Every week or so, I’ll give you an update on Red Violet LLC, the company I’ve created to bring you shirts in 2009.
If you’ve checked out my profile, you’ll see that I’m an attorney. Currently, I work as a corporate associate in the New York office of a large non-New York law firm, but thanks to the economy, that’s going to end on January 15. If I hadn’t been thinking and planning my business for the past 2 years, getting this news in September might have been devastating, and admittedly, it is disquieting (if anyone knows of a meaningful, part-time legal position available, let me know), but it also has freed me to concentrate on next steps.
Right now I’m looking for a fit model. I think I may need to post an ad on craigslist, but I’m afraid of hearing from crazy people. I’ll be sure to share my stories if I do. If you live in or near NYC and would be interested in earning some extra money trying on my prototype with my patternmaker, please let me know!
For the past two months, I’ve been taking evening non-credit courses at FIT. The most helpful, “Costing”, ended Wednesday night. The instructor filled in many of the blanks that I’ve been facing. He showed us how to reduce overhead costs to a ratio that we multiply against the cost of materials and labor to come up with the wholesale price we should charge retailers. He explained how to calculate fabric waste. And Wednesday night, he talked about labor. Evidently, everything in sewing is measured in time. Because there’s a limit to how fast a given product can be sewn, manufacturers have turned to sewing contractors in countries with low hourly wages–compare New Jersey’s minimum wage of $7.15/hour to China’s 50 cents/hour. I’m not against manufacturing overseas at some point. I grew up in Vietnam and would love to return there, but because I’m trying to get the hang of the entire process, this isn’t an option for me right now. So it looks like the cost of making my shirts will start out pretty high.
Hopefully the cost won’t be prohibitively high. I’m entering a business plan competition that’s giving me the discipline to look at the numbers. No hiding my head in the sand, although I’d really like to.