Let’s get to know Apparel Network’s Co-Founder, Viola, a little better.
A: Traveling the world from a very young age taught me to relate to people from different cultures and adapt quickly to different environments. My international background afforded me the open-mindedness to enter productive and successful business partnerships with companies in different countries. I credit my background as one of the most significant factors in building successful new partnerships, with both clients and manufacturers.
Q: What was the most challenging aspect of starting Apparel Network?
A: It takes a lot of dedication and tenacity to build a healthy company. I suppose taking on all the responsibilities that come with owning a business was the biggest change I had to go through. Going from employee to business owner changed my way of looking at business in general — it took a while to transition into this new role.
Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wanted to start their own clothing line?
A: In my opinion, the best way to approach starting a clothing line is testing the reaction of the public to the brand, as well as investing in some basic marketing, before jumping into production. In today’s world, social media might be the best place to start showing off the clothing because of it allows for real customer interaction and provides immediate feedback.
Q: What are some of the most complex aspects of the apparel industry’s production process? Is it organizing shipping? Getting through customs? Finding fabrics? How does Apparel Network deal with these aspects in an efficient and timely manner?
A: The most difficult aspect of garment production is probably finding the right balance between the target retail price and the technical specification of each garment: that is, the materials being used and processes/methods used in the production). Finding this balance between the pricing and the style of the garments is what creates the “soul” of the brand, and much of this balance is determined by the audience you’re targeting. We are proud to have mastered this aspect of garment production. Our expertise, long-standing relationships with our partner factories and constant communication with both the client and the factory are all factors that contribute to insuring great results.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about the industry you work in?
A: My absolute favorite thing is that when you least expect it — in a restaurant or bar, or up and down the street — you see a stranger wearing the garments we helped produce. It gives me a feeling or great satisfaction after months of hard work.