#1 mistake an Independent Designer can make? Buying fabric at retail.
When you buy fabric in a retail store and you plan on trying to commercialize your work, you have lost before you have started. Why is this sweeping statement almost always true?
To commercialize your work, you must be able to replicate your work. Retail stores almost never offer fabric with continuity. This means fabric from a constant inventory. So your lovely white damask sleeveless dress (for example) will always be a one of a kind no matter how much demand you have for the garment.
Even if by some miracle, you are able to rebuy your initial fabric, your disadvantages are just beginning.
It is a simple fact of life; retail prices are 2X to 5X higher than wholesale prices. When you identify yourself as a “designer” some stores will provide you with what they erroneously call a “wholesale” price. This is usually a 20% discount from the retail price. Hardly wholesale by any stretch of the imagination.
Price is not the only difficulty. Most retail fabrics are sold on bolts. These flat boards make for nifty store stock keeping, but the short boards require that fabrics be folded before they are rolled on the bolt. In many fabrics, this leaves a permanent crease. In addition, cutting contractors will not spread and cut fabrics that are bolted (or they will charge a substantial surcharge).
Do you think that these are the only problems? Wrong!! The bolted fabric can fade and/or wear in an uneven manner. Fabrics for commercial use should ALWAYS be delivered R.O.T. (rolled on tubes).
This is not the entire story, but hopefully you have been convinced. It is terribly important to understand what fabrics can be sourced with continuity before the design process is completed.
Do you have further inquiries? Please contact The Sourcing District at 708-386-8586.