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Apparel/chosing a supplier that sells or makes hat beanies


Hi Jill,

I hope all is well,  I have a vision for my own beanie hat brand. My plan is to find a supplier through a local company that creates promotional products, and then look for screen printers. Since, I am building my brand I am going to use avaliable hats from the market and refine my designs so I can test them on a smaller market. Once I get my concept together, I  want to start off with about 50-70 beanies with the focus if motivational words and sayings embedded in the beanie rim. Like (LADY LIKE) (RESPECT ME) just to give you an idea if what sayings I imagine. Am I heading in the right direction... do you think my ideas will make it in this cut-throat bussines? Also,  I have been doing alot of research for about a year and putting my ideas into an envelope, but the more brains and ideas the better, do you know of any inexpensive beanie hat suppliers that I can purchase from in bulks, and would they do the printing too, or would it be wiser to just look for (screen printers)? Lastly, once I have this concept together and test on a smaller market, with family, friends, and within my community and receive feedback. I will then want to sell to consumers, and then explore making these direct with factories. Jill what would be some ideal factories to look into as well? Thank you for your time.

My best,

Wow, that's a lot of questions. Let me reply as best I can by point:

1) Is your idea salable and feasible in the market?  Reply: do your research! That will tell you.  Who is your competition, where do they sell, how much do they sell for? Who is your customer, what is their demographic, how will you promote and sell? Web page, brick and mortor stores? Will you make stock in advance or sell per order. What are you minimums, how will you package and ship. Budget?

2) where do I purchase pre made beanies? Look for promotional product companies, hat suppliers, costume houses .You want to buy wholesale so you will need a tax number that you can get once you legally create your business entity.

3)I just heard it said in a lecture on starting your own line: if you are just selling to friends and family you have a hobby, not a business.

Summation: Write your business plan, do your research, determine your budget for your first 3-5 years. That is your first step. Do not expect to make money right off the bat. You will take a loss to begin with as in most business. Passion and drive to make it happen is a bigger key to success than anything else.

Hope this helps.


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Jill Odermann-Mullins


expert at technical design, writing of specifications, fitting, working knowledge of grading. Expert at production construction and pattern making. Expert at entire process from inception to top. have worked with designers and merchants and also worked the other end in agent office.


15 years technical professional working in Asia and recently Caribbean and Latin America. Experienced in Denim, knits, super stretch knits, mens casual, polos and khaki, womens separates, special sizes and toddler through teen boys and girls. I teach pattern making and draping. Recently started up my own company for technical design solutions with a team that can offer full package consulting as well.

A.A.S Illinois institute of Art Currently teach at Miami school of art and design in the fashion department, history of fashion, textiles, knit design, pattern making and construction one through four

Awards and Honors
1998 The May Company Best Support Person

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