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January 30th, 2012

Getting Products Manufactured

Getting Products Manufactured

When I came up with the idea for the Cot Wrap, I had absolutely no experience in bringing a product to market and therefore it was a very hard and slow process.

I am lucky that the Cot Wrap is a sewn product, which means that it was comparatively simple and low cost to start making, unlike for example a plastic product which would require special moulds to be created.  However what makes it hard is that the sewing required was quite difficult for a novice such as myself.  Although the fabric which I used in the beginning was much simpler than the specially-designed and patented fabric we use today, it still wasn’t exactly the kind which you could buy in your local fabric store.

My first idea was to get a local seamstress to make up the product, with me doing all the preparation work.  However I soon realised that the seamstress didn’t have the equipment to do a professional job, and the price she would charge per product was the equivalent to the RRP which I had in mind.


		
		
			
			
		
	

I was very keen to get the Cot Wrap made in the UK, not only because I wanted to support British industry but also because I was very intimidated by the idea of going abroad, but after doing a few sums I realised that I unless I sold the product for about £40-£50 each, I would end up making a loss.  Going abroad is very daunting, but for the majority of labour-intensive products such as sewn products, it is just not viable to get them made in the UK in the long run.

A very useful article which I found is How to Manufacture a New Product Overseas by Heather Allard.  Be sure to read through all the comments, there is some very useful info hidden in there.  However, something which I think the article fails to emphasise is the high minimum orders which overseas manufacturers typically require.  This can be a huge barrier.  If your product can be made in the UK it may be a good idea to at least start off this way so that lower quantities and a lower investment of funds can be made.

image source:  http://pamdora.com/blog/2008/05/26/sew-modern-vintage-sewing-machine

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