A blog post on manufacturing could take several pages, but we’ll spare you most of the details!
The diaper clutch as a concept was soon turned into a real product after lots of sketches, sewn prototypes and many “focus groups” were conducted. The original idea was to have each clutch handmade as orders came in, however, when we were FINALLY satisfied with all of the features, compartments and fasteners created to make the clutch truly unique and functional, we quickly learned it would take hours and hours to complete each clutch. For some reason Jessica wasn’t on board with this reality so we found manufacturers in Los Angeles. We were so excited to be able to provide a product “Made in the USA” but soon after we manufactured and launched the new line the recession hit. As disheartening as it was, we found most consumers were more interested in price than country of origin. We wanted to be affordable so we moved the manufacturing to China.
Whoa, moving our production over to China wasn’t as easy of a task as it sounds above. Who to trust to help us navigate all of the unknowns, using a factory that adheres to social compliance, trying to predict demand, choosing fabrics and re-choosing fabrics once we found out some were discontinued and then shipping them to China, rounds and rounds of prototype approvals and then praying the product made it safely on a boat to the US defect free – never have we been so terrified that actual pirates might choose to take hostage a ship carrying a bunch of diaper clutches! Yes, I realize how ridiculous that actually sounds, but it was a real fear.
We are in the throes of our third round of manufacturing as we type. The first experience a little over a year ago didn’t go so well due to defect issues so we had to start again with a new factory because we will not compromise the quality of our product and the reputation of our brand under any circumstance. I will spare you the feelings that went along with that experience. However, we did learn very good lessons and have since found new factories that produce very high quality products and have delivered beautiful diaper clutches. Our newest line, with all exclusive LillyBit prints, is set to hit the high seas next week, WE CAN NOT WAIT to get this product in our warehouse and provide you with new fresh and fun LillyBit designs. Hint hint, take a look at the pictures of the samples we were reviewing to get a sneak peek at the new line! We are so blessed to have such great customers and retailers we pre-sold over 90% of the initial order so quickly that we added on to the production run just in time!
Now, let’s all cross our fingers that the ship has smooth sailing in more ways than one!
Until next time…
We often get asked to share our story and how we’ve navigated through the knowns and unknowns of creating a brand from the ground up in a saturated industry and of course the ups and downs of starting and running a business.
We’ve also known for a while now we needed venture into the blog world. But before we committed to blogging we wanted to make sure to deliver original, interesting and hopefully useful information. So instead of re-purposing existing content on various topics, we’ve decided to share our own journey and look forward to taking all of you on our ride! Every week we will blog about a new destination on our fun, scary, exhilarating, exhausting, empowering etc etc journey. We also look forward to hearing any questions or comments you have that we will incorporate into later blog posts. So feel free to jump in anytime, we love hearing from our customers and followers.
Little did we know this venture would turn into the ride it has!
Stay tuned for next week when we take you on a trip to the far east…