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Design Process: From The Ground Up

Design Process: From The Ground Up

by Keeton Yescott September 03, 2019 1 Comment

January 2019

Come back with me to January 2019. At this point, Sky Footwear had been around for about 2 and 1/2 years, and though things were going well, we started itching for more. We didn't know what this would look like for us quite yet, but we knew we had to start brainstorming. Should we stick with Sky Footwear and add a line of shoes, perhaps? Or should we rebrand to give us more flexibility in the future to be able to add whatever items we want? (Obviously you know the end of the story, but at the time it was a BIG mystery!) We actually did explore the shoe option for awhile, including receiving a few samples from different suppliers, but ultimately we didn't want to pigeon hole ourselves into just the footwear industry. Thus we decided to rebrand and expand.

February & March 2019

Deciding what items to expand into with the rebrand was the next hurtle to cross. We explained more about the "why" behind our expansion here, but we knew we wanted to go into items that homeless shelters could actually use, as well as capitalize on the timeline of knowing these would likely be released around Fall 2019 - which spurred us on to heavily consider hats and scarves (and initially gloves, too.)

The first round of hat samples.

We started the sample process during these two months. During this time, we go back and forth with our suppliers a LOT - we try to get a wide variety of samples so we are the most informed when we finally make a decision. We ask the suppliers what their highest quality materials are, what the color options are, and what we can do with each different design. We are mostly testing quality during this first round, rather than getting the perfect style or colors. It takes almost 10 days to receive the samples once shipped, so as soon as we're able to, we have them ship them to us. We received the first sample shipment on March 20.

The first round of scarf samples.

April & May 2019

Once we receive an initial sample order, things typically move a little bit quicker after this because we can pretty quickly see what we like, what we don't like, and the changes that we want made. They send us a thread book with the samples so we can tell them exactly what colors we want to see in the next round of samples. We make changes to the logo patch, deciding that we want it to be a brown leather logo instead of our usual black/white stitched logo. We decide that we want a knit look, with a yarn pom pom on the female styles and no pom pom on the male styles. For the scarves, we wanted them longer and wider, and a couple of other changes.

This is what a thread book looks like.

When we get through all of these decisions, we send very detailed information back to our suppliers and they start to make the changes in accordance to our exact requests. It takes our suppliers a little bit longer for the second round because we are asking for very specific things. We sent them this sample order on April 3, and we received the final samples on May 15. (Yes, that's a long time!)

June - August 2019

Once we receive the second samples, we start to make final decisions (such as: how many different styles we want, the final colors, the hat circumference, etc.) Once we get all of that information over to them, production on a larger scale starts and at that point it just becomes a waiting game.

The hats and scarves officially shipped on July 31, 2019 and we received them about 10 days after that - which gave us about a week to get everything done before the brand relaunch went live on August 13! The process itself is long and frustrating at times. Communication with our suppliers is tough (mostly because of the time difference between here and China). But it is always so worth it to see the final result, and getting to launch our rebrand was an amazing moment where we truly did see our hard work come to fruition.

I saved the best for last here - when we first received this sample we were CRACKING up! We asked for our logo to be on the front of the hat, but we had no idea it would be so large. As you can see in the picture, it stretches out quite a bit once it's on your head, too. Let's just say - the decision to not order this hat wasn't a hard one!

January 2019

Come back with me to January 2019. At this point, Sky Footwear had been around for about 2 and 1/2 years, and though things were going well, we started itching for more. We didn't know what this would look like for us quite yet, but we knew we had to start brainstorming. Should we stick with Sky Footwear and add a line of shoes, perhaps? Or should we rebrand to give us more flexibility in the future to be able to add whatever items we want? (Obviously you know the end of the story, but at the time it was a BIG mystery!) We actually did explore the shoe option for awhile, including receiving a few samples from different suppliers, but ultimately we didn't want to pigeon hole ourselves into just the footwear industry. Thus we decided to rebrand and expand.

February & March 2019

Deciding what items to expand into with the rebrand was the next hurtle to cross. We explained more about the "why" behind our expansion here, but we knew we wanted to go into items that homeless shelters could actually use, as well as capitalize on the timeline of knowing these would likely be released around Fall 2019 - which spurred us on to heavily consider hats and scarves (and initially gloves, too.)

The first round of hat samples.

We started the sample process during these two months. During this time, we go back and forth with our suppliers a LOT - we try to get a wide variety of samples so we are the most informed when we finally make a decision. We ask the suppliers what their highest quality materials are, what the color options are, and what we can do with each different design. We are mostly testing quality during this first round, rather than getting the perfect style or colors. It takes almost 10 days to receive the samples once shipped, so as soon as we're able to, we have them ship them to us. We received the first sample shipment on March 20.

The first round of scarf samples.

April & May 2019

Once we receive an initial sample order, things typically move a little bit quicker after this because we can pretty quickly see what we like, what we don't like, and the changes that we want made. They send us a thread book with the samples so we can tell them exactly what colors we want to see in the next round of samples. We make changes to the logo patch, deciding that we want it to be a brown leather logo instead of our usual black/white stitched logo. We decide that we want a knit look, with a yarn pom pom on the female styles and no pom pom on the male styles. For the scarves, we wanted them longer and wider, and a couple of other changes.

This is what a thread book looks like.

When we get through all of these decisions, we send very detailed information back to our suppliers and they start to make the changes in accordance to our exact requests. It takes our suppliers a little bit longer for the second round because we are asking for very specific things. We sent them this sample order on April 3, and we received the final samples on May 15. (Yes, that's a long time!)

June - August 2019

Once we receive the second samples, we start to make final decisions (such as: how many different styles we want, the final colors, the hat circumference, etc.) Once we get all of that information over to them, production on a larger scale starts and at that point it just becomes a waiting game.

The hats and scarves officially shipped on July 31, 2019 and we received them about 10 days after that - which gave us about a week to get everything done before the brand relaunch went live on August 13! The process itself is long and frustrating at times. Communication with our suppliers is tough (mostly because of the time difference between here and China). But it is always so worth it to see the final result, and getting to launch our rebrand was an amazing moment where we truly did see our hard work come to fruition.

I saved the best for last here - when we first received this sample we were CRACKING up! We asked for our logo to be on the front of the hat, but we had no idea it would be so large. As you can see in the picture, it stretches out quite a bit once it's on your head, too. Let's just say - the decision to not order this hat wasn't a hard one!




Keeton Yescott
Keeton Yescott

Author



1 Response

Leo Jessica
Leo Jessica

September 07, 2019

I selected some superb shoe. I choose ultimet model, color and design.

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