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N17 Creative Callings: The Design Cycle Series Part 2 – Sampling & Production


For the second part of the Design Cycle series Fashion-Enter CEO Jenny Holloway and Production Director Caroline Ash covered sampling and production. This 3-hour information-packed seminar took participants through each stage of production including all the vital procedures and paperwork.

Held on the 15th April 2020, twenty-six participants signed up via the online video conferencing system Zoom. The N17 Creative Callings programme for the Tottenham area supported by the Mayor of London and the European Union is a unique two-year programme that allows creatives from Tottenham to have hand-holding mentoring and coaching for their business that is already registered and set up to trade. Now that we are all on lockdown it’s difficult to restrict people to the postcode area and as we do not discriminate anyway with a postcode lottery all were welcome to hear the wisdom of Jenny and Caroline.

Caroline (pictured below) has over 30-years experience in production management. She is a highly experienced production coordinator, sourcer and product developer with strong problem solving and analytical skills, delivering finished product that meet lead times, quality expectations and ethical requirements.

After introducing how the company started and has grown Caroline talked about sourcing fabrics and working with a factory. She included tips on how to tell if a factory operates ethically and all the necessary paperwork required to ensure the designer is covered if mistakes are made.

Communication is key between designer / brand and manufacturer / sampling unit and Caroline clearly explained every bit of information that a factory will need to know. She also showed examples of cutting dockets, tech packs and confidentially agreements. As the seminar progressed she regularly invited questions from the participants and made sure that all the information she shared was accessible and clear. Other topics covered included: UK v’s Offshore production, CADCAM for patterns, managing sampling and orders, critical path management, testing fabric and colour performance and keeping on top of production schedules.

Feedback included:

“I found out that EVERYTHING needs to be documented from tech packs to fit comments to changes etc.”

“It was really informative and great to be able to ask questions.”

“It was useful to find out about the tech pack that explains about measurements, packing, fabric and other things not to ignore.”

“It was really useful to hear about new technologies and go through Caroline’s industry experience with some practical examples that made it a lot more clearer. The slide presentation was really helpful as well.”

“Caroline was good at linking the content to practical examples or her own experience.”

“I found the pattern grading aspect useful, checking the fabrics to be sure it suits the style, inspecting the production throughout the process.

“Great seminar, useful information with experienced people.”

Next N17 Creative Callings: The Design Cycle Series Part 3 will be on Budgeting, Finance & IP with Nigel Rust

The N17 Creative Callings programme targets creatives working and living within the London postcode area of N17, the two-year programme is supported by the Mayor of London and the European Union. To find out more click here.

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