've been looking for clothing manufacturers for many months for different clothing lines. Previously I had been importing and working with companies who private label their designs for me. Due to opportunities that presented themselves, it was wiser to manufacture locally. As any one would, I shopped around for a company that fits the needs of my business. First need was to use various suppliers to manage risk. As a qualified Brand Strategist with a degree in Brand Building & Mngt & has worked for multinational FMCG companies, distribution is important for marketing.
I contacted various companies and did my due diligence on them. I also contacted "Taslyn Clothing" after seeing their ad on Gumtree where they had a web address which was not active. This was my first red flag. However I emailed them. After receiving a response wherein Christopher invited me to a consultation I replied. The email bounces. I leave it and continue with the other companies. A week later Christopher resents his response to which I reply, email bounces. I go back to Gumtree and find contact number. Fortunately I was to be in Durban that week. We agree to meet the next day and we do. We consult and part, rather cordially. I was not shown a single garment produced by Taslyn Clothing. He emails the next day with a "quote". Taslyn Clothing has no letterhead, just an Excel spreadsheet. Red Flag. Banking details are for a personal account, not a business account. Red Flag. I was not shown a single garment produced. Red Flag. I continue with the other companies with the intention of returning to Taslyn Clothing after I had concluded business with the others' product line. Also because they are in an unsafe area sandwiched between a bunny chow place and a s**** yard & would need someone to accompany me each time to go there.
I was then met with a barrage of insults on WhatsApp from Christopher of Taslyn Clothing. Below is a cut-and-paste:
"Good day, I think that you are possibly rushing your samples and brand momentum. We have helped many people to start their brand to which experience has taught is not to rush and get a failed end result. If you are planning on giving your CMT a store pattern to create something for you witheout board transfer and actual pre- pro you may not have not done accurate research into the garment industry as it may end up caving before it actually starts. I hope that you will not learn a tough lesson on samples. With that being said I sense that you may not want to pay for our services, however that is what it costs to get a garment to the level where you and I see your brand.. We would still like to assist you with the non urgent line as we feel we can help you with much more than just creating samples and manufacturing. I trust that this finds you well and look forward to working with you.
Phume first and foremost it was good advise rather than a proclaimed lecture. I do not have time to lecture and run a successful company simultaneously. You did mention that you are planning on launching before month which we find comical as you mentioned your brand doesn't even have a name let alone an identified fashion line. You also failed to mention that you are working with other CMTs basically shopping for cheaper manufacturing solutions. Your planning is poor as no logical person would book a photographer before seeing the final product expect those that have limited business capabilities and experience. Furthermore David Tlale charges in excess of R5000 per concept that is why you were seeking a cheaper alternative to which our services were also out of your price range. We will not be able to assist you due to you bot fitting our customer profile (Someone that is willing to work with us realistically) but wish you the best of luck with your brand."
I am still largely appalled by such a display of blatant disrespect. You rightly say Christopher/ Taslyn Clothing, I do not fit your customer profile. I will stick to companies with track records, an enabling environment, sound business principles, a REGISTERED business (beats me how a SUCEESSFUL company has no business account), safe and secure premises (had I not been accompanied I would not have found Taslyn Clothing as it sits in what is essentially a garage). You're making this about money but you can't even afford proper premises, signage, a website, a logo, business cards, a company profile. You say you manufacture for Ackermans which sells a t-shirt for R29 but you charge R900 for a sample? The problem with you Christopher is a lack of respect. You told me you take a month and a half to produce. That's fine. We could have worked around that but you did not want me to complete what was already in motion.