Monday, July 30, 2007

What to do when you’re not the expert

I am not a seamstress either so I can relate to this comment! (I think the last time I took out my sewing machine, was to make the first pairs of Robeez.)

A question from Sophia: I’m looking at clothing created for children, but my problem is that I don’t sew. I’m having a difficult time finding someone that will sew what I’m looking for. Is there anyone you could recommend or at least a direction that I can go?

I faced this same challenge in the early years of Robeez. For the first few years, we followed a cottage industry production model. Here’s how it worked: I cut the leather pieces and prepared the notions. All the pieces were then delivered to a seamstress who worked from home. Seamstresses were paid on a per piece basis. The shoes were then returned to me and I reviewed the shoes and prepared them for packaging.

There are a number of places to find seamstresses:

  • Visit a local drycleaner/alteration store for recommendations
  • Place an ad in a local newspaper
  • Poll friends and family for contacts
  • Contact a local college or design school with a fashion program

This production model worked for a number of years. As time went on, Robeez grew quickly, and we decided to bring production in-house to manage volumes and quality. Today, Robeez has over 200 leather cutters, seamstresses, and quality control coordinators working in our production facility.

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