Hello, Apparel Manufacturing Industry? It’s me…a customer that wants to pay you but can’t find you…

6 years ago
 

Why, oh why, is the manufacturing industry this weird club that has no means of modern communication? I have been looking high and low for a manufacturer that can cut/sew swimwear, (scratch that…my expectations have come wayyyyy down. I’m just looking for anyone that manufactures clothing in the USA at this point!) with NO avail. Seriously I have searched and searched and searched again and there is not a single viable lead to be found via the internet. I have stumbled upon a few shady Yellow Page-like listing of manufacturers, but all have disconnected phone numbers, irrelevant email addresses or websites that never existed in the first place.

I really wanted to manufacture in Puerto Rico, but there is not a single apparel manufacturer on the island. Next stop, mainland USA. After hours and hours of scouring the web and coming up with nothing, I decided to bite the bullet and head to Sourcing at MAGIC:

SOURCING at MAGIC is North America’s largest, most comprehensive sourcing event, reflecting the fashion supply chain at its most complete. Offering unmatched access to over 40 countries representing the world’s most important markets, SOURCING at MAGIC showcases more than 800 apparel, accessories and footwear resources, conveniently merchandised by country and category: contract and original design manufacturers; fabric, trim and component suppliers; and service and technology providers.

I drop over a grand on flights/hotel and feel pretty good about putting this minor speed bump of finding a manufacturer to rest. I like to plan ahead, so I’m scouring MAGIC’s website and looking for prospects. Finding nothing, I contact their “Matchmaking” program that survey’s your needs and matches you with potential business partners. Long story short, after talking to a Matchmaking specialist, I find out that of all of these “800 apparel, accessories and footwear resources, conveniently merchandised by country and category”, all of 1 is a contract manufacturer that is in the USA.

WTF.

So is the manufacturing industry in the USA just so incredibly busy that they have no interest in taking on new customers? Or are they sitting crying in the corner about how everyone is manufacturing overseas while totally neglecting all of the customers that are looking for, and NOT FINDING their manufacturing plants? It is so incredibly annoying to me that I have thought about tracking down these people and explaining how something as simple as a website can/will increase their bottom line by 100%, if not 1000%!

Not surprisingly, I’m not the only person searching for an apparel manufacturers online. In the USA alone, there are over 50,000 people PER MONTH searching Google for “apparel manufacturing” and apparel manufacturing related services. So, if you were a manufacturer and had A WEBSITE, you could have 50,000 potential customers per month know about your service. Let’s be conservative and say that 1% of people searching for “apparel manufacturing” and related apparel manufacturing services would actually convert into customers (this is a very conservative number. I know from extensive experience with the internet/websites/business). That is an increase of 500 customers per month or 6000 new customers per year. Manufacturing is in the business of big orders, so let’s stay with my conservative theme and say that an apparel manufacturer makes a measly $1000 per new customer:

THAT IS $6,000,000 AN APPAREL MANUFACTURER WOULD MAKE IF THEY ONLY HAD A F$^&ING WEBSITE.

I still have not nailed down an apparel manufacturer in the USA, but have some vague leads that look somewhat promising. I’ll be flying to Vegas soon to kill some time/money/brain cells at MAGIC, but if you know any apparel manufacturers located in the USA, have them contact me and I’ll build them a website for free…(as long as they kick down a very small percentage of the profit from all of the new business they will get from it. Or at least produce some flawless bikinis for me…)

Comments3

  1. Britney says: on August 8, 2012  8:48 pm Reply

    Hi there,

    I came across this and thought I would give you my contact info. Babycakes Bikinis designs and manufactures their own line of bikinis (Babycakes)in Carlsbad California, but is considering helping small swimwear companies with their manufacturing. Take a look at our website, www.BabycakesBikinis.com to see some of our designs. If you are interested, feel free to send me an email with details.

    Thanks,
    Britney @ Babycakes Bikinis

  2. abby says: on March 6, 2013  11:25 pm Reply

    Hello! I loved your rant on finding manufactorers in the USA! I mean WTF, it's completely ridic how impossible its been. Have you had any more luck? I designed a small line, and I'm running into the same problems as you are. BTW, how was the MAGIC convention? Any luck there? Please let me know, or point me in the right direction before i waste all my money booking a trip out of the country to figure this out! lol

    all the best,
    abby

  3. Mary says: on March 21, 2014  8:49 pm Reply

    There are manufacturers out there, I have searched for over 1 year and found quite a few, but none will manufacture for small company. And the ones I have worked with, are very unprofessional. One almost doubled the prices they quoted when I was about to go into production. Another one I used didn't follow instructions or "Lost" the supplies I provided and used cheaper ones they had. This time they are also holding onto all my supplies - fabrics, patterns, etc and pushing back my production for weeks with no reason. Finding a manufacturer is hard enough - finding a reliable and professional one has been impossible. No wonder so much business is going overseas.

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