Hello, I am Dian McManus, founder of Runaway Pony children’s clothing line. I am here to share what I experienced at the LA Textile Fabric Show, which was my first experience as an independent fashion designer.
I walked into the California Mart Center last week with so much excitement. Just like a little girl walking into a huge candy store! I stopped at the entrance and took a deep breath. Actually, I took a few pictures along with my breaths. I asked the security guy (twice that day) to take a few pictures of me. I was about to see tons of fabrics AND I had about three uninterrupted hours all to myself that day in bright daylight! (A luxury to dwell upon when you have little ones and you’re running a business). I had to capture the moment, of course! I thanked my nanny generously that day (and all of those days when I need her).
I found a vendor with a beautiful lace fabric collection: Spirit Lace Enterprise. The minimum order was not bad: 7 yards, but for lace trims, the minimum was 15 yards. Which I think, in my case, if I were to order from them for a small production of children’s dresses with lace trims, 15 yards would work.
Then across from the lace booth, I found my next supplier of fine cotton, linen and seersucker goodness, imported from Japan and stocked in New York: Philips-Boyne Corporation. They carry high-quality shirting fabric. I was immediately greeted warmly, and in within minutes I had found about a dozen swatches I liked, and put my first order with them on the spot. I found the fabric I had been searching for, and more. They have all that I am always deeply in love with: ginghams, checks, stripes. The minimum is absolutely great: 3 yards. The website says that you get $2 off per yard if you order 15 yards. I just saw this and was not informed when I placed my order so I need to call them tomorrow! I was not given the discount, but their wholesale price is pretty good.
My order just arrived today, as promised by the rep, in time for my new production. The only thing I wish was better from this vendor is their website. It’s a bit old-fashioned and it is hard to find what you need. You would have to go through every single page (there are 100 pages) to look for the fabric you need if you don’t know its SKU number or name. There is no search box! But I am a happy customer regardless J
I found adorable children-themed fabrics at Michael Miller fabrics booth. Unfortunately, their minimum is pretty high for me at this time. The minimum initial order must be 8 bolts of fabric (15 yards per bolt), so total of 120 yards.
It doesn’t hurt to peek at these cute fabrics though!