How To Find a Domestic Manufacturer for Your Fashion Line with Maker’s Row

Maker's Row

Independent fashion designers face many challenges when trying to get their collections off the ground.  One that they find quite early on is finding the right manufacturer. It’s not an easy task; it takes a lot of research, much back and forth, some killer negotiating skills, and think skin.

The recent launch of  Maker’s Row, a website that provides access to industry-specific factories and suppliers across the United States, is helping to make the process a little easier.

Check out our interview with one of the founders!

What was the inspiration behind creating Makers Row?

The inspiration for Maker’s Row arose from our own need, and realizing that other entrepreneurs had the same need. When Matthew [ my co-founder] and I were running The Brooklyn Bakery together we were really frustrated at how difficult it was for us to find the proper manufacturer.

It would take us months to find the right factories and materials, which really slowed our growth. Whenever we would go to events for product-based entrepreneurs, sourcing would always come up as an issue.

What problem is Maker’s Row solving for fashion designers?

Before we created Maker’s Row, we saw that sourcing was a multi-faceted problem: there is no comprehensive resource, little community, and very little transparency.

This made it so that it would take a very long time to find a manufacturer and supplier, and if you are a small company, that takes away from the time you can spend designing, marketing and selling.

Makers Row is making manufacturing accessible and what might have taken a designer months to find, is now available on one comprehensive platform.

What are some key aspects of the site, i.e. Why is it so awesome?!

A couple of key aspects:

  1. Community: We provide a free service for both designers and American factories to connect and grow their product lines. By empowering both the creative and manufacturing communities to have a platform that they can easily access, both sides win big.
  2. Usability: We have created clean, and easy-to-use interface that allows designers to quickly find the best factories for their specific production needs. There are 3 different views you can use when searching: grid, list and map view. Our map view was recently updated and you can now really easily search by location. This saves designers both time and money.
  3. Quality Data: The Maker’s Row crew is working tirelessly to ensure that the profiles on Maker’s Row are accurate and filled out properly. Makers Row Factory profiles are accessible by factory owners so that you are able to access the most accurate, and up to date information. We also have request features for people to request more information from factories.
  4. Search by Stages: You can use our 6 stage making process as a search filter! You can click which stages you need; for instance, if you need a patternmaker you can check off that box and it will show you all of the patternmakers available.

Do designers have to pay a fee to use the site? Do manufacturers have to pay a fee to be listed?

Designers can access and browse Makers Row for free. Manufacturers, likewise, can be listed for free. We have a number of paid features that factories and suppliers can add on to their profile to fill out their listing. We offer media services for manufacturers such as photos of facilities, sample products, and even short video interviews so that designers can meet the people behind the products.

We noticed the super suave Pinterest-style feed layout. How much emphasis have you placed on user experience at this stage?  What areas do you hope to improve/build on?

We are OBSESSED with making the user experience awesome, we spent a lot of time iterating on the design and experience, and before we launched, we conducted some user tests to help us out as well.

Since we have just launched, we are encouraging designers to give us feedback on our layout, usability, and basically anything they feel could be improved. Though we are very proud of the efforts that come from the Maker’s Row crew, we have a running list of to-do’s, and we will continue to try to make the experience better.

Anything exciting happening in the near future that you can share with us?

We recently added a reviews section to our factory profiles so that we can get more involvement from our designer community. It is the experiences and relationships with our listed manufacturers that will help others in choosing the best production partners. We also encourage designers to suggest factories to us in order to grow our manufacturing community.

Get Your Own Cost Sheet
It's important to figure out exactly how much your product costs to produce, from buttons to labor, if you're going to successfully build a fashion business. This is your template for creating cost sheets in your business. Pricing your products may seem intimidating but this template will make it a breeze.
Nicole Giordano
Nicole Giordano

Nicole is the founder of StartUp FASHION, an online resource and community supporting for independent designers around the world with building their businesses. A deep love for the craft of fashion paired with an adamant belief that success is defined by the individual, led her to found StartUp FASHION, where she helps independent designers and makers screw the traditional fashion business rules, create their own paths, and build businesses they truly love. More than anything else, she’s in the business of encouragement and works every day to remind makers and designers that they have something special to offer the world and that they can, in fact, do this thing!

25 comments
  1. Avatar
    Sheila

    It’s so good to find some good resources! I’m all ready to go with samples and orders and in need of getting orders out. Do you have any resources for a small company that is growing fast to get production done as we grow for a plus size fitness wear

  2. Avatar
    Christen

    Hi,

    I am new to the fashion industry but it has been my passion for years. I am looking to design my own clothing line for infant and toddler apparel. I will need a designer and manufacturer. Any help you could give me is appreciated.

  3. Avatar
    Nicole

    Hello,
    I’m in need of a manufacturer for my infant/toddler clothing line I am starting. Any suggestions for me?

  4. Avatar
    Chsntale

    Hi Nicole I am looking to have my first communion flower girl dresses Collection produced would you be able to help me .
    thank you

  5. Avatar
    Ziya

    I’m currently designing woman’s clothing for American muslim females and i’m in need of a manufacturer. i design fashionable maxi skirts, dresses, shirts & long sleeves, scarves, pants and also abaya dresses (islamic dress). If you can help i’d appreciate it very much.

    p.s thank you in advance.

  6. Avatar
    Julie

    Hi Nicole,

    I am a new designer in the process of creating my line of dressy jumpsuits. Can you recommend a manufacture who can help me? I am very new to this process, I am at the stage of someone doing my techpacks. Also, can you recommend someone who does market research for my type of clothing? I need all the help I can get. Thank you so very much

    • Nicole Giordano
      Nicole Giordano

      Hey Julie. Have you reached out to Good Clothing Company? They are one of our partners; they have low minimums and Kathryn (the founder) is an absolute pleasure to work with.

  7. Avatar
    Monica

    Hi I am looking to start a clothing line…..I need diff. styles of tees to begin, maybe to try to get my brand out there, then I would like to move on to other styles I.e. shirts, pants…etc. Can you please help me….

  8. Avatar
    Veronica

    Hi Nicole, thank you sooo much for posting this! I’m searching for a manufacturer who makes gym bags. I’m looking to produce my own line. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance xx

    • Nicole Giordano
      Nicole Giordano

      Hi Veronica. I imagine your gym bags are soft-goods, right? If so, reach out to Good Clothing Company. They may be a good fit for you. Tell them I sent you. 🙂

      • Avatar
        Veronica

        Hi Nicole,

        Thanks for getting back to me 🙂 majority would be soft-goods. Thank you so much! I’ll get into contact with them. Thank you xx

  9. Avatar
    Anne

    I am looking for a manufacturer to make my custom quilts. Any suggestions?

  10. Avatar
    Joe

    I am a designer searching for manufactures for my fitness clothing line and need help.
    I will be producing regular tank tops and razorback tank tops both female and male, t-shirts, long sleeves, yoga pants, shorts…

    • Avatar
      Violet

      Hi Joe, you might contact this factory. They are pretty well known for their quality and amazing service.
      They also can help you budgeting and sourcing out all the fabric/trims/labels.

      Helsin and Co.
      http://www.helsinandco.com/

  11. Avatar
    Marie Wright

    I am looking for a manufactures for my clothing line would you please help me thanks

    • Avatar
      Windy

      Hi Marie,
      Can you tell me which kind of clothing line you want to find supplier?

  12. Avatar
    Gigi

    Would you say that is common practice, if not necessary, for a designer to have the manufacturer sign an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) before meeting with them and discussing your product/idea?

  13. Avatar
    Lisa Osborne

    How can I get in touch with someone from makersrow

  14. Avatar

Comments are closed.

Get On Our List

Subscribe to get resources, guidance, and encouragement for building your business, your way.