Inventing New Products/Inventions/Custom Order

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Question
Hi Paula,

I'm trying to start a shoe business.My idea is the client would go to my website and make a custom shoe. They would pick the color of the shoe,height,etc. Obviously the order can't be mass quantity because each order is different and so I'm having trouble finding a manufacturer. I would prefer the company be located in USA however I know the cost would be less overseas. Any suggestions?!

Answer
Hi Miranda,

I wouldn't bet the price would be cheaper overseas unless, "maybe", you're talking gi-normous quantities and I'm not getting that from what you wrote. Even then, I'd want an agent to oversee production as it is a notorius fact some overseas companies can't get dimensions correct or don't have the equipment to make them "exactly" to one's foreign specs. Hence either you go overseas to watch the initial run (but it doesn't sound like you would be ordering gi-normous quantities) or you get an agent to oversee orders. Once you've paid it's all over but the shouting when we're talking some overseas factories.

There are numerous places here in the US who could help you especially for small orders and it looks like that is what you'd be ordering. Were I you, since there are standard sizes one can offer, you get the basic shoe types fabricated then get the fabric or custom requirements made here as an alternative for large orders. However, Chiko does are pretty much the first entity I think of to:

1. Develop your own designs and become educated on the various stages of shoe development and/or let them do it all for you: http://www.chikoshoes.com/Our%20Business.htm

2. Custom Made footwear their speciality:
http://www.davisshoes.com/custom.html

Hope that helps.
Penny Ballou  

Inventing New Products/Inventions

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Penny Ballou

Expertise

The Invention Process; Royalties; Licensing Inventions/Products; Pricing; Direct to Market; Marketing/Promotions; Patent Searching; DIY patent writing; Types of patents/costs/how to's; Funding (grants and Angel investors); Prototyping; Off-Shore sourcing.

Experience

I am founder of an inventors group; Advisory Board President of www.inventored.org; former Licensing Executive Society member; researcher for www.piausa.org and a consultant; plus moderate and contribute to several online inventor discussion groups.

Publications
Enter my email address into any search engine to find them.

Education/Credentials
Invention development: well-studied and applied in all aspects of the process and an inventor myself with one invention in patent pending and others ramping up. Lived and attended schools in Mainland China and the UK.

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