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I have a beautiful granddaughter who was born with Down syndrome. She has enough challenges to face in her life and I want to make sure that finding appropriately fitting clothes will not be one of them.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It’s March Already!

I haven’t posted since the end of last year.  You know why?  THERE’S BEEN NOTHING TO POST!!!!  I am so frustrated and disappointed in the progress made in China I could just scream.

I was supposed to have the children’s jeans completed by mid-January before they closed down for an entire month to celebrate their Chinese New Year’s.  The samples of the teen and youth sizes were also supposed to be completed by that time as well.  IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!!!  I got nothing.  They were so busy with all the year-end orders, that they didn’t complete ours.
So the country closed down about the middle of January, they didn’t complete my order and now I have nothing to start the New Year 2012.  They didn’t actually get back to working full force until near the end of February.  Even though their holiday was over, all the workers didn’t return for almost two weeks.  So because I didn’t get the children’s jeans in January, I hope to get them sometime in March…so 3 months have been lost already and the year has just begun.
It’s now the beginning of March and they are still working on our children’s jeans.  The waistbands apparently are much more difficult to manufacture because they cannot use their waistband machines.  They must be done carefully one by one.  So I’m still waiting for their completion.  I probably won’t have the children’s jeans till the end of March if I’m lucky.
The samples of the youth and teen sizes arrived last week and we were expecting them to be as we ordered.  THEY WEREN’T.  We managed to get all the fittings completed the week they arrived but the samples were a disaster.  Why can’t they make our jeans correctly?  This company is an excellent manufacturing company and they make beautiful jeans for typical people, but their sample makers did a terrible job with this first round of samples for the youth and teen sizes.  It’s not because they are inexperienced, because they are not; but making these unusually shaped jeans must be very difficult for them.  They are certainly unlike anything they have every made before.
So working with the owner of the jeans factory, we’ve made some decisions of how to proceed.  Instead of them trying to make all the styles at once, they’re going to start with just one style at a time, get it right, then start manufacturing that one style, then make another style and so on.  I’m hoping that this will solve the problem and we can perfect these samples.  I started my third year in business this year and feel I have made very little progress although I’m told that something of this magnitude cannot be done quickly.   
I know Jillian and I have learned so much since we began and have improved so many things since our first order.   So I don’t want to complain about how slow this process has been.  But frustration builds and so does the debt.  I need to start having some significant sales soon.  Once I have product to sell and start showing sales, I can qualify for a small business loan.  I will feel so much better when I can borrow money for working capital against the business.  As it is now, I have used our home and our medical practice as collateral.   
The DSAIA conference was last week and I had to attend it with nothing but a sample of our children’s jeans.  I thought I would have the youth and teen size samples with me as well, but I just couldn’t display them.  But it was a good conference nonetheless.  I met lots of nice people from all over the United States from many different Down syndrome organizations.  I enjoyed seeing familiar faces too.  Many of the same exhibitors attend these conferences as well and we have become acquaintances.
So for the start of 2012, so far, not so good!

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