This is a story by Caroline “Caz” Moriarty, and her personal experience of working with Clothing Manufacturers Asia to launch her newest boho clothing line for her brand called, The Gypsy & The Officer.
Hi Caz, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m originally from Scotland and currently live in Australia. When I launched my retail outlet in 2015, I wanted to share my love of bohemian lifestyle and travel through my own designs. My mantra is to follow one’s own path, and that’s what the brand represents.
Our unique collections offer our customers a wide range of local and international labels, as well as our own brand of clothing to choose from. We constantly travel the globe in search of treasures from exotic places such as India, Morocco, France, and more. We specialise in curating spectacular vintage pieces for your wardrobe.
When you first approached Clothing Manufacturers Asia, what happened?
“I sent my enquiry through their website. I wasn’t expecting a reply right away but they were super fast, I got a call the next day. From the onset, I was partnered with my Project Manager, Luh. Luh was exceptionally experienced and helped me get things started right away.” – Caz
My Designs and Tech Packs
The first thing we discussed was my vision for this new boho line I wanted to create. Luh guided me every step of the way as we started to review my designs and tech packs.
Originally my tech packs weren’t complete but Luh was amazing and has the patience of an angel. She showed me everything I needed to add in order to approach manufacturers for quotes.
Once I submitted my updated tech packs, Luh and the CMA team got to work. They started communicating with CMA’s network of ethical manufacturers to source the best production quotes for me. The great thing is that no matter which manufacturer we were going to use, I knew my clothes would be made ethically.
My quotes came in within my budget and I gave the green light. Luh synchronised my production with the manufacturer that we chose, and immediately started sourcing my fabrics and materials.
Having all of your garments’ details in one organized document allows the manufacturers to provide accurate quotes. Using detailed tech packs is the industry standard. After receiving the quotes, we negotiate to obtain the best pricing to fit your budget.” - Luh
Sourcing My Fabrics and Materials
I knew I wanted to use Cotton-based Voile, Poplin, and Satin, and Rayon Voile. I also provided additional images for inspiration, to help CMA source similar pre-printed fabrics. But the suppliers didn’t have anything I liked.
With Luh’s recommendation, we chose to print my own designs on the fabric itself. This turned out to be a brilliant choice and now I love my fabrics even more.
It was very cool to receive large fabric swatches that also included the digital print strike-offs so I could see the variances in my print colour intensity. This made choosing exactly the design and colours I wanted extremely easy.
I love working with CMA because they take away all the hard work and stress out of sourcing what I need. By letting them work for me, it freed me up to run my business.
We also sourced the tassels, trims, and accessories like the pis bolong that Caz wanted too. We needed to dye all of the trim to the required fabric colours.” - Luh
My Patterns and Samples
Once everything was sourced and tested, it was time to produce my patterns. The more detailed my tech packs were, the more accurate my patterns would come out. Once again, CMA handled all this for me so I didn’t need to hire a pattern-maker; it was all done under one roof.
To ensure that my clothes would be exactly as I want them, my manufacturer produced one pattern size at first and we perfected it’s fit. This way, once they conducted their size grading, every other size would be proportional and correct as well.
My first sample round was made using the correct fabric but in white. Since it was already available in stock colours, this enabled us to test the fabric’s performance without the need for printing and dyeing yet.
Once my samples were ready, CMA shipped them to me for review. It was truly exciting because I could see and feel my clothes for the first time. I sent them back with my final adjustments and my manufacturer perfected the patterns from there.
The second time around, we used printed fabrics and by this time, all of my previous adjustments had also been applied. Luh continued to share the play-by-play updates through WhatsApp with me.
I loved that I could see everything progressing right before my eyes. Everything looked great so I approved my production without needing to ship my second samples to me.
Throughout this entire process, Luh and I stayed in contact using WhatsApp, emails, and Skype calls. With regular updates of images and videos from Luh, I was able to provide quick approvals to move my production forward.
Caz was such a treat to work with. She knew what she wanted and was very communicative with us throughout her production. We only did two sample runs to make adjustments, and her production moved forward quite quickly.” - Luh
My Main Production
Before anything could begin, we needed to grade my other sizes. While my sizes were being graded, Luh’s team sent all my fabrics and materials for dyeing and digital printing.
Once everything was dyed and printed, my manufacturer started the cutting and sewing of my clothes. All my trims, tassels, and other accessories were added last and my clothes came to life.
I also required woven labels and hang tags. CMA helped me determine the right sizes and card stock and produced both of these for me. The woven labels were sewn into each of my pieces during the production, and the hang tags were attached after the pieces were ironed and ready for packaging.
The whole production took 10 weeks to complete. When CMA arranged my shipping for me, it only took 4 days for my boxes to arrive in Australia.