As our amazing journey into the world of fashion continued, we realized how little we knew about the apparel business. So Tricia and I decided the best way to learn was to head over to Atlanta and visit the 14 floors of the Merchandising Mart. I saw more clothes that day than most people see in a lifetime! By the end of the day we were exhausted, but had learned a lot and were ready to get the process rolling. Next, we headed up to Georgia and South Carolina; all in the name of finding a person to help make the clothes I had envisioned! I quickly figured out that there is so much more to making our clothes than I ever imagined. The detailed steps that go into making a dress or a top are just amazing! Finding talented individuals to create a garment from ideas in my head was the piece of the puzzle that made the project come to life.
Our next trip was to Vegas, which is the main sourcing and apparel market in the US. Tricia and I had just about given up finding a button manufacturer at the show when out of the blue walks up this nice young man from Ecuador. He had the most incredible buttons that are made from a nut grown in his country. They take the shell and grind it down and make beautiful buttons. I tell you what, people are so imaginative! Of all the synthetic materials out there, we were excited to have some of our outfits with a renewable resource: old nut! :)
Our next step was to begin the search for a manufacturer. Early on, we became painfully aware of how many clothing factories had closed down over the last three decades because of outsourcing overseas. Clothes that are made in the states are naturally going to be more expensive because we are paying American work wages which are so much more compared to the third world countries where most of our apparel is made. If any of you are interested I recommend a great book called “Where am I Wearing” by Kelsey Timmerman. This book takes you all over the world to meet some of the workers that make the clothes we wear in the USA. It is a great eye-opener for those interested. All this to say, we were hoping to find a manufacturer in the states but this was months on down the road. We had lots of learning to do before we got there. It is amazing to think about this journey so far and the people that we have met because of it. People are so interesting and from all walks of life. We are so grateful that God has allowed us to be a part of this wonderful path.