said there’s a million designers and a fraction of that in terms of job availability it’s really, really tough to get in so instead of going to design school spending a bunch of money and then having a really hard time finding a job I could take this alternative route go learn some of these skills from the ground up and build which I think could ultimately lead to a million other opportunities but just taking this as an alternative route where there is a lot of opportunity for me to find a job to learn a skill that’s needed. What are your thoughts on that?

Kathleen: Well the a job as what as the designers that an alternative route to being a designer what do you say?

Heidi: No, not as a designer I mean I think as you and I have already discussed it’s really, really saturated it’s really tough but I want to work in fashion and on some level and I want to get my foot in the door and maybe I don’t have the means to go to college for four years and get some type of a degree and so I see this as an alternative route to breaking into the industry on some level and getting all this exposure to all the fascinating stuff that goes on behind the scenes.

Kathleen: Yeah. But, yeah the other thing too is you have to be a tech you have to be technically oriented you know a lot of people aren’t entirely sure what that involves you know people have this idea that you know I like to bring people in here because they can see what some like what my job is really like I think they just think that you know here it’s just a bunch of drudgery doing the same thing every day it’s not interesting and it’s like and they want to do something creative and that’s actually quite insulting you know because we’re not drones we’re not robots we also need to be involved and engaged in our work and we need to be inspired by it and have a mission and be happy with what we’re doing and doing good work so you know I am nothing if not creative all day long you know but its solving problems so somebody doesn’t go broke or you know somebody orders 45 inch white fabric instead of 60 inch white fabric you know that really takes some chops to make that happen for somebody without you know them getting buried so you know I think it’s I think this is a great business to be in and I think that if somebody’s interested in getting in the business that’s great but you have to be inclined you know you have to have mechanical aptitude and the thing I run across over and over again women who sew they say they have no mechanical aptitude and they don’t understand no sewing is the very definition of mechanical aptitude mechanical aptitude does mean working with machines that means putting things together so as long as they can tap into that and then you know be affirmed and all that then they do great like you know my assistant she I can’t you know she’d never handled a screwdriver when she started here and it’s like well you know chica you’re gonna have to, you’re gonna have to you have to pick up that screwdriver it’s and now she’s I mean she’s fearless well she’s not fearless she you know has fear but she goes she works through it anyway you know so she is really great.

Heidi: So would you say a good litmus test for someone thinking that maybe this could be an alternative route for a career path if they can so and enjoy the process of that would that be…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …an indicator? Okay.

Kathleen: That’s good that’s good and then also I think it’s like okay as a designer you can come into design from another end you know if you’re an artist or something like that you’ve got connections and you’ve got good horse sense you know you can come into the business and make a career as a designer the reason why they offered that why you know you basically have to have a design degree these days to get a job otherwise and it’s mostly just to limit you know all the you know it’s to winnow the field you know there’s just so many people it’s just one way to eliminate candidates for consideration excuse me this so the thing about this end of it is so I mean in my opinion you really don’t need to have if you’re going to get a job and you don’t have a design degree somebody basically already has the infrastructure set up to support that position but no smaller operation you know it’s not necessarily true so you really need to have some kind of design background now for technical positions if you want to do something if you want to do something more than just be a line stitcher you really do need some education you really do you can wing being a designer without a design degree but you probably should have some kind of degree and I can get back to that in a minute but for the technical positions you really you need to take pattern-making you need to take construction you need to take textile science it’s it would just be I can’t imagine somebody becoming for example a pattern maker which is a very simplistic job title to describe a product design engineer because it’s an edge it’s an engineering job…

Heidi: It’s very complex, yeah.

Kathleen: …yeah, yeah. So I just can’t imagine somebody doing my job and not having some training I’ve heard good so I’m and I think personally I think community colleges are great I think two years at a community at a good Community College and you’re you know LA Trade Tech is good I’ve heard good things about Seattle Community College El Centro College in Dallas these colleges that are maybe off the beaten track people think of they think of F.I.T. they could C.A.D. and stuff like that and you know those schools don’t have a good reputation for technical support you know and this is the other thing people out there listening they think this sounds boring and everything but let me tell you I make twice as much as designers do you know pattern makers we you know just because we’re not leading the process and we’re not in charge and we’re not in magazines or whatever doesn’t mean that we’re poorly compensated we are very well compensated.

Heidi: And there’s a high demand for that, yeah…

Kathleen: Yes.

Heidi: …placement correct, yeah?

Kathleen: Oh yeah.

Heidi: Yeah?

Kathleen: Yeah, because it’s a hard job and to take people yelling at you all the time blaming you for everything so you have to have a thick skin you know?

Heidi: Yeah, I think you have to have a thick skin anywhere in the industry but you know obviously certain roles are a little bit more intense than others and I I’m fascinated by the engineering and like you say pattern maker is a very simple name for something that is genuinely insanely complex and technical and the engineering that goes into turning flat fabric into a three-dimensional form is fascinating so I think it’s brilliant what you guys do and it’s not a skill that I have. So, okay so I think that’s a really interesting alternative route and I’ll link to all those community colleges that you mentioned in the show notes and that was gonna be my next question, is that I think there’s opportunity to get education on this without spending an arm and leg and looking at community colleges and vocational schools and then maybe even you know getting real behind-the-scenes experience by doing something like your guy’s boot camp program and combined you can take that up and package it up into a really great skill set that’s very marketable.

Kathleen: Yeah, probably just having an interest in the technical side of it instead of just wanting to be a designer you know.

Heidi: And so, I’d love to talk a little bit more also about you know you guys manufacture and you work with a lot of designers I think on a varying scale from small independent designers to more established brands and I’d love to talk a little bit more about the process so a lot of people in the audience are wanting to start their own label or maybe they already have their own label and I think one of the challenges and one of the questions I get all the time is you know how do I even go about finding a manufacturer and so I’d love to kind of get some insights on you know what the process what’s the best process people out there can follow and when okay when they’re when they’re thinking about approaching someone like you or you know what does that even look like and how would you advise people to go about that and the smartest way possible?

Kathleen: Okay. Well, first we need to back up first okay there’s to this businesses become increasingly splintered between new companies and new ideas and I don’t know what you want to call it okay people who have just a different vision and mindset of how things should be done versus people who are established and have been in the business for years okay…

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: …so there’s a big split right there okay and basically most of the new people fail I don’t know what the failure rate is probably 95% I don’t a super, super high people who do it more traditionally in other words the way that it should be done I mean I you know it means crazy it’s crazy what people are doing you know people that prepare and prepare beyond what they’ve decided that they’re willing to do in other words you know they want to go on to a blog and see a YouTube video two minutes or like see this podcast and then they’re ready to manufacture…

Heidi: Right.

Kathleen: …no not happening you’ll be one of the 95% who fail…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: …but the biggest piece of advice I could tell anybody on this program who is listening who really wants to make it is semantics I mean vocabulary terminology matters so hugely so right now you said for example you came to me and you were talking about you’re looking for a manufacturer looking for a manufacturer over and over and over I write you off immediately just immediately you know I would just go on look for a tactful way to end that conversation and move on okay because legally this is not my opinion legally you are the manufacturer and I don’t know how many times I keep telling people this I am a contractor it’s a legal definition it’s not semantics it’s not you know I realize that there’s all these people you go out on the web in this space and you see everybody talk about manufacturing and they’re talking about somebody like me legally, legally I am a contractor so right away I know somebody who either doesn’t want to bend or doesn’t pay attention okay so the thing with manufacturer is that manufacturer does not mean that you actually cut and sew it under your own auspices it means that you are the brand in other words every time somebody says oh I’m just a brand what they mean is no your manufacturer the brand is the manufacturer so there are plenty of people there’s all these businesses out there now that feed on new people okay we call them vampire okay and they love it when you talk that way because they know you don’t know anything I mean if you’re describing yourself as a brand and you’re looking for a manufacturer automatically they know you don’t know anything and there’s just no other way to say it so you look for sewing contract if you look for a sewing contractor your experience will be completely different because all of a sudden you’re gonna find people that you had never known were there.

Heidi: So would that be true even for if I’m just like blindly diving into Google to start doing some research and instead of looking for apparel manufacturer I type in apparel sewing contractor

Kathleen: Just type in sewing contractor don’t even type in apparel.

Heidi: …okay, so there’s my first step and again I don’t I don’t have expertise working stateside and I know that it’s doesn’t matter the terminology is still the same but in my experience I’ve always said manufacturers so that’s really fascinating to me and a really great learning point because we’re a manufacturing overseas stateside I’m still working with a sewing contractor.

Kathleen: Correct…

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: …and you are I would you’re the younger generation do you see what I’m saying there’s a there’s like a break between people who worked in factories who literally worked for manufacturers and now we’re all freelancing we’re all contractors.

Heidi: Okay. So, my first step is to approach it as I’m looking for sewing contractor and understand that I am the manufacturer and I am outsourcing to a sewing contractors…

Kathleen: Right…

Heidi: …only to make project…

Kathleen: Right…because all the liability all the liability of the brand rests with the manufacturer in other words the brand and this is extremely important even if you’re not making like children’s clothes for example…

Heidi: Sure.

Kathleen: …okay I mean it’s a matter of law it’s federal law its IRS you know it’s Federal Trade Commission I mean so it’s not like it’s my opinion or whatever you know state law you know but say that there’s a problem with your product all the liability rests with you so I mean I’m just speaking domestically…

Heidi: Sure.

Kathleen: …but say that there’s you know a chemical or something in the fabric or whatever that you sourced or whatever that you had sent to the contractor and they set it up for you so you know if you’re gonna get sued the brand the manufacturer gets sued because all the liability for the product rests with the manufacturer so that’s why I will always express to the nth degree I am not the manufacturer because I don’t want to get sued I’m not responsible for whatever fabric you bought you know?

Heidi: I’ve contracted you to perform a service

Kathleen: Correct.

Heidi: …and I am and you cut that fabric you sew it together and the most simple terms possible but at the end of the day that finished product is my responsibility?

Kathleen: Exactly.

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: Now say that there’s a problem for example you send off a bunch of product to Saks or whatever and all the buttons fall off you know Saks is not going to say hey who sewed this up I’m gonna go get charged back from them they’re gonna go to you okay they’re gonna go to you and say hey all the buttons fell off we’re gonna charge you, you know $5.00 a garment to sew them back on all right which is really painful so you would have to go back to your contractor and get you know redress from that so but it’s a civil arrangement as opposed to you know like you know health and safety liability although it could be with kids we’re you know…

Heidi: Sure.

Kathleen: So?

Heidi: So we’re winding then the first step is to look for a sewing contractor but beyond that I mean there’s so many a night and I’ve read tons of the articles on your blog and you know I think there’s a lot of challenge for these designers when it comes to approaching someone like yourself who has a factory who has the ability to sew the product that I want to get sown in terms of like where do they even start and when how do they know that if they’re ready to approach you and what do they need to have prepared when they do approach you, you know what does that whole process look like in at what point do you say okay this is the right time to approach me and this is when I would start to take you and your product seriously and we’d really look into getting the ball rolling on getting this made.

Kathleen: Okay you know it’s just so varied we’re very flexible here because educating the customer has always been a strong element of my business from day one I mean I can tell you I could have jeez I can tell you how it works I can tell you a variety of examples but basically you know when you’re ready to write a check you know or to make a credit card payment or whatever you want to do it doesn’t work to call somebody up this you know I have this I have people I totally understand why people do this but they call up somebody like me with this timeline you know oh I want to do this and this and this and this and then they ask you all kinds of questions and then you find out they’re nowhere near placing ready to place an order for you to even have patterns made you know they’re just they’re just you know trying to they’re interviewing people okay which I totally understand but I’m just gonna me and everybody else is just going to write you off immediately so what you should realize is that when you hide when you’re gonna call somebody on the phone to talk to them potentially about hiring him I guess the first thing to think of is are you prepared to put down a deposit if the conversation with this person goes well okay alright so and there’s ways that you can do this and mitigate your risk okay for example you call me up and say you know I’ve got these this line of dresses I want to put out and you know if I’m not going to accept a deposit to produce all ten of your dresses okay if somebody does that you just run you know what I mean just get somebody else anybody who’s any good is gonna say look you know let’s just do one you know let’s just do what we’ll it’s just a test here because just like you need to test these people to make sure that they are executing according to your parameters and your wishes and you can communicate with them and stuff well we need to make sure that you’re you know not crazy or a fruit loop you know so it’s on both sides you know so but the point is is that you need to just don’t call anybody unless you’re prepared to place an order like you know as soon as the work materials arrive which should be you should be arranging for that right then and there’s nothing wrong with you know hiring three different people to do the same thing you know you have one style and you can farm it out to three different groups you know so and I realize that’s expensive but again if you are hiring like older generation garmentos who are much more highly skilled and all this other kind of stuff as opposed to somebody who calls themselves a manufacturer it’s going to be a lot cheaper it’s gonna be so much cheaper it’s crazy like there’s this business I’m not I don’t know I think they’ve been in business for seven years but people have great ways of dressing up their experience and you know we have 70 years of combined experience and it’s like you know I know these people and they you know that they were getting coffee at Ralph’s around they weren’t doing anything else you know what I mean will we all know each other or we you know we know if…

Heidi: It’s a small people industry.

Kathleen: Yeah. So, you know they have these great websites and everything but for example this one customer is one person approached me and said they wanted me to do this yoga pant for them well yoga pant is kind of it’s not out of our wheelhouse but it’s kind of a simpler product and we do more complex stuff you know we just like challenging things and nobody wants to do challenging anymore so anyway so you know he’s wanting to quote well I don’t quote because you know I never know what somebody’s going to do I never know if they’re going to change they’re going to change a feature when I’ve already finished the pattern for the first design and then they want to change everything will changing the pattern all over again or changing the fit none of that’s free so we have to create a new staff so I charge hourly and I never know I know what the person’s gonna do or be or anything so but you don’t looking at this design and I’m you know he’s like well you know I got this quote for your like forty six hundred dollars and I’m like what I mean I couldn’t believe it I just couldn’t believe it and apparently that’s the going rate among these new companies that we call vampires okay so and he said yeah and I looked at I looked at you know the he said look I’ll send you over the quote so I looked at it and I was like I was just floored I said you know we would charge you know $400 or $500 to do this suppose like I can’t even imagine justifying charging almost $5,000 to do this thing and you know what he didn’t hire me I have this happen over and over people don’t hire me because they think that I don’t know that we’re up to no good or we must not be any good because we’re not charging these rates of people that they can find easily in the social space you know because old-timey garmentos and stuff are much more difficult to find if they even have a website…

Heidi: Sure they’re not hanging on an Instagram posting that perfect behind-the-scene pictures.

Kathleen: Exactly, yeah.

Heidi: So, okay so you mentioned the time to approach you or anyone really is when you are ready to write the check so what does that really mean do I have I mean I’d like to get a little bit granular here?

Kathleen: Okay.

Heidi: Do I have my fabric source and I am I have my design sketched out and I’ve got a rough idea of what I want to do but I don’t have patterns made and I don’t have a physical sample made like with really where am I at…

Kathleen: Okay.

Heidi:and I’m gonna make okay I have some cash…

Kathleen: Okay.

Heidi: …and I have a stretch but maybe I don’t have my buttons picked out or I do have my buttons like where should I really be?

Kathleen: Okay. So, the first thing I want to do with somebody is so we’re on the same page as I mean we get people in varying stages so if you’re just at that stage you’re at the conceptual stage okay so what I’ll want from you is an idea of well for one thing I want to one thing that will tell me about construction and the type of finishing that’s in your product is who you intend to sell to I mean you’re probably not going to be selling in a store but if you weren’t gonna be selling in a store what store would that be and not only what store would that be but you know you look at a rack in the store and they’ll have a variety of different brands on that rack and we call that who you hang with okay all those brands are commensurate so I’m gonna ask you who do you hang with and I mean who is gonna be on the same rack as you are at the store okay so that will tell me kind of you know what family you’re in okay…

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: …and then a lot of people you know they don’t know what they want so it’s like who’s your customer you know some people have very defined wish list some people are just middle the market some people that you know if they can tell me and then as far as how you express your idea you know I’m very open to that some people they either have a garment for example I need some something to go by fit wise so if you have for example a dress and you like the way it fits but it doesn’t look any it’s not you’re not copying that dress but you like that fit you have your own ideas and what that looks like so you would send me the dress and then you would send me the type of material that you would be using for that dress not the actual fabric but for example if you’re going to be making out of georgette you know say silk georgette silk double georgette right send be a nice poly georgette you know I don’t want anything in black nothing in black nothing in dark Navy nothing in a dark color at all even if your final design will be in black and dark colors okay because we can’t see fitting mistakes in dark colors so just you know they’re just invisible so we like to see the worst so that’s a light color if you don’t have your buttons or whatever just send me some buttons that will be similar to what you envision using…

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen …if you can’t draw that’s fine you can go on the web you can create a collage and you know say I like this collar I like that sleeve I like this cuff I like you know that kind of thing and then if you’re somebody who has to be everybody’s so different okay some people have to recommend that’s just not good enough for them and I get it so what they do is I tell them to go to the thrift store in to buy product okay because if they’re very particular and new one’s for example about certain kinds of seams and they don’t know how to articulate that then you can go to the store you can buy a product that’s got those cut types of seams and you could just I would recommend that you cut it and you put those on cards on index cards because again you’re not just hiring me you’re hiring maybe two other people to do the same project okay and if you’re hiring old garmentos are going to be charging you, you know 75 to 125 dollars an hour they’re not going to be charging you $5,000 dollars you know so you can say you know you could do a rough sketch and you can you know number your index cards and put you know circles with you know you can label each seam in your sketch and say I want the seam here it just takes a little creativity I have other people buy a garment at the store and then take masking tape masking tape and you know two inch wide masking tape and just lay it down on the garment you know with arrows everywhere or whatever and they actually write on the garment what they want you know changes that they want deviations so that works too

Heidi: I love the suggestion of cutting up garments and that’s something I’ve done and I’ve advised to other people like if you don’t know what something is called or you don’t know how to draw it find an example and cut it apart and tape it to you know there’s nothing better than a real-life example of how you want something done.

Kathleen: Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

Heidi: That’s gonna be the easiest for you to follow then trying to figure out what terminology and jargon everyone is using and does it really mean the same thing.

Kathleen: Well, that is the huge problem that we’ve got right now there’s something called Gresham’s law which it’s a law of economics in which we if you have too much bad in the marketplace that actually chases out the good okay so it’s kind of the situation we’ve got right now we’ve got a lot of people for example that you know ten years ago five years ago whenever started clothing lines and they failed and they had all these people coming to them and saying well hey how did you do that and instead of people really realizing wait a minute why do I want to get advice from somebody who’s failed in their business people I don’t understand people’s thinking so before you know what these people become consultants okay and so but they’re very good at social media they’re very good at you know putting stuff I read all these articles out there and most of them are just terrible and so they don’t use terminology appropriately so that’s really the thing that kind of scares me the most doesn’t kind of scare me it does scare me so somebody uses a term and many times I cannot tell from context if we’re talking about the same thing you know they don’t you know you don’t have to be an expert on the difference between a cover stitch and a flat lock so going to the thrift store and cutting something up is a great solution for everybody.

Heidi: So okay so I’m prepared monetarily that gonna be a tough space though I think because…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …I don’t even if I if I have to be prepared monetarily but I have no idea what this is really gonna cost how do I do that or you know a lot of designers raise funds for their first round of production on Kickstarter or something like that and obviously before you get into production there’s still a lot of expenses but how do I even give a rough estimate of like okay how much do I have to have saved or maybe I’m getting some money from friends and family or you know wherever the cash is coming from it’s almost like the chicken and the egg?

Kathleen: Yes, yes. So, I, yeah. So, it depends to okay yeah, those are all very good questions geez I all I know is that I see I prefer that people basically have very little money because people who have a lot of money tend to blow a lot more money so people spending priorities are much different from what mine would be much, much, much different so I mean so much so if people want to do certain things I just say you know we can’t help you moving forward you know somebody wants to cut you know a hundred five hundred or a thousand of something and they don’t have any orders we don’t we don’t you know accept the order…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: …so I think that people really need to be you know they need to listen to the contractor you know they’re telling them look don’t do this that means don’t do it so we’ve got a lot of these new businesses out there that call themselves manufacturers or whatever and they’re more than delighted you know because they know that you’re a one-shot customer you won’t be back you know so and the thing about us is that we’re developing a relationship over the long term you know we want you to keep coming back we don’t want to have to continually re-educate you, you know always have a new customer that always have to bring up to speed you know because it’s just no fun I mean there’s no continuity you don’t create community I mean all that kind of stuff so for example I have one customer who couldn’t draw couldn’t do any of that kind of stuff and has no background in it she’s actually in law enforcement and with a technical product and so she can’t I mean we did all the product development all that kind of stuff and so she’s getting ready for her production run we have no minimums here but she comes to me and she says you know she has an expensive product suits and stuff you know so she thought you had to have you know 500 suits or 250 suits and it’s like no I said you have orders for those no I’m just going to go to the show and show them and stuff and I said well you know we worked out her what her size range should be and then from that you know her size ratio okay that’s how we determined how much a production run should be which is a whole other thing we could do a whole podcast on people don’t even know how to order…

Heidi: Right:

Kathleen: …they don’t even know how to order…

Heidi: How many smiles how many mediums?

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: How many large, just when you size ratio just to clarify for listeners, but yeah continue on.

Kathleen: Yeah. So, once we worked out her ideal size ratio and her two colorways I said okay the maximum you need is 48 pieces and she was she was absolutely blown away she was prepared to do ten times that okay so you know I would rather do just the 48 pieces and her still have enough money to come back you know next season then you know have her financially committed to 500 pieces that she would ever sell and the stuff it dates quickly you know fashion has a very short you know shelf life it’s you know it’s fragile so you know somebody who is really interested in your long term longevity and they get what you’re about and everything is going to want you to do less rather than more and of course you’re run into a lot of factories and stuff and they say you know you have to have this kind of minimum and that kind of minimum but it’s only because they’ve been burnt so many times and they’ve and it’s difficult to deal with a small customer because a lot of times the customer thinks that it’s our obligation you know to take them by the hand and lead them through everything but you know a factory that is small enough to be interested in doing your order is small enough that the owner themselves is working the floor in one or another either repairing a machine or you know maybe sewing in my case I’m making patterns and markers…

Heidi: Sure, yeah.

Kathleen: …and grading it so we don’t have a dedicated customer service person so if you need something like that you need to go to another kind of business okay so I personally think that you’re better served by you know people always say okay what would what advice would you give me and I give them advice and they do not follow it you know I say read this post or read this or do this or do that and they don’t do it they come back and they ask for more advice and it’s like you know I’m all tapped out you know so if you don’t listen to what people say and it’s not a situation of you know people always think okay well I don’t want to do that one thing what’s another way to get the same thing and it’s like there is no other way.

Heidi: And on that note I mean I’ll just and I’ll definitely put this in the show notes but your website is this insane vault of so much content and education resource so I think someone who is trying to come into this from zero if they spent a couple weeks and just totally been…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …on a lot of the content…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …you know that would put them light-years beyond most people…

Kathleen: Right.

Heidi: …and you know something you said to me in a previous conversation we had was you know a lot of the times the people who want to do this aren’t really serious they say they have this idea and I think you know people think about this like fantasy lifestyles like oh this is my fashion brand but the people who are really serious are few and far in between and I don’t want to mock anybody who’s out there with this amazing idea that wants to do something but it’s a lot of work there’s a lot of blood sweat and tears that goes into this and…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …and if you really want to do this seriously then you as the you as the manufacturer not talking to you Kathleen but you talking to you…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …about there in the audience you as the manufacturer as the brand to label the designer need to spend some I’m an energy investing yourself in getting educated and…

Kathleen: Right.

Heidi: …if you have the energy to do that then boy…

Kathleen: Right.

Heidi: …I really don’t have the energy to go through the whole process. Its home in the bucket.

Kathleen: Yeah. It is a lot of work people think that they can just hire they could just present a sketch and you know farm everything out and it’s just not you know the thing what designers really do in real life I would never ever want that job designers in real life have extremely difficult jobs you know they’re basically it’s not basically their project managers and so their job is to keep you know everything on the rails and have an schedule even with buffer in there to make sure that everything comes together at the right time it’s all the designers responsibility and it’s you know you have to be able to get along with people you have to be able to get people to work together you need to you need to have a certain amount of confidence in your process and what you’re doing in and other people to get them to for example to trust each other like in my case it’s very like if we’re not doing the pattern work but we’re just doing the grading and we need to send the marker somewhere else I really don’t force people to go through you for everything put your contractor and your pattern maker together let them talk to each other and then that way and that way I can get for example what kind of file formats they have if they want you know do they want a cut file do they just want to plot if they want it plotted do they have a pen plot or do they have you know an inkjet or what kind of file format they’re running what version and with the designer who wants to control everything you’re forced to go so the designer back and forth back and forth and it’s just cognitively draining and so be I really just don’t I just don’t have I just don’t have the energy for it and so what happens and a lot of people don’t we start out with good intentions but if you force us to do that kind of stuff you know it’s like oh man I’ve got to call them again and get answers to this and then they have to call the contractor get the answers and maybe the contractors annoyed that they’re having it this person is not using their time efficiently and so I won’t hear back for who knows how long so that your project will get shunted off to the side in favor of somebody else’s project where you know the designer has facilitated the situation in such a way that I can go directly to who I need to talk to in order to move forward on this I can get an answer quickly…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: …you know?

Heidi: So I’d love to talk a little bit more about like this concept of open honest and transparent communication they that can really facilitate the process and help you get through the whole production line faster and I’m sure okay I’m gonna make an assumption here that you heard this a lot but I’d love to get your thoughts on this. Is designers who have this brilliant idea but they want you to sign an NDA before they’re really don’t do anything and talk a little about that and what mindset what that does or doesn’t mean for you as a sewing instructor and how that how that comes off?

Kathleen: For me now I’m just grateful you know when they whip out an NDA to like, oh, okay that’s the bullet I’ve dodged it’s like next.

Heidi: It’s a…there’s this whole distress I think…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …anyway, you’re like my customer I am gonna take care of you, you have a very high level of confidentiality I know that…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …I talked about you don’t tell who your customers are and share their pictures and all that…

Kathleen: Right.

Heidi: …which is great but designers are so scared of their ideas getting stolen.

Kathleen: Now I can kind of understand some of that too because you go out on the web and these like I’m telling you these new companies they put pictures of their customers products out there they use the customers names and brands to market their services and that’s just that’s just slimy I just can’t believe nobody is suing them for that I mean I’m just it’s just I’m just shocked that the customer hasn’t actually sued them and said hey you know had a lawyer call them and say hey remove this you know so that is that is definitely not kosher with people I mean with you know people I would consider who are legitimate and have been doing this made carrer of this you know so yeah so you know I don’t use my customers you know I don’t use my customers to market my services and if somebody wants to know whether I’m qualified to do their product you know they’re more than welcome to come out we actually you didn’t drop in at any time here well for the most part you know yeah we don’t have anything to hide we’re very transparent but I have a post on my on my site that talks about confidentiality about what our standards are here and why we don’t sign NDA’s you know have some people that are just really you know that there’s just no way that they’re going to before without that and I totally get that but I can tell you that the people who are most vociferous about that really have a bad reputation among most people and it’s that a lot from what I’ve seen a lot of them are kind of slimy so if you’re not a slimy person you don’t want to be really rigid about that because that’s the impression people are going to have the other thing I see is that people are actually using IP that does not belong to them so it’s like they want us to sign an NDA so we won’t tell on them you know and…

Heidi: Oh, because they’re actually ripping off the something else.

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …interesting…

Kathleen: Yeah, yeah. And then the other thing is people do all kinds of stuff that you know people you know the manufacturer will do all kinds of stuff that is crazy they want to hold me accountable for the integrity of their IP yet they’re posting on social media photographs of and video of their prototypes and all this other kind of stuff it’s like how am I going to be held accountable for that because somebody else can take that information and create products before you even get to market so I can’t be held responsible for that.

Heidi: It’s such a delicate dance though because I think you know for a lot of designer that’s you know they’re trying to build up hype for what they’re doing before they actually go to market so they’re trying to work on building this audience and get everybody really excited about it and you know and early or maybe even doing some Kickstarter campaign to…

Kathleen: Right.

Heidi: …to build funds and so there’s this really awkward delicate dance where it’s like well and I’ve heard this from and textile designers as well it’s like how much of my design that I put out in the market to show everybody how great it is before I get worried about it just getting ripped off?

Kathleen: It’s very difficult and I don’t have that answer all I can tell you is to go to somebody’s website go to somebody’s website like mine do you see photographs of any of my customers products there?

Heidi: No.

Kathleen: Do you see names of brands that I’ve worked for?

Heidi: No.

Kathleen: No? So, that tells you right there so and that’s another thing when people are sourcing for services they’ll go and they get sucked in by glitzy websites because it’s that’s what they’re used to but the best providers in the business actually have really you know they have basically a business card or a site that was like coded in 1995 literally, literally okay because they don’t need to have a fancy website they’re busy you know so it’s kind of a rule of thumb actually in this business if they have a really great website they’re usually not you know it’s the relationship is in the inverse so but if somebody is saying hey I’ve done work for so-and-so and so-and-so you know you just think about do you want everybody knowing that they did work for you.

Heidi: Sure. Okay, Kathleen I want to be respectful of your time we have just a couple of minutes left but I want to ask one other question and get your thoughts on this and you alluded to it a little bit earlier of you know me as the designer let’s say I’m working with you on this project and I’m forcing myself to be the liaison between you and everybody else which is holding stuff up and kind of pushes my product on to the backburner a little bit becomes because it becomes really difficult and but on that same note you know I’ve heard a lot of designers say that their product got pushed back three months or…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …whatever the timeline is because the factory got this order from some other bigger more important better brand higher dollar would however you want to phrase it and even if they did have a contract maybe they did or didn’t what can they do to not get squished to the back and

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi:should they have a contract and if the factory by the sewing contractor violates that contract that they were supposed to deliver on this date and it wasn’t the designer that held it up you know how could what’s what some advice you can get people to sort of navigate those as it that happens a lot…

Kathleen: Well. If that happens a lot and it happens here…

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: …and I think it’s oh gosh how I do say this okay I can only talk about in terms of my own experience…

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: …okay? So, I’m not saying that that designers are not legitimate in in their beefs because I’ve seen it at the same time I don’t think that they’re being wholly honest okay so we get a job in we’re scheduling things okay we have these time slots that are available for that we’ve committed to okay so we need for example your fabric by X date okay we need it that day or maybe we’ve got a day or two leeway but if you call me the day that the fabric is supposed to be here and then you say I’m sending it you know what’s gonna happen is I had your job scheduled I had it scheduled to be cut and then it was going to be shade marked and then we were going to be fusing it and now all the sudden my stitchers don’t have any work they don’t have any work so that means I have to send people I’m probably the only person I’m the only person I know who actually has my stitchers on salary okay not piece work not hourly they’re on salary okay so that’s the only way that I can get good people and keep them was to guarantee them income…

Heidi: Sure.

Kathleen: …so what am I going to do so I’m gonna go and I’m gonna the person who was behind you for example maybe you had just a small order you know fifty pieces well you know there’s this other order that was scheduled after yours but they already had the fabric here so what am I going to do I’m am I going to put my people I’m gonna take a hit on putting you know all these people out of work for a week which means I’m paying for it okay or am I going to move this other guy’s job in front of yours with a thousand pieces that will take three weeks to finish you tell me.

Heidi: It’s a logical business decision there.

Kathleen: Exactly, exactly. So, and people will think well it’s not that big of a deal okay they think oh well I just forgot my labels that’s no big deal like for example this one product that’s here that is delayed by like six weeks okay because it’s kind of hard to describe it but it’s got this large distinctive label that unfortunately is the very first step in the process we can’t the placement of it as such that we have to sew on the label before we do anything else but he just thought you know he’s concentrated on getting the fabric here and this other stuff but the label he didn’t start ordering it until after the fabric was already here and then he’s arguing with his vendor in LA because the guy advertises oh I can get you labels in 48 hours…

Heidi: Sure.

Kathleen: …okay and no because the guy has it done in China okay that’s in some cases he can get it in 48 hours and if you’re willing to pay Express International shipping right so there’s lots of qualifiers so we had to move other jobs in front of his and you know that we make how we make suits for goodness sakes you know…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: …so I can’t you know we have to long cutting tables and everything but this all this bundling and sorting of all these products this stuff takes up a lot of space I don’t have room to even cut your product much let’s put it in the sewing line and…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: …and we have we have a lot of machines and we’re very flexible we’re like we’re very modular for example all of our machines are on casters okay so what we actually do is every time we work on product we actually we redesign our sewing line for every single product which I don’t know anybody else who does that either so we’ll pull out all of these machines and put in all new machines based on whatever your product requires okay so in order for me to switch products you know to start working on your product versus this other product if they’re too far apart we can’t do it.

Heidi: So, what I hear as the biggest takeaway if I were really gonna think about this as a designer is one understanding the complexity of scheduling a production line and all the different moving pieces of the parts that go into that and being respectful of that and into realizing how one tiny thing one day…

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: …because I forgot to order the labels or whatever happened throws that whole thing out of whack and I have to understand and be sensitive to that…

Kahtleen: And not understand it be sensitive I mean it’s an imperative, yeah?

Heidi: Yeah. And, so on some level you know would it be wise of me to ask you for advice and say let’s say I’ve come to you I’ve hired you as my selling contractor we’re moving forward I wrote the check and maybe I didn’t know that the label had to be the first thing to be sewn on because I didn’t really understand the logistics of putting the garment together so if I sat down with you and said hey Kathleen like tell me the order of priority of getting all these things ordered and to you and help you say okay put the list of ten things together and the labels are really the first thing I do because everything else is pending on that would that be a wise way to go about it?

Kathleen: As long as you’re prepared to pay for it.

Heidi: You mean in terms of preparing to pay for your time for you to help me put it right together?

Kathleen: Right.

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: Right.

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: Right, because that’s assumed to be your job…

Heidi: Sure.

Kathleen: …you know I mean because you need to just have all the stuff that goes into your product needs to it just needs to be here for us start you know unless you can get a waiver from the contractor and they say well no you know we don’t we’re not going to be using the cuffs or something until you know we’ve got a week before we’d need those but you would need to get somebody to say okay that’s okay.

Heidi: Okay. Otherwise go into it being prepared just knowing I need to have everything ready to go right now and not…

Kathleen: Right.

Heidi: …you do something a week later or halfway through the production line?

Kathleen: Correct…

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: Correct.

Heidi: Okay.

Kathleen: Yeah. And then understand that I mean people don’t see that we have so many surprises you know we think we understand each other we think we’ve communicated you know things to people and there just doesn’t seem to be the same understanding of the imperative for example like you know the designer in sampling for example in site sampling we’ve made you know these garments and the fabrics been 55 56 inches wide or whatever there’s always a variation okay…

Heidi: Sure.

Kathleen: …and then for production we’re going to be doing you know three colorways so I told the designer okay make sure that all the yardage has the same fabric width well they get out there shopping or whatever in the marketplace and then they see something I don’t understand the reasoning okay but they just decide to they make these purchasing decisions and then get fabric that’s you know a lot either a lot wider or a lot narrower and what they don’t understand is that they’ve tripled you know I gave people a price okay say it was you know twenty twenty-five dollars you know to do this thing what they don’t understand is that they’ve tripled my cutting costs immediately you know right off the top because I cannot cut fifty five inch wide fabric with forty five inch white fabric I was counting on being able to stack…

Heidi: All the colors?

Kathleen: …exactly, exactly. Okay now I have to make a new marker which wasn’t in the budget you know we have to have I mean it’s just come it’s just it just completely throws everything off…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: Okay? So, there’s that so now we actually because I don’t even know especially if it’s somebody’s first run they’ve never done this before so we actually charge for cutting separately and I just a mom pins and needles until the stuff comes in because I never know what it’s got happen you know and then the fabric you know I want to know where people are getting their fabric not because I’m nosy not because I want to copy you not because you know I want to know your sources it’s just that some suppliers are known to be better than others okay and some like it’s a lot of people get their fabric from choppers and the stuff comes in it’s like I tell people don’t get job or fabric okay you know you don’t have continuity there’s a lot of flaws oh no this is first quality and it’s just overstock or whatever and I get it in and you know what the face of the fabric is on the outside of the roll I know it’s a chopper and I know the stuff has already been unrolled once and it’s already been inspected and it was already rejected by somebody who has a lot more chops okay so I already know we’re gonna have trouble and so I told you needed you know 200 yards and maybe there’s only 150 usable you know but I committed to making the size of this contract was say it was $10,000 now we’re losing 25% of that lot because of this bad fabric so now we’re looking at $7,500 but I’m putting in just as much effort…

Heidi: And you have to pick through the fabric?

Kathleen: …so do you see what I’m saying…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: …so this is why a lot of people don’t want to work with small companies because they don’t they’re told do the X thing but the designer goes and does what they want to do anyway you know and we don’t find out until the fabric actually comes here and we’re like oh man you know because all of a sudden we’re getting we’re getting this huge pay cut you know and then or we can’t do the job and we have to move in somebody else’s job so if we’ve got a job that’s got all these warts on it yeah it’s gonna get delayed…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: …it’s going to get delayed we’re slow and we have the patience to deal with every wart that has to be excised she knows we come to it.

Heidi: So listen to what Kathleen says she knows what she’s doing and take her advice and guidance yeah I mean I know that that’s come up a couple times in the conversation and it’s something that you know I’ve experienced with people as well as you give them all this great advice and these great ideas in this great these great suggestions and guidance and they don’t act on it or they go and do something completely different and that’s obviously something that happens anywhere anytime and is something that…

Kathleen: Yes

Heidi: …we can’t train people to do we can’t ingrain I mean some…

Kathleen: Right.

Heidi: …of its human nature and it just is a personality thing and I’ve been guilty of it too I won’t I won’t lie but good to be mindfully reminded of that work with professionals and take the advice and the guidance they give you and things will tend to go more smoothly.

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: So, Kathleen this has been fantastic please let everybody know where they can find more information about you and everything that you do.

Kathleen: I have a website it’s the most has it’s basically an Internet and it’s a repository of information that’s used by established companies and to train I don’t know how to explain it. Just it’s just got…

Heidi: Yeah, just go on.

Kathleen: …it’s an institution it’s an encyclopedia…

Heidi: Yes.

Kathleen: …of a verifiable genuine information okay and that’s fashioned-incubator com and if you go into the archives it’s there’s a you know all across the navbar you can see there’s the archive so you can just kind of scroll through there I don’t update it very much recently since we open the factory and just too busy but there’s about 3,000 pages of in-depth information solid in-depth information I mean I know at one point I think I was looking at one post it was seemed a little long to me and it turned out to be 11 pages printed 11 printed pages long so these are not like bullet short bullet point lists or whatever but if you really want to know what to do and how to do it you dive deep and then I wrote a book I wrote the very first book that there ever was on how to start a company like this you know and it’s you know from somebody’s been in the business for 37 years and you can get that it’s a little dated but the core information with a focus on production and all and how to prepare for production is solid there still hasn’t been equaled and then we have a private forum and it’s very cheap to join but you do have to read the book you have to buy a new copy to get in your first year free and it’s very cheap but it’s very inexpensive…

Heidi: Yeah.

Kathleen: …and but it’s more of a community of people and you have to use your real name and we have do have some famous people on there who use their real name and then what else then we do the boot camp and then we also do rapid product development I do a lot of training for example people come here and they want to see how do they want to set up their own factory they wanted you know two or contractor facilities what should they be looking for so we’ll walk through their product for example they’ll bring their product and I’ll say ok they need to have this kind of machine this is what it does this is what a good factory has I explained for example the amenities that we have in here feed rail I say if they don’t have this kind of stuff they’re not a real contractor because if you don’t know you know it’s a small business and you like them and they’re nice but that doesn’t mean that they’re a good fit for you so I show people so people come here and do that and then sometimes people come and they just want to they want to see what it’s like to be in a factory so we actually have volunteer projects we make some products for that we donate to the animal shelter and so people can actually I’ve had customers come and they just want to sew all day and we let them do that you know.

Heidi: Yeah. Those are priceless learning experience.

Kathleen: Yeah, and we have a nice factory you know we remodeled the entire thing you know we put in skylights it’s slide it didn’t have heat in there we’ve got heat in there we have a complete kitchen you know where the stove and so we do a lot of cooking in here and it’s a nice environment and right now as we speak we’re remodeling the exterior and we’re going to have a big mural painted out front we’ve got new windows new overhead doors restock on we’re gonna get the mural and then we’re gonna have solar…

Heidi: Oh, wow!

Kathleen: …but so I think will be the probably the most energy-efficient small factory in the United States.

Heidi: Yeah. That amazing. And I want to give an extra shout out to the book because I know I emailed you about this but I read your book oh boy well over ten years ago and it was one of the first books that I ever read and it is the best I think it runs about $60 and it’s the best 60 dollars you’ll ever get you’ll ever spend to kind of build your foundation and get your knowledge up to speed and then joining the communities is priceless being engaged with other people who are on a similar track as you are and just getting to have those conversations to help get yourself further along so a big shout out to that and everything you’re doing and I’ll put links to all of this in the show notes but thank you so much Kathleen this has been phenomenal you’re a genuine wealth of knowledge and I really appreciate you taking the time to chat and share this with everybody.

Kathleen: Well thank you for having me it’s been my pleasure…

Heidi: Awesome!

Kathleen: …and don’t hesitate to contact us if you think we could do some work for you we like you know we like interesting projects and we like nice people.

Heidi: Yeah, fantastic and make sure when you email Kathleen do a little research person and you’re looking for a sewing contractor not a manufacturer.

Kathleen: Yeah.

Heidi: Okay. Thank You Kathleen.

Kathleen: Thank you!

Heidi: Yap bye-bye. Thanks for listening to episode 15 of the successful fashion designer podcast if you’d like to learn more about any of the resources mentioned in this episode visit show notes at and since you made it this far you must have liked the episode if you can take 60 seconds to leave a review on iTunes it helps the show a lot it makes a podcast easier for people to discover it’s super easy to do and I’ve really appreciate it there’s an to leave your ratings thanks for your support and help.


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