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IT’S THE PICKUP

After four weeks of waiting, I got the call from my manufacturer that 300 pairs of splashpants were awaiting pick up.

Reality set in.  I was excited and scared.

Since I don’t have staff, that meant me

Downtown I went and pulled into the loading dock.

With a check for multiple thousands of dollars in my wallet and no solid and assured plan for how to recoup those costs I silently thanked the universe for the opportunity and was ushered to a ‘packer’ who had my four boxes waiting.

The great news, I knew they’d fit in the back of my Prius.

All four boxes went in and quickly. I remembered to think positively and tried to envision coming back again for a second order when sales went so well.

Pulling into my driveway, I realized I had no packer.  I backed out and pulled back in reverse to be sure my back end was as close to my front door as possible. I already learned about loading and unloading.  I thought about opening the garage for my handcart but decided to wing it.

A box at a time, all four landed safely hidden behind my couch in my den,  vyve’s warehouse for the time being.

The next step was to inventory the boxes and organize the merchandise.  The packagers did great.  Everything was clear and all pieces were present:

 

This was exciting but why did I feel like I was vamping for time to know what the next step would be.

Manufacturing Takes Guts

It may seem simple, a no brainer. You have a concept, you’ve created the plan and now it’s time to place the initial order for manufacturing.

Except…

I knew it was important to go with a tried and true swimwear manufacturer.  Swim wear is tricky to fit properly and there are many steps that go into the proper fit and stitching.

Sometimes the manufacturer of choice isn’t willing to lower minimum order numbers.  The minimum order I was facing was 300 pair of splashpants.  And that adds up.  Quickly.

The other thing about a minimum order of 300 was that I would need space to house it.  My closet wasn’t going to do it.

I went for a swim with my Masters team workout and my coach said, pull the trigger what’s the big deal.

I thought about responsibilities I have, financial obligations I need to meet and a big minimum order.

But when I saw one of my friends in a neighboring lane with one of my splashpant prototypes on moving through the water with joy, I decided it was time to take the next big step.

With no cash due until delivery, I signed the purchase order and let the Heavens guide the rest.

Testing…1,2,3…Testing

Manufacturing is costly.  Minimum orders can be intimidating. Although I could have gone a different route, I had complete trust in my manufacturer that had been doing swim wear that really had high function for years.  I didn’t want to let just anyone fulfill the initial order.

Costs were high, mostly because of a 300 minimum order.  That meant thousands of dollars.  Before I pulled the trigger I decided to have friends give splashpants a try.

 

My friend Laura, on the left, loved the feel of her red splashpants before she even got into the water.  Tara literally said they made her feel really confident in the pool and was having fun:

Lauren flipped for her splashpants and didn’t want to take them offer after getting out of the pool:

So she kept them on for her shift as a lifeguard and loved them!

It was so gratifying to finally see other’s enjoying splashpants and the feeling I had could only be described as happiness!

I decided to bite the bullet and create the minimum order.

Prototype…what’s that?

So what’s a prototype…I knew I had to build one but I didn’t really have any idea what went into it. In my experience, a prototype is the first working model of your product.  You’re able to see how it works, if it works and make changes and improvements on the original concept because now, it’s real.

The first hurdle to overcome was finding the perfect fabric in small enough quantities – not a 300 yard bolt of fabric – to fit the purpose of the design.  It takes some time to ferret out the right supplier who has the fabric you need and then, is willing to sell it to you in the quantity you want.

The LA Fashion Mart was my first stop and luckily for me, I had a referral from my manufacturer which helped me create a relationship with a swim fabric supplier who led me to what I needed.  The other blessing was she gave me no precursors about being on this path, only positive encouragement to move forward with my concept.  Believe me, that’s worth millions in this type of journey.

To save costs, I drove my Prius deep into the bowels of East L.A. to personally pick up my purchase.  I had two very long bolts of fabric from my windshield to the rear window and thank goodness they fit as I cautiously zoomed back home on the 101 Freeway.

I unloaded and tucked the bolts of fabric under my bed, for lack of a better place, not sure what the next step was but I knew it was another visit to the swim manufacturer to discuss what we’d be creating.

Greeted warmly, I was ushered to the desk of the lead designer. We talked about my concept and she immediately had thoughts and fears, mostly as she’d never created an ‘active capri’ style swim suit and wasn’t sure she could.  We got right to it and she knew the intricate points of fit and feel that were important.

After this conversation, patterns were built and our first pair of spalshpant prototypes were born.

From here, almost holding my breath to see if they’d work, I went directly to the pool. SPLASH PERFECT! With a few more adjustments in the styling and function, we were ready to manufacture our first batch of splashpants!

The Story of vyve Splashpants: Concept

Who knew the journey I’d embark on when I needed to replace my swim capri’s.Even though team mates snickered, some saying I’d been wearing my pajamas to our Masters workouts, I was determined to find a great replacement when my very first pair of swim capri’s fell apart from chlorine.They were made for the ocean, not lap pools.Scouring the internet, I found little that drew my attention.I was looking for something a little less ‘matronly’ than what I was finding in a limited marketplace.As a former producer, one of the first questions I’ve been taught to ask myself is ‘who do you know…’A friend knew a manufacturer of swimwear in downtown Los Angeles.He created gobs of swimwear for the likes of J.Crew and on a bit of a whim, I called.Fortunately, he was willing to sit down with me and talk me through what I was envisioning.After a bit of polite ‘why are you doing this’ precursors, he told me if I could find the fabric, he’d be willing to build prototypes.I was happy, even though I had no idea what a prototype was and what that would involve.He sent me off with a number of a friend who sold swim fabric who might help me.That was my next baby step in a gargantuan process that I’ll save for my next post.