Developing your ideas into tangible products is one of the most challenging steps involved in starting a fashion business. The product development process is intricate, and you’ll need to tick off a myriad of tasks including trend research and analysis, range planning and curation, technical development, fabric sourcing, sampling and fittings.
Being ‘source ready’ before you start speaking with manufacturers, will mean clear expectations and accountability, accurate costings, shorter lead times, and ultimately a more productive process.
As Fashion Equipped’s Product Development and Sourcing consultant, it’s a process that Manuela Castelluzzo understands inside out, and she knows first-hand just how vital a product development and sourcing strategy is.
Manuela works closely with fashion start-ups and creative businesses who need guidance and support in this area of their business, and she knows that working with a consultant such as herself, can help you navigate the process and eliminate many of the possible hurdles a new business can face.
“One-on-one consultations enable me to work closely with my clients and customise solutions for their individual needs. For small businesses, working with an industry specialist – someone who has the right connections and knows the terminology – can save hours of work and help a client avoid expensive start-up mistakes. Working with a product development and sourcing consultant also helps you validate your ideas and accelerate your progress. I mentor my designers through each step of the process, so it’s clear and concise. There is a lot to learn and ideally (for the best results) we like our clients to be working through our Start Your Fashion Business online programme too, which complements our one-on-one support to ensure any skills gaps are filled. For fashion start-ups who don’t have industry experience or the connections they need, my top tip is to reach out to a product development and sourcing consultant, invest in your education and upskill. Ensure you get the help you need and build your team.”
Besides taking the first step and engaging a product development and sourcing consultant, Manuela also suggests in-depth market research before launching any new product. Knowing what’s on the market and what your competitors are doing, can be an advantage, and being aware means that you can be strategic about your product development.
Working with a product development and sourcing consultant also helps with:
- BEING ACCOUNTABLE. Working with a consultant makes you accountable for progress and really starts the business process.
- GAINING CONFIDENCE. Working with a consultant encourages you to express your ideas and articulate your direction, helping to bring your brand and business to life.
- FEEDBACK. When you’re working by yourself, it can be isolating and overwhelming at times, but working with a consultant means gaining feedback and gaining a different perspective.
- REDUCING OVERWHELM. When you’re starting out in the fashion industry without experience, it’s overwhelming. Working with a consultant reduces the overwhelm and increases your potential. The best investment you can make is investing in yourself, upskilling, and increasing your knowledge by working with professionals.
- GETTING THINGS DONE. When you’re only accountable to yourself, sometimes the task list takes a little longer to check off, but when you work with a product development and sourcing consultant, you stay on track, and you bring your concept to life in real time.
To learn more about how a product development and sourcing consultant can help you launch and scale your idea, reach out to Fashion Equipped today, and make the fashion business your business!