As a friend of mine put it quite succinctly – why is the road always blocked?
It has become abundantly clear that I am not going to be able to do this entirely on my own. Besides my lack of ability on the sewing machine (I managed to bend a needle on my first day), my two children are clearly not going to allow me to get any work done.
Luckily I have been back in touch with my manufacturer and he is working on another prototype for me.
If you want a thing done well, do it yourself. – Napoleon Bonaparte
Thanks to a very generous gift I now have a sewing machine. I’ve decided to do an experiment – instead of waiting around for strangers to determine my product’s fate, why not start to manufacture my product myself?
I have ordered some swatches of fabric in order to determine the best one for my product. I hope to have a winner within a few days. Then, I will place an order and get to work. To me, nothing is more liberating than taking matters into your own hands and doing it yourself. I guess that’s why I like to self-publish my books. I cannot stand waiting for someone else to do something and having absolutely no control over the process.
I’ve got the thread, I’ve got the fabric – I’m all ready to go.
Two days later and it’s Friday. Time for the weekend, time to be excited. But not for me. The weekend just means I won’t hear a word on my project.
In my frustration I decided to contact the first small company that I mentioned many posts ago. I wanted to revisit using them to manufacture my prototype. But two days later and I haven’t heard a peep from them either. I’m pretty sure China doesn’t handle things this way. Are businesses in the U.S. just making so much money that they don’t need to respond to requests or have any interest in taking on new clients?
I guess patience is not my strongest trait.
I received my first professionally-made prototype today. It was kind of a let down. Let me rephrase that… a complete disappointment. I was hoping it would be perfect and just how I imagined, but honestly, my handmade prototypes look better than this one. For one thing, I chose the wrong fabric (again!). The one I chose is just too flimsy and it doesn’t appear to be super absorbent. It’s soft, which I like, but it’s not what I need. The stitching of one particular part is not as curved as I would like it. I am resisting the urge to just keep going with production in the interest of time, but I know that is not a good idea. The entire experience of creating a prototype is a back-and-forth process and I am just in the thick of things. But I do wish that this process moved faster and involved less waiting.
I’m not going to lie, I’m pretty discouraged tonight. I’ve considered giving up.
Once again I am waiting to receive an update on my product. Is this really how this works?
I’ve been working on figuring out the placement of my logo labels. I think I have it figured out, and I have a picture to demonstrate it – which of course I have sent to the manufacturer.
He wrote back explaining that the placement I am showing him would cost more. Sewing the label into the seam would not cost anything. I wish I had known this. I ordered labels that are made to be sewn on all four sides of the fabric.
The good news is that they should have my sample finished by Thursday or Friday!
I received an email from the manufacturer today! They are ready to make my prototype!
I cannot WAIT to see my vision become a reality.
“Next week” turned into another week of no news, with my attempts at checking in going unanswered.
My project is moving slower than a turtle. The only progress I have made is on the woven logo labels, which I just received. They are wonderful. Now I have all of the parts to my creation assembled except for the actual product!
Relief washed over me as I read the email in front of me. Also a feeling of gratitude that I had handled the manufacturer’s bad news with grace and had not let it make me cranky.
The email that had sent me on the search for a new manufacturer had been meant for someone else. Somehow I had gotten the email explaining that the company that I intended to use was an apparel manufacturer and that they did not work on my type of project, but they could refer me to someone who could potentially do it. It also contained some useful information on just how they figured out their price quotes for the work, so it gave me an inside view into what I could expect. My contact at the manufacturer apologized for the confusion and assured me that they would work on my project next week.
My mood improved dramatically. I’m so glad I didn’t send a snarky email!
I received distressing news from the manufacturer today. They cannot do my project.
I am crushed.
I have now wasted a month going back and forth with this manufacturer, all for nothing.
Back to the drawing board I go…
After a suitable amount of time had passed, I checked in with the manufacturer and he confirmed that he had received my pattern. He also made the comment “A little trickier than we thought” and said that he should have a quote for me next week. I wasn’t sure what this meant, but I knew it didn’t sound so good.
After over a week of waiting, I decided to send him an email thanking him for the care label referral in the hopes that it might prod him to update me on any progress or give me a quote for how much this project was going to cost. Another day passed with no word.
Finally, I received an email. But, it wasn’t what I wanted to hear….