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Q: sourcing production facilities and materials for small company ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: sourcing production facilities and materials for small company
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: kalio-ga
List Price: $200.00
Posted: 30 Jun 2004 23:53 PDT
Expires: 30 Jul 2004 23:53 PDT
Question ID: 368456
I am the owner of a new company located in Santa Barbara, California.
We are working on producing a line of high end baby apparel, wedding
accessories, bedding and craft/home decorating items, specialty hand
dyed ribbons and hand dyed handcrafted silk ribbonflowers. You can see
us at Our eCommerce site is being built at
this time, so we only have an " about us" site now, but you can see
the flowers and get a feel for what our things are there. We don't
have our graphics or our monograms on the site yet, unfortunately, but
they will constitute a large part of our products. They are exquisite.
  I have searched for a " consultant" or " sourcing agent" to assist
me in this phase of the process, but I haven't had much luck. I
thought I would give you guys a whirl and see what you come up with in
order for me to source these things myself. This company is my
lifetime dream and between my parner and myself we have 40 years of
creative experience to draw from. If I could locate a
consultant/sourcing agent/ mentor to assist me in southern California
I would do that too. I have looked into workshops or classes. Time is
of the essence and I don't have time to sit in classrooms when I can
be out making it happen.
 Currently we are acquiring the materials for our product samples in
small amounts, under 50 yds. at a time. This will have to change soon.
 We are trying to make an informed decision on the possibility of
having our items, or some of our items, produced in America. Most of
our fabrics are produced in China, so we are trying to get an idea of
the cost difference between having our products made here versus
overseas. Possibly some would be made here while others would be made
overseas. Ideally all of our items would be made here in America as we
feel strongly that any jobs we create should be jobs stateside,
however, that might not be financially feasible since most of our
fabrics are made elsewhere.  We need to locate sources and facilities
and do some comparison shopping before deciding on which way to go.
 We are in the design/development phase and have 50% of our designs
digitized and ready for production. We are having that done in Los
Angeles, which is in close proximity to us. The apparel patterns have
been digitized and samples have been made. I do have a list of sewn
garment contractors in Los Angeles, but I have not contacted them yet
as we are still in the process of digitizing. We need to find sources
for all of our supplies and production facilities to produce them. We
would also need to have production facilities that would accomodate us
with smaller orders ( 100's versus 1,000's) in the beginning. As our
sales grow, we will increase our orders accordingly. It would be ideal
if we could find facilities that could accomodate us in more than one
area. For instance, a garment sewing contractor that can produce the
baby apparel and also the bedding products. The products break down
into several categories.
Apparel : baby coats, pants, dresses, rompers,hats and buntings
Bedding: sheets, duvets, shams, baby bumpers, dust ruffles, pillows
Wedding accessories: Picture frames, scrapbooks, photo albums.
Home accent items: pressure applied graphics for borders, murals,
decoration, iron on applied graphics for fabric applications.
 We need to locate a textile company capable of producing printed
fabrics using our designs. We have a large collection of turn of the
century( and earlier) graphics, borders, monograms and motifs from
France that we are hoping to locate a fabric company to print for us
on linen and fine cotton. We also need embroidery contractors to apply
designs and monograms of our design. ( these too are being digitized
and readied for production) In addition, we need to locate someone to
make those graphics into dry rub or pressure release decals ( which
all will be digitized) to be used in decorative home accents ( wall
borders, wall murals, decorative furniture accents,etc.) I know this
process can be done, I saw borders being applied in this manner on a
HGTV airing of a This Old House episode recently. Unfortunately after
exhaustive research I was unable to locate the source for the paper or
a someone willing to make them for me yet. I do know that the dry
rub/pressure release paper exists ( graphics applied like a tattoo)
and the technology to apply the removable decorative graphics exists,
I have no clue who to contact to make them for us. Iron on
applications are readily available, but I want to make a pressure
release version also. They could then be applied to walls, furniture,
morrors, etc. I would hope to find a someone who could do both iron on
and pressure release types for me.
  I also need a paper manufacturer/contractor that can take our
digitized designs and apply them to paper to be used in several
applications, wrapping paper, tissue paper, wall paper.
   We are prepared to put up a substantial amount of money to make
this happen, and have spent substantial amounts to date but we aren't
exzactly Pottery Barn and we want to bring our designs to the market
in phases so we don't get stretched too thin. Most of our time is
taken up with designing now. ompanies that can work with us and allow
us to start with smaller amounts in the beginning will also be a party
to our success in the end.
 We are hoping to find contractors that we can build ongoing
relationships with to the benefit of us all. Quality is extremely
important to us, as are working relationships that people that support
and encourage our endeavor.
  We plan on being " hands on" in all aspects. It would be important
also that the people we work with speak English as we,
(unfortunately,) have only English language skills. Any facilities
close to the Los Angeles area would be beneficial, but we will take
them where we find them. Obviously the textiles are made elsewhere, so
not all can be found in the US.

I will list the supplies, then the production needs we have. 


*silk velvet in widths up to 110"     
*silk bound edged ribbons from 7mm up to 8"    
*silk grosgrain ribbon  
*double faced  silk satin ribbon 
*suit weight cashmere 
*fine linen 
*Egyptian and/or Vietnamese cotton 
*silk satin charmeuse
*silk organza
*English tulle
*laces various sizes
*cotton organza or dimity
*child's size covered hangers ( hopefully in fabric of our design)
*rub off decal paper ( use a burnishing tool to apply)
*iron on paper ( to be used on fabrics )
*picture frames, various sizes to be manufactured with our designs applied
*scrap book albums and photo albums in various sizes to be
manufactured with our designs

production facilities:

*fabric and ribbon suppliers
*dyers ( fabrics dyed to our color palette)
*embroidery contractors
*hand sewing contractors
*sewn garment contractors ( I have the list for Los Angeles, however I
have not contacted them yet)
*printer for graphics to be applied to papers
*textile producer who will print to our design specs
*paper products producer who will print to our design specs

I realize this is a complex question, I would appreciate anything you come up with.

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 04 Jul 2004 20:57 PDT
Hello -

Thanks for your question.

Just so I'm clear on the scope of this question, would finding a
sourcing agent/contractor meet your needs, or are you expecting one us
to only find sources/suppliers?  Due to the extent of your question, I
would recommend the former.



Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 05 Jul 2004 06:36 PDT
Also, if the former, please let me know what you'd expect to pay a
sourcing agent/contractor/employee salary-wise, and whether he needs
to be located in California.



Clarification of Question by kalio-ga on 05 Jul 2004 12:20 PDT
Hi, thanks for trying to answer my question. I would consider hiring a
sourcing agent, however I would prefer to obtain the knowledge myself.
The more information I can acquire, the better off I am in the long
run and I will be in a more informed position if and when I do use an
agent. To my knowledge no single sourcing agent would be able to
accomodate me in the varied areas I need assistance. For instance, a
fabric sourcing agent wouldn't know how to source pressure release
decal paper or what contractors to contact to produce the items. I
valued it at the maximum in the hopes I would get valuable information
that I hadn't thought of or learned yet. I am hoping to obtain this
knowledge myself, but I am not opposed to hiring a sourcing agent or
agents. It would be important that they are near Los Angeles. I am
unsure what the going rate is for a sourcing agent, but I would be
willing to pay the going rate. Possibly a consultation with a small
business manuufacturer would be helpful. Again, I realize this is a
complicated question. I'd appreciate whatever you come up with that is

Request for Question Clarification by easterangel-ga on 06 Jul 2004 00:54 PDT

This is rather difficult question.

I was able to find 5 apparel, textile sourcing consultants, agents or
importers in Los Angeles. Some of them are from Los Angeles county
particularly from the cities of La Mirada and Studio City.

I was also able to find a directory that lists different apparel
manufacturers in Los Angeles. The directory lists about 2000+
manufacturers so you can take your pick on whom to talk to.

Will this be ok as an answer since you told us you want to talk with
them first before embarking on your sourcing projects.


Clarification of Question by kalio-ga on 06 Jul 2004 08:01 PDT
As I stated in my question I already have garment contractors, that
list is readily available. I need a sourcing agent for the pressure
release decal paper and also contractors that can manufacture my
designs using this paper. Did you have any luck locating anyone to
assist me in sourcing the paper products?
In answer to your question, I would say no, having the names of
sourcing agents isn't really answering my question. I appreciate your

Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 06 Jul 2004 10:18 PDT
kalio -

I just got off the phone with an individual who is VERY well versed in
the industry.  She is a college professor in apparel, she ran a $2M
apparel factory, and she's an apparel business consultant.  She HIGHLY
advises, as a start-up, to narrow your focus into one particular area,
such as "high end baby apparel" -- get VERY good at that, and then
branch off from there.  She has seen countless businesses fail whose
focus was too wide.  She said, as an example, that you could do some
home decorating items, but still within the "high end baby" market,
but you should pick one "parent" category, and have your other
endeavors fit within it.  That said, she also encourages doing all the
sourcing yourself and highly advises attending fabric shows as a
source to find your fabric.

I have 2 sources -- one where you can find shows in the area, and one
where you can find contractors, also in the area.  Would you be
interested in these 2 sources, along with the contact information for
this consultant, as a potential answer to your question, perhaps at a
lower list price?


Request for Question Clarification by jbf777-ga on 06 Jul 2004 10:24 PDT
I apologise; just saw your response to the other researcher -- you
already have a contractors listing.  I think what we'll need from you
is a very specific delineation as to your expectations for an answer. 
As structured right now, the question is indeed very large, complex
and open-ended, and will need to be narrowed specifically in scope so
a researcher knows exactly what you'd expect as an answer (so there's
no confusion or question).



Clarification of Question by kalio-ga on 06 Jul 2004 12:48 PDT
I am quite aware of the pitfalls you mention in your letter, but I
didn't write asking for information on the viability of my business.
To clarify, we are doing exzactly what you suggest in your last
letter, focusing on producing one thing at a time. However, we are a
design company and it is necessary to source other items prior to
producing them. I thought I was clear in explaining that we are
through the design/development/sample making phase and ready to go to
production only with our high end baby items at this time, and that we
are introducing the additional items in phases. I listed the fabric in
my first letter, if you found an agent that can source all of those
fabrics and ribbons, great. We have a unique situation in that we will
have National exposure on a major TV show this summer, and another in
the Spring, which has sped up our process. The paper sources and
contract printers to make the phase two products are an important part
of the next phase, again, I will ask did you have any luck with
finding them? The woman you mentioned that you spoke with sounds a lot
like Jean Gipe in Pomona. I will consult with her soon, but as I
pointed out in my question there is not time to participate in classes
or workshops at this time. I will consult with her or one of her
referrals, which are free.
I was hoping to get paper sources for rub off decal paper in
bulk,and/or sourcing agents for both the paper and the fabrics I
listed, and production facilities capable of producing the paper

Clarification of Question by kalio-ga on 07 Jul 2004 16:55 PDT
I would like to cancel my question. I haven't gotten any answers, I
will just have to figure it out myself. I assumed you would have
researchers with apparel production knowledge and paper product
production knowledge. Thanks anyway for trying. I still think it's a
great forum and I will use the service again.
Subject: Re: sourcing production facilities and materials for small company
Answered By: jbf777-ga on 07 Jul 2004 16:59 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
Kalio -

Thank you for your question.  If you require any clarification, please
don't hesitate to ask.

That additional information I supplied above was just something
incidental I wanted to pass on from my conversation with (yes) Jean

I have located and spoke to an individual in LA who has sources in
America and internationally for obtaining most all of the fabrics and
ribbon-type products you list.  His name is Shpetim Zero:

Shpetim Zero

He has worked with Christian Dior and other high profile clients.  He
will be able to supply you sources for your fabric materials along
with the manufacturing contacts to have the products made.  He would
be able to source lower quantities as well.  He would be open to just
supplying you the contacts, or he may be open to possibly doing the
actual footwork in working with them on your behalf.  He believes he
should be able to accommodate a start-up's budget.

The following is what I've researched on the paper/home-dec side of
things.  Some of these companies may have a minimum order of around
500 units.


This company can supply dry rub-on paper as well as perform the custom
printing on it:

Bel Inc. 10913 N.W. 
30th Street Suite 103, Miami, Fl 33172 
305-593-0911 (Contact: Lauren)


Supplier of ironable transfer paper as well as printing to spec for it:

Double Exposure Fashions
69 Main Street
Vincentown, NJ 08088
800-526-2822 (Contact: Agnes)


This company produces a vinyl rub-on, which is a different process,
but it can also be used for decorative purposes:

Sign Connection
Vernon, CT.
860-870-8855 x Dave


A one-stop-shop for providing wholesale, print-to-spec on everything
from canvas totes to neon signs to giftwrap for retail stores,
business and industry:

StarPack Inc.
3389 Sheridan Street, #227
Hollywood, Florida 33021


Printing to spec on giftwrap and custom tissue paper:

US Box
1296 McCarter Hwy.
Newark, NJ 07104


This company has high profile clients such as Paul Mitchell, and does
large format digital printing on many different items including
wallpaper, ceramics, glass, tile, etc.:
4830 West Oquendo
Las Vegas, NV 89118


Another wallpaper-to-spec company:

Totally Custom Wallpaper
3620 Dekalb Technology Parkway, Suite 2113
Atlanta, Georgia 30340
Tel. 770-451-4263 (ext. 11)

There are several companies here that do wallpaper to spec:


This company does photo albums to spec of any stripe and type.  They
should do scrapbooks as well.  You can pick from an existing photo
album style and have your designs placed on it, or you can have an
entire album designed from scratch:

D. Davis Kenny
4810 Greatland Drive 
San Antonio, TX 78218
210-662-9882 (Contact: John Gruber)


Very large manufacturer of hangers; worked with Ann Taylor, GAP,
Calvin Klein, etc.; logos can be placed directly on the wood or on the
ribbon for covered children's hangers; you can supply them with your
pre-printed fabric for covering on the hangers; they can possibly
emblazon your designs on the fabric themselves:

The Great American Hanger Company/Hangers Direct
7500 NW 25th Street, #2
Miami, Florida 33122
1-800-921-1181 (Contact: Natalie)

Another hanger company with similar arrangements:
Henry Hanger
Showroom 1
3101 S Hill St,
Los Angeles, Ca 90007


Picture frames moulded and formed to spec, available through this company; 

Excel Picture Frames 
9846 Jersey Ave.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Here's another one; they will direct you to the appropriate moulder
who will mould your design which will then be assembled into frames:

WorldView Pictures
373 Dawson Drive
Camarillo CA 93012 

Additional Links

Search domestic and international companies in the apparel industry:

Another possible textile broker (contact next week):
Horowitz Textiles
819 Santee Street 
Suite 407, Los Angeles, CA 90014
(213) 627-6900

Textile Association of Los Angeles:

110 East Ninth Street
A703 Los Angeles, CA 90079

Professor Jean Gipe
Professor Jean Gipe - (909) 869-4772
M-F 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Search Strategy
o Contacted many companies and organizations by phone; received referrals
o Select search terms included: manufacturer, custom, <paper, fabric, etc.>
                                iron, printing, "custom moulded", 
                                "your specificatons"

Request for Answer Clarification by kalio-ga on 08 Jul 2004 08:30 PDT
After I cancelled my question, I received some information from you,
however, the sites you provided do not sell dry rub decals as stated,
they sell water slip decals, not the same thing. The hanger
information is adequate, but overall I don't think it was worth $200.
I still don't have a paper source.
You gave me one possible sourcing agent for fabric, but none for the
paper product I need. Your consultant ( Jean Gipe) was the same person
I had located prior to my asking you my question. I was clear that the
dry rub decal paper and production facilities was important
information to me.

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 08 Jul 2004 08:54 PDT
Kalio -

Thanks for your clarification request.  I'll be glad to try and make
the answer satisfactory to you.

Yes, Bel Decal sells both water slip and dry rub decals.  I verified
this with the company.  See this link:

As for paper sources, you specified 5 types in your question: 

rub-on/off paper + facility to print

iron-on paper + facility to print

scrapbook/photo albums + facility to print

wallpaper + facility to print

tissue paper/giftwrap + facility to print

All 5 sources are both paper supply and production facilities.  Since
I actually provided a source for all of these, I figured a sourcing
agent wouldn't be necessary for the paper part; however, I will see if
can locate a sourcing agent for you.

Let me know if there's anything else you need.


Request for Answer Clarification by kalio-ga on 08 Jul 2004 10:33 PDT
Thanks, I will check them out again. I don't think I need a sourcing
agent if they  have the dry rub decals. Now I understand why you gave
me the other sites. Sorry about that.

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 08 Jul 2004 11:36 PDT
Kalio -

No problem.

Here are two paper/printing sourcing agencies in Los Angeles:

Coast Line Graphics
1790 Kelton Av
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 445-9790 (Randy)

5410 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-6080 (Steven)

Both companies have confirmed there ability to source all different
types of paper as well as printing facilities.

Please let me know if you need any additional assistance before rating
this answer.  Thank you!


Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 08 Jul 2004 11:49 PDT
On this page are dozens of potential wholesalers and distributors with
contact information in the LA Garment District:

Here's another confirmed textile sourcing agent named Joseph at LA
Advanced Textile.  He can get a hold of any fabric:

LA Advanced Textile Inc.
840 S. Santee St., #112
Los Angeles, CA, 90014 
(213) 627-0102 

Additional links:

Pro Savvy
The ultimate resource for consulting services including a database of
more than 2000 pre-qualified consulting firms.

Davison's Textile Bluebook
Book that allows for simple sourcing of companies that manufacture or
sell textile: fabrics, fiber, yarn, supplies & services. 800+pages

Request for Answer Clarification by kalio-ga on 08 Jul 2004 13:25 PDT
Thanks! I really need contacts in the Los Angeles area, so that helps a lot.
The only other thing that would be helpful would be to locate a dye
house in the greater Los Angeles area. Thanks, these paper sources and
production facilities really help. You are learning how to become a
manufacturer along with me.
Thanks again, I know it was a daunting question, but when you are
developing an integrated product line it gets confusing to explain.

Clarification of Answer by jbf777-ga on 08 Jul 2004 13:57 PDT
Kalio - 

Here are two LA companies that I've confirmed to do wholesale fabric
and garment dying:

F & J Dyeing Inc. 
4936 Zambrano St. 
Los Angeles, CA 90040 
(323) 722-4800 

Dye Tech
3600 Union Pacific Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90023 
(323) 265-7100

Let me know if you need anything else.


kalio-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
I apologize for the delay in rating my answer. I wanted to be sure and
thank jbf777-ga for the great effort spent on getting me some answers.
I know it took some time and much effort to come up with answers for
me. I am glad I didn't cancel the question! Some of the information
was helpful.

Subject: Re: sourcing production facilities and materials for small company
From: jbf777-ga on 30 Sep 2004 16:23 PDT
Hello Kalio -

Glad to help!  Wish you the best in your endeavours, and please stop by again!

Subject: Re: sourcing production facilities and materials for small company
From: nad1995-ga on 10 Mar 2005 05:55 PST
Here are two production facilities that may help...
Specialize in large format photographic output such as fleet graphics,
window graphics, vinyl banners, POP signage, fabric printing and
wallpaper printing.
Wallpaper manufacturer with a variety of substrates, vinyl wallpaper,
non-woven wallpaper. Able to customize and personalize wallpaper wall
murals, cut-outs and posters.

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