Time for tough decisions...
Sometimes in life, you have to make big decisions.
In business as well.
Here at Roasted Fox, we've been wrestling with a dilemma - stay in business...or not.
You see, since our inception we have been pretty proud to be Australian Made. In fact, we loved it.
We know many of you loved it too.
The problem has been however, that being Australian Made is really, really hard. For a start, almost no-one wants the job of manufacturing clothes in Australia that aren't uniforms or very simple jobs.
In fact, we were knocked back by most manufacturers just because our sleeves were different to the bodies - apparently it required too much planning...
So Many Obstacles
But that hasn't been the only issue.
"What about cost?", I hear you ask. Well sure, that's a factor. In fact, it's actually a sore point.
You see, when we originally chose our manufacturer, we were making small runs and were paying sampling rates to get our clothes made. We were losing money in the early days but we believed in our brand. And the agreement was that as our volumes increased, our unit prices would decrease.
But no. They stayed the same. And now, even though we want to increase our volumes even more, we have been told that our unit prices will go up again regardless.
But unit cost hasn't been the only factor. In fact, our biggest issue has been transparency. You see, we assumed that our manufacturer cut and sewed all of our garments in their factory. Turns out this is not the case -yes, they cut the fabrics but then they send them off to be sewn. Where to? We have no idea - they won't say. Which rings alarm bells and creates a trust issue.
However, this biggest obstacle we face is lack of flexibility. We have big plans for Roasted Fox and we have designs for all sorts of awesome new garments as well as plans to reduce waste but our current manufacturer isn't interested in doing any other designs.
And that's a problem.
Aaaaargh! Get To The Point!
The point is that for many years, we have dealt with these issues as a part of business but now we have reached a tipping point. You see, if our costs rise, we have a few choices - actually lose money on each garment - raise our prices - or call it quits.
We don't like any of those options.
And we don't like being caged in terms of increasing our product line - not when our heads are exploding with ideas!
So changing our manufacturer is the only option.
Except no-one in Australia wants the job.
So China it is.
Shut Your Mouth!
I will not.
The thing is, we have been dealing with China a lot anyway when it comes to Roasted Fox. That's where our fabrics come from, that's where our labels come from, our packaging and swing tags.
In fact, the only thing that happens in Australia is the cutting and sewing.
Which is another another thing. Being able to call yourself Aussie Made is pretty easy and doesn't require the majority of processes to happen here. 🤔
But the factory we will be using in China is another small family business like ours. We know them well. They make all the garments for our baby brand, Li'l Zippers, their quality is impeccable, their flexibility is astounding, their knowledge is incredible and they are just awesome to deal with.
I could go on and on but I know this, this change will enable Roasted Fox to become what it was destined to be.
And our family might actually make some money.
I'm sure this news might disappoint some and we understand. What we wanted people to know however that this decision has not been made without serious thought (some 12 months of it).
We believe it is the best thing for our brand and our kids.
Bek & Adam