Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Detroit Clothing Business plan Previous Next
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Davidmausolf
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Username: Davidmausolf

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 4.78.130.213
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 12:11 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've started to do some thinking on whether or not I could put together a business plan to setup a manufacturing site to produce clothing in Detroit. I've been looking over the Zara and American Apparel business models, and I think I could vertically integrate the system into an existing site in one of the economic development centers.

Right now I'm studying cotton and yarn processing to try and figure out about it, and in May I'm going to stop by a factory called Standard Textile to gain a deeper understanding of the textile production.

I've also looked at the special enterprise zones offered by the Detroit Economic Revitalization Organization and I can actually get my workers wages matched up to $15,000 a year provided they don't fall under one of the categories not listed under IRS form 8844, I can also get almost all of my taxes waived.

Now that I've got all the jargon at of the way I'll try to explain my vision. The idea is that I want to employ people in Detroit and want to pay them decent wages of $12 an hour and up to $20 an hour, and my thinking is by vertically integrating the entire process I can do this. I also want to integrate long term cost reducing methods to the manufacturing site such as a "living roof" this is the same thing used on the new Dearborn Rouge Plant that reduces energy costs.

I want my stores to be very modern and appealing to 20 year old college students in major metropolitan areas at competitive prices. I feel that the college students such as University of Michigan Ann Arbor students who can afford Urban Outfitters would also be able to afford this clothing, and for socially conscious buyers it would be a very appealing offer.

Part of the beauty of the Zara model is the rapid response system they used in each store to quickly meet customer demands. What I want to do is improve on this model even further. Inside each store I want to use LCD screens placed through the store where customers can actually comment on what they like and don't like. In addition they can also design clothing using clothing design software and they have the chance of their clothing showing up in the lineup. This information is then sent through the internet to the Factory where it is received by the design team at the factory.

I'm still trying to decide whether to buy the dye and cotton and integrate the yarn-spinning into the system, or do something else. I hope by actually buying the cotton and having undyed cotton we can quickly control our inventories since we don't have lots of inventory left over.

Anyways that's my ideas so far, It's still going to take a few months to figure out this entire business plan, but any help yall can give would be greatly appreciated, and if you're a designer talk to me. I know Detroit can be trendy, and I hope I can start this business and make it work out.
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Blondy
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Username: Blondy

Post Number: 1019
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.252.70.118
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 12:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good luck to you! This sounds great!
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Gambling_man
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Username: Gambling_man

Post Number: 702
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 199.178.193.5
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 2:00 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

David, while I don't want to be a dream-quasher, your heart is in the right place, but doing something like you want to do takes alot of time, money, and experience. I would suggest you seek out a job in the "textile manufacturing" business before you even begin to put together a business plan.
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Spidergirl
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Username: Spidergirl

Post Number: 195
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 69.245.79.245
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 3:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Gambling_man: great advice. The best way to find out if you're truly up for the challenge of starting your own business is by entering in the industry as a worker first!
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Aiw
Member
Username: Aiw

Post Number: 5472
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 209.216.150.127
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 3:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

As a side note, an American Apparel store is set to open in Downtown Windsor this spring.
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Northend
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Username: Northend

Post Number: 886
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 69.220.232.15
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 3:46 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

David,
Although a wise advice, I would diverge from gambling man and spidergirl comment posted above. You can be successful at entrepreuneurship without having worked in the industry first. Some major amount of research, networking, etc is going to be necessary but the same goes with or w/o experience.
Ironically, my wife and I were at American Apparel in R.O yesterday and I like what they did. Despite what we thought was a bland collection, prices were affordable and the quality was good, so was the store layout and customer service.
Based on the ultra-fast changing fashion trends, I agree with your wanting to retain a vertical integration (much like the case of Zara you mentioned). First you will keep your production lead time to a minimum versus the industry average of 6-12 months with a supply chain headache of a plant in Asia for instance, and also you should be quicker at reacting to the ever changing trends that you will observe here in the US or in Europe.
Finally, I believe Detroit is the perfect breeding ground to surround yourself with outstanding designers.
Good luck
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1953
Member
Username: 1953

Post Number: 763
Registered: 12-2004
Posted From: 209.104.146.146
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 3:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good luck! You can do it!
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Davidmausolf
Member
Username: Davidmausolf

Post Number: 2
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 4.78.130.213
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 4:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm currently residing in Tampa right now, but over the summer I'll be back in Detroit so I plan on working more heavily at that time. Right now I'm currently trying to seek out former textile management in the Florida Area. When I'm finished with this year of college I'll have more free time, but right now my international business classes are really taking up a lot of my time.

I've been working with local businesses on improving their returns and have also been working to setup up local food sustanability in colleges in this region to help the local farmers. So basically what I'm trying to say is that I think I have some kind of knack for business.

I'm going to try to see also If I can make a trip out to L.A this summer to look over the American Apparel factory, and possibly speak to their production manager about how they streamline production. I'm trying to incorporate some of my knowledge about automotive assembly into this, along with other business models to make a new hybrid model.

Another business model I've also been looking at is neighborhoodies based in New York City that does all custom orders through the internet and recently through stores.

I'm going to be sending my resume to American Apparel and hopefully I can get an unpaid internship in California at some point, that would be very useful.

Keep up the advice, I like it when people have something to say!
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Bvos
Member
Username: Bvos

Post Number: 1395
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 75.10.25.142
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 10:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

David,

I wish you well on your business venture. We need more creative types like you in Detroit. It seems that Detroit is begining to create quite a small scale fashion industry. Be sure to check out the latest from Crain's Detroit Business and their 20 Under 20. Lot's of fashion folks and creative types made the list.

http://www.crainsdetroit.com/a pps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2006 0417/SUB/60414005/-1/toc

Also when you're in town, be sure to stop by and chat with the folks at the Pure Detroit Design Lab. If anyone has an ear to the ground on Detroit and the textile/fashion industry it's these folks:

http://www.puredetroitdesignla b.com/
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Track75
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Username: Track75

Post Number: 2304
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 12.75.18.190
Posted on Monday, April 17, 2006 - 10:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

You've got the enthusiasm and some great ideas. You need to do a ton of research to hone and validate them. You'll need experience, money or reputable partners to get other key players to buy into your vision with tangible help.

For some good info on "Managing logistics supply chains to improve the ability to match supply with demand for short-lifetime, high-fashion products with volatile demand" look at some of the work done by Prof. Marshall L. Fisher. He worked with Obermeyer (the ski clothing company) to rapidly adapt supply to retail demand.

For starters, look at:

Marshall L. Fisher (with J. Hammond, W. Obermeyer, and A. Raman)
"Making Supply Meet Demand in an Uncertain World." Harvard Business Review (May/June 1994)

Marshall L. Fisher (with A. Raman)
"Reducing the Cost of Demand Uncertainty through Accurate Response to Early Sales." Operations Research (January-February 1996).

He's a pretty approachable guy, you could contact him after you've done a little more homework.

http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/faculty/fisher.html


(Message edited by track75 on April 17, 2006)
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Jerome81
Member
Username: Jerome81

Post Number: 971
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 64.142.86.133
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 1:37 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Might work, but with the ultra cheap materials from china, etc, may be very hard to compete. You might be able to carve out a niche, and this might be satisfactory, but becoming huge might be difficult. Most people just don't care where the stuff comes from if the price is right.

With that said, design is key. If you have the good design, and get the word out, doesn't matter so much.

I'd be interested in learning more about your plans. If you do get something going, I am a recent Stanford IE college grad with a couple years experience in manufacturing planning. I'd love to do something more exciting than now if you want another young person to work with, and I share your love for Detroit. Don't have much good to say on clothing design, but I have a pretty good knack for manufacturing.

Best of luck. If you've got an idea and the will/desire to do it, I say do it. Especially before you have other things in life to worry about. Keep the brain working.
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Motorcitymayor2026
Member
Username: Motorcitymayor2026

Post Number: 691
Registered: 10-2005
Posted From: 24.231.189.137
Posted on Tuesday, April 18, 2006 - 10:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Good Luck! I hope you are successful...certainly keep us up to date...potential customer right here
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220hendrie1910
Member
Username: 220hendrie1910

Post Number: 14
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 64.26.148.246
Posted on Sunday, April 23, 2006 - 11:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Call it D+ (D-positive). D for Detroit, D for David, and positive for attitude.

I'll take a men's medium in dark gray.

Optimistic in Ottawa.
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220hendrie1910
Member
Username: 220hendrie1910

Post Number: 15
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 20.137.2.50
Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 11:40 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

D-positive logo
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220hendrie1910
Member
Username: 220hendrie1910

Post Number: 16
Registered: 02-2006
Posted From: 20.137.2.50
Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 11:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

(Sorry, that was a little bigger than I planned.)

I thought the resemblance to the stenciled "D" (for Demolition) might add some cred.
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Davidmausolf
Member
Username: Davidmausolf

Post Number: 3
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 4.78.130.213
Posted on Monday, April 24, 2006 - 12:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks for the information on pure design detroit, I'm going to try calling them up today, and see if we can coordinate in May to setup a meeting.

I've also saved enough money to take a trip out to the L.A. American Apparel manufacturing site.

I may be working in St. Petersburg over the summer, I have a friend who wants me to work businesses in the area so I may do that as a side job and continue on the plan.

I'm also setting up a meeting today with my mentor (former head of Pzifer Canada) to see if we can setup a meeting to discuss what I'll need in my business plan, it's been about a year since I've helped design a business plan so I'll need a little refreshing.

Thanks yall again.

p.s- on My wall I have written my priorities in life and it goes something like this.

1. Academics
2. Business
3. Senate
4. Surfing

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