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Vietnamese shirtmaking....

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Some discussion yesterday on this thread about whether I should throw open the dirt cheap smorgasboard of tailoring on which I live to SF members. I have three basic arguments against it:
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1. im logging 70 hour weeks in the real job 2. im not prepared to stand by their workmanship in the face of the particularly anal customers that make these boards so great 3. i dont trust other peoples measurements and dont want to put myself in the middle of "my sleeve is 1/4 inch too long, i told you X and this is x.25" and end up offering a warranty on something i didnt make and dealing with 100 emails from customers around the world (see point 1)
However today I went out office hunting with one of my part time junior staff, who mentioned that her and her roommate are looking for a way to make some extra money, we chatted about it a little later this afternoon (accompanied me on translation duty to the tailor to collect my shirts). Ill post some pics of them tomorrow btw. OK so this would be the arrangement I would enter into if there is enough interest from the SFers. 1/ we would post some swatches of cotton to choose between 2/ you guys send me a sample shirt to work from. one that you are happy with the fit of 3/ paypal me $14 for shirt + actual shipping (tbc). Actual cost is just over $10, so this is about $3 for her trouble per shirt after she pays for her transport n parking n such 4/ she will send you back your sample shirt and one shirt if you guys happy, then order more, tailor will then have your measurements on file. i will make nothing from this, just a way to help out SFers and a tailor and his family here, as well as student here struggling to make ends. I have no interest in setting myself up as a competitor to anyone for whom shirtmaking or retailing is a profession. As such, i cant make any guarantees of satisfaction (which is why i propose the 'make one and if you happy make more' system). You can try asking ultra technical questions, but I probably cant answer them, Im no expert and my staff definitely arent. We will have the tailor copy detailing to the best of his ability - and please include notes and details as much as you can to your own satisfaction. when it comes to cloth - if you want to send you own, please do - we will charge you back the import tax at actual cost. Tailoring about $5 and $4 for the girls = $9 each to do it that way + shipping. I cant make any guarantees on fabric quality other than the stuff they pick will be the best we can find here. Remember, this is $4 a meter material though, so dont expect hand spun Swiss luxury (despite what the woman in the markets says.). All I can say is I have 3 or 4 of them that I am happy with, will use very similar material to that which I choose. Moreover my personal attitude is that at this price they are disposable. The buttons will be (very thick) plastic. I dont know anything about the fusing grades in collars or anything. This is a 15 buck gamble guys, treat it as such. If the gamble pays off, later on you can get 10 tailor made shirts for a hundred-n-fitty, if it doesnt, add in shipping, your out maybe twenty on the first one, and youve made a charitable donation to two poor students and one tailors family in the third world. Claim it as a tax deduction If people are interested, maybe we can think about doing trousers later, but walk before run. What do you guys think? Sufficient interest?
post #2 of 40
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We will have the tailor copy detailing to the best of his ability - and please include notes and details as much as you can to your own satisfaction.
In what language? If it is somewhat technical, who would translate ?h
post #3 of 40
Is a sample the ONLY way you'll do it? It seems like more of a hassle than it is worth in that sense. There is no way possible to just do measurements with an agreement that there will be no complaining ?
post #4 of 40
Sending a sample shirt is a bit of a hassle. Is the purpose to copy measurements or also details like collar, cuff and pocket styles? Would it be possible to send you a filled out form from Jantzen? It would have precise measurements and collar, cuff and pocket style specifications. Also, how about sending you our own fabrics? Ah, yes, international labor arbitrage. Doesn't it feel good to improve market efficiency?
post #5 of 40
I'd give it a shot under your proposed terms.
post #6 of 40
Thread Starter 
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Originally Posted by m@T,July 02 2005,23:27
We will have the tailor copy detailing to the best of his ability - and please include notes and details as much as you can to your own satisfaction.
In what language? If it is somewhat technical, who would translate ?
thats why i id prefer to have the shirt there - so we can just point to the details that are being requested...so when your note says, say, "single needle construction", we can point to the single needle construction on the sample "like this, see?"
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Is a sample the ONLY way you'll do it? It seems like more of a hassle than it is worth in that sense. There is no way possible to just do measurements with an agreement that there will be no complaining ?
i dunno - i mean everything is just theoretical at this point. i just dont want to wake up to 100 emails and 25 posts publicly slandering me when i log in here from some dissatisfied customer who thought he could get Borrelli-standard at ten bucks when im basically trying to do a favor for everyone. as ive said im damn happy with my shirts, think i got great value, and do want to share this with other SFers. But i have more concerns at the SF-end than i do at the tailoring end, having seen countless vendors slammed n called to account over the past months that ive been here and AA. i have no desire to be one of those vendors - and really that is my biggest concern.
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Sending a sample shirt is a bit of a hassle. Is the purpose to copy measurements or also details like collar, cuff and pocket styles?
50%. i dont own super premium shirts that i can throw on the chopping block to highlight the standards people want. The otehr 50% is I tell him to use them as a pattern to cut from.
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Would it be possible to send you a filled out form from Jantzen? It would have precise measurements and collar, cuff and pocket style specifications.
then we end up having to translate rather than point (see earlier response to alchim).
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Also, how about sending you our own fabrics?
covered here:
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when it comes to cloth - if you want to send you own, please do - we will charge you back the import tax at actual cost. Tailoring about $5 and $4 for the girls = $9 each to do it that way + shipping.
post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 
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I'd give it a shot under your proposed terms.
good for you give us a little while to get the girls cloth-ed up (theres a phrase i thought id never use) and ill post again.
post #8 of 40
This sounds seriously intriguing.... I hope your girls will accept European customers as well. Also, do you have any idea yet as to how much shipping might run? At the prices we are talking, it will probably a lot, percentage wise. EDIT: I hope being flooded with questions doesn't annoy and discourage you. This might just be a very worthwhile project for everyone involved (except for you, I guess, so thanks for the effort.)
post #9 of 40
Matt, You are a brave man to attempt this venture. I think that there is a high chance that you will end up with headaches.... However, if you are going to give it a try you may want to consider charging double the actual cost and holding the extra money for say 3 months as a reserve for any problems that may arise. If there are no problems then you can donate the money to the local Red Cross (Just an example).
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
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This sounds seriously intriguing.... I hope your girls will accept European customers as well. Also, do you have any idea yet as to how much shipping might run? At the prices we are talking, it will probably a lot, percentage wise.
sure, i dont discriminate. no idea what the shipping is yet, but i would have them charge it as actual shipping (or close enough with some rounding to make sure we - read me - am not out of pocket on it)
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EDIT: I hope being flooded with questions doesn't annoy and discourage you. This might just be a very worthwhile project for everyone involved (except for you, I guess, so thanks for the effort.)
exactly. be honest with you (hey its 5.45 am on a Sunday and Im up working, so honesty is in order) when i first came here i thought i could change the world and improve the lifestyle for everyone here. ...after 18 odd months ive figured out that what i can do is help out 5 or 6 people who are good to me and are just trying to improve their lives. Quang the tailor is one such guy, both these students (from poor central provinces) are others...so is the 13 year old kid who walks to work with me a few days a week to practise the english he learnt from a cassette the night before etc etc. i guess if all the expats here do the same, maybe we can improve the place....altho most of them prefer to just immerse themselves in sin instead. anyhow, if i can help those guys out, then its worth it to me. if i can help the SFers out, then even better.
post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 
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Matt, You are a brave man to attempt this venture. I think that there is a high chance that you will end up with headaches....
thanks Mulb....make me feel great.
post #12 of 40
This is quite a noble venture. I applaud your ingenuity. I suppose I'm fine with shipping a sample shirt. I'll probably send you the Jantzen that I shall receive shortly. Funny that it'll make its way from Hong Kong to the U.S. and back across the Pacific to Vietnam. How will you handle payment? PayPal, or will we have to send a check? What about currency? Not to rush you, but what is your timeline on this?
post #13 of 40
Thread Starter 
Paypal. This week is hell, so next week earliest
post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 
ok here is one of them: thoughts?
post #15 of 40
Look good to me, as far as I can tell from the pictures. I think I'll send you a shirt to copy if you go forward with your project.
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