September 20, 2007

Fabric minimums, jobbers, and that whole lot

Like most DE's, I can't meet the fabric minimums that most suppliers require. In some cases I can piggy back with other designers. But for most of my fabrics I have to buy from jobbers. Even then jobbers require certain purchasing behavior to remain in good standing. In other words, you must meet a dollar minimum with each purchase and a total dollar minimum per year. The yearly minimum would amount to about 500 yards of fabric.

The most frustrating experience is going through the pre-qualifying process as a buyer. To buy at wholesale you must supply a copy of your business/seller's permit license. That isn't too unusual. But one jobber is requiring me to fill out a 2 page application. I have no idea what is on the application as I am still waiting for it to arrive.

I am not applying for credit or terms. I will be paying for everything in cash (bank card). Do they want my money or not?

I am thinking it may be simpler to travel to LA and buy everything off the street.

[bangs head against the wall]


  1. Anonymous9:07 AM

    I feel your frustation. I've also had to piggyback orders with other designers to get a wholesale price.

    Have you tried any of the Yahoo Fabric Co-ops? Go to Yahoo Groups and search "fabric coop"...for a small cutting fee per order, you'll be able to get wholesale prices and purchase only as many yards as you need.

    Luckily, I live within 20 minutes of NYC's fabric district, however, each little shopping spree ends in me spending way more on fabric than I had intended...LOL

    With friendship,

  2. Hi there,
    I realize this post is a few months old, but I was curious to see how you made out with the fabric jobber? and/or if you have another source.
    I design maternity apparel and am always looking for knits, woven prints etc.

    Thank you kindly,

  3. The application went through without any problems. I don't know if I will meet the $1000 yearly minimum. If not, I will go elsewhere.

  4. I'm not sure I want to go the Co-op route, but maybe it is something to look into.

    I received the application this morning. They require my bank account info, so definitely an application for credit/Net30 terms. I don't like buying on credit and would rather pre-pay in cash. Call me an odd duck, but I don't know if I want to follow through with this company. Definitely looking at other options.