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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Two greatly talented women

We spend years making a living using our talents as employees. We have made many an employer wealthy with their use of our wealth. That's not a complain. That's a commitment of mutual advantage called the employer/employee relationship, but I want to tell you about two great talents.

I posed the question to my friend, "What is the difference between an upscale, high-price dress at Neiman Marcus and a similar dress at an independent retail
store"? "None" I replied before she could answer. That is the Neiman Marcus dress is manufactured by an individual on the production floor. The other is manufactured by the same individual in their home as an independent contractor for his/her client, the independent retailer.

I posed this same question with my reply to my friend. She had heard me go on so many times about my business dream for creating apparel networks.

Today, she surprised me. "I used to make dresses for Neiman Marcus" she said.
"Really?" I said.
"Yeah, it was just a few of us in a small shop" she explained.
My friend had just described what I had reasoned, but never really knew for a fact. The truth is, I explained to her, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands,
of small shops like that one in Taylor Texas. The government categorizes them as "independent contractors" and they are vital to apparel manufacturers who outsource work to them.
*
I was visiting with a couple. They had left a familiar setting, lifestyle and country along with their professional careers to come to America. The living room where
we sat was filled with portraits of couples. Most of them wore the most extraordinary wedding dresses found in the best of wedding dress boutiques.
It was her husband who gave me a tour of their portrait gallery explaining, while his wife sat without comment, the wedding dresses were the creation of her hands.

She had been an executive administrative assistant for many years in her country. In America she was helping provide for their family through her custodial
job. Yet, the enormous talent and ability to design and create wedding dresses seemed as easy as boiling water. It was something she had done over the
years, not so much as a hobby and certainly not as a job, but as a favor for friends and relatives.

FOR FREE!

I will not speak of friends and family who would take such advantage. I will speak of her talent. There are many like her.

Is there not an independent apparel boutique specializing in wedding dresses who could not or would not contract such talent? How about my friend with the ability
to make dresses no differently than she made for Neiman Marcus?

Apparel networks between contractors and retailers are the creation of one vast, enormous talent pool. It is a direct model which allows retailers to market their own
label or simply Made in USA.

Don't let another year go by without the income potential of your resources; your Knowledge, Skills and Experience in apparel.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Changing Face of Texas Labor

Although this report dates from 2003 it is still true. I have pulled some key points in the article. wm

3 Take special note of the "Industries losing the most jobs": Apparel manufacturing.
Take special note of the "Texas Industries Adding the Most jobs": Specialty Trade Contractors.

5 More jobs in small firms, greater use of leased and independent contract labor means fewer and shorter career ladders

Changing nature of work: New paradigm for career ladders

3 Increased role for contingent workers, outsourcing, independent contractors with few promotional ladders.


* * *


What does this mean for those who have lost their employment in apparel?

It means you ought not expect the job market in apparel manufacturing to open back up, again.

It means that apparel, as a part of the US retail sector, is adding jobs. However, the report also points out those being hired are educated and have college degrees.

What it means is there is plenty of opportunity for those who love to work apparel.

Both, government and industry regard apparel manufacturing as non-to-low-skilled and there's no room or need for them in the new and improved automated apparel manufacturing floor.

Working Mannequin sees these former apparel employees as having Knowledge, Skills and Experience (KSE). Working Mannequin believes it is this KSE which qualifies them to fill the
need among the "smaller firms" for "leased and independent contract" as mentioned above in number 5.

The Working Mannequin direct model of apparel networks is putting a face of private ownership in Texas and the nation. The direct model makes you the "smaller firm" and "independent contract" accountable to no one, but yourself.
How does this change affect you?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

High School Prom Dress Survey

This survey was submitted to Round Rock high school campuses.

You are invited to share what is important to you. This survey is anonymous. Please, participate even if you have never purchased a Prom Dress. The information will be used by Round Rock Independent Contractors and Independent Apparel Retailers.

Rate the following from 1 (being the most important) to 10 (being the least important).

Copy blue text below. Clickcomments to open comments box. Scroll down and paste blue text into "Leave your comment" box. Type in your number choices. Type in Word Verification. Choose an Identity. You can type in additional comments at bottom of your survey. Publish your comment.

___ cost ___ design

___ fabric ___ style

___ service ___ color

___ availability of choices ___ retailer

___ brand ___ retailer location



Thursday, January 04, 2007

Texas Textiles - Office of the Governor

I have highlighted in red the text at the bottom. There's an opportunity for textile to support apparel networks. wm

http://www.bidc.state.tx.us/industry%20profiles/profiletextiles.pdf

Textiles Industry Overview

The textiles industry (NAICS 313, 314) includes establishments – or mills - that transform basic fiber into a
product, such as yarn or fabric, which is further manufactured into usable items, such as apparel, rugs,
curtains, rope, bags, or linens, for individual or industrial consumption. Processes include fiber preparation
and spinning, fabric knitting or weaving, textile finishing, and cutting and sewing.

Texas Industry Facts

Firms 544
Establishments 565
Employment 11,352
Average Weekly Wage $617, $502 *
Value Added Per Employee $43,590
Value of Shipments $1.2 billion
Total Capital Investments $24.3 million
Sources: Texas Workforce Commission - 2005Q4
Employment & Wages, Annual Survey of Manufactures, 2004
* NAICS 313, 314

How Texas Ranks

All Employees 9
Production Workers 9
Value Added 12
Value of Shipments 10
Total Capital Investments 11
Source: Annual Survey of Manufactures, 2004
* NAICS 314 – 313 data are incomplete

Texas Exports

• In 2005, Texas textiles and fabric products
exports were valued at $1.3 billion and textile mill
products exports were valued at $290.2 million.
• In 2005, textiles and fabric exports was Texas 14th
largest category and textile mill exports was Texas
22nd largest category.
Source: WISERTrade, 2005 (NAICS 313, 314)

Top Export Markets

Textiles and Fabric Products
Mexico $1,189,435,624
Guatemala $24,577,174
El Salvador $17,326,351
Nicaragua $14,902,051
Textile Mill Products
Mexico $218,063,406
Canada $17,413,327
Kuwait $10,670,182
Japan $6,040,855
Source: WISERTrade, 2005 (NAICS 313, 314)

Major Industry Employers in Texas

Company Location Product Description
Sahara Sportswear El Paso Clothing, bags, rainwear & windwear embroidery
VF Jeanswear El Paso Blue jeans
American Cotton Growers Littlefield Denim fabrics
Homemaker Industries Brownsville Braided rugs
Mid-West Textile Co. El Paso Industrial wiping cloths
Source: Texas Manufacturers Register 2006

Recent Industry Trends
• 2005Q4 Texas textiles industry employment remained the same while wages, firms, and establishments
decreased slightly since 2004Q4.
• From 2003 to 2004, Texas textiles industry’s Value Added per Employee decreased 32%, Value of
Shipments decreased 20%, and Total Capital Investments increased 32%.
Sources: Texas Workforce Commission - 2005Q4 & 2004Q4 Employment & Wages, Annual Survey of Manufactures, 2003 & 2004

Office of the Governor - Economic Development & Tourism September 2006
T E X A S I N D U S T R Y P R O F I L E

Texas Apparel - Office of the Governor

I have highlighted in red the text at the bottom. Those who lost their employ in the apparel industry have their Knowledge, Skills, and Experience to create apparel, still. wm



http://www.bidc.state.tx.us/industry%20profiles/profileapparel.pdf

Apparel Industry Overview

The apparel industry (NAICS 315) includes establishments that cut and sew and manufacture fabrics and
garments, including: ready-to-wear and custom apparel; textile and knitting mills; contractors, jobbers, and
tailors; millinery; footwear; luggage and handbags; and personal leather goods such as watchbands.

Texas Industry Facts

Firms 446
Establishments 459
Employment 8,948
Average Weekly Wage $514
Value Added Per Employee $68,704
Value of Shipments $1.6 billion
Total Capital Investments $15 million
Sources: Texas Workforce Commission - 2005Q4 Employment &
Wages, Annual Survey of Manufactures, 2004

How Texas Ranks

All Employees 6
Production Workers 6
Value Added 5
Value of Shipments 4
Total Capital Investments 4
Source: Annual Survey of Manufactures, 2004

Texas Exports

• In 2005, Texas apparel and accessories exports
were valued at $482.7 million – up from $427
million.
• In 2005, apparel and accessories was Texas 20th
largest exporting category.
Source: WISERTrade, 2005 (NAICS 315)

Top Export Markets

Mexico $353,289,146
Canada $44,365,305
Honduras $35,564,074
Belize $9,082,642
Australia $4,833,043
Source: WISERTrade, 2005 (NAICS 315)

Major Industry Employers in Texas

Company Location Product Description
Haggar Clothing Dallas Men's, women's & children's apparel
Walls Industries Cleburne Workwear, hunting, & outdoor apparel
VF Jeanswear El Paso Jeans
Orc Industries Brownsville Military outerwear
MFI International El Paso Contract sewing, assembly & packaging
Source: Texas Manufacturers Register 2006

Recent Industry Trends

• 2005Q4 Texas apparel industry average weekly wages, firms and establishments have decreased slightly, and employment has decreased about 8% since 2004Q4.
• From 2003 to 2004, Texas apparel industry’s Value Added per Employee increased 6%, Value of Shipments decreased almost 6%, and Total Capital Investments increased 50%.
Sources: Texas Workforce Commission - 2005Q4 & 2004Q4 Employment & Wages, Annual Survey of Manufactures, 2003 & 2004


Office of the Governor - Economic Development & Tourism September 2006
T E X A S I N D U S T R Y P R O F I L E

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

BUSINESS PRESENTATION

If you are involved in apparel retail, design, production, distribution or related fields you are invited to attend a presentation on local independent contractors and independent apparel retailer networks

Where:

Church building (Portable C)
1200 N. Georgetown Street
Round Rock, TX 78664

When:

Friday, January 19, 7:00PM

Cost: Free

Directions:

If you are driving south on I-35 take Hwy 79 exit, turn left (east) toward Hutto and Taylor. Go to third traffic light, Georgetown Street/Hwy 79 intersection w/Walgreens drugstore. Turn left: 1200 N. Georgetown Street is just behind corner business plaza

If you are driving north on I-35 take Hwy 79 exit, turn right (east) toward Hutto and Taylor. Go to third traffic light, Georgetown Street/Hwy 79 intersection w/Walgreens drugstore. Turn left: 1200 N. Georgetown Street is just behind corner business plaza

Monday, January 01, 2007

Interview: Round Rock Army Store

Carmen Montoya is one of thousands of individuals with a wealth of Knowledge, Skills and Experience in apparel making. She is owner and manager of:

Round Rock Army Store
Carmen Montoya, owner
2001 N. Mays Street
Round Rock, TX 78664
(512) 246-7033

WM Do you see yourself as a designer?

CM I've heard that term used so many different ways. I see myself primarily as one who works to create a dress or other apparel creation with the client's wishes in mind.

WM As a father of three daughters I remember hearing of their search with their friends for prom dresses. Are prom dresses a custom apparel need ICs can meet for high school girls?

CM Yes, I truly believe we can help the public, especially the young generation, on this issue.

WM What is the big need you see in apparel?

CM My sister in Laredo and I were talking just today. She's been in apparel many years too and we were talking about how there's so much apparel on the store racks out there that simply just does not fit. Recently, I was asked by a vendor to partner in a plus size apparel creation enterprise because this vendor has learned there are people whose apparel needs and wants are not going to be found in the apparel department of most stores.

WM Why do you think that is the case?

CM Quantity is more important than quality on the production floor. People are not taught the value of quality. Quantity means nothing if you have to do rework to improve your quality.

WM I've always thought you learn your process well, first, and the quantity, with quality, will follow. A manufacturer may sell quite a large amount before people catch on to their poor quality. An independent doesn't have that luxury. It's got to be quality from the beginning.

WM How many years have you been in apparel?

CM I've been in apparel over twenty years including manufacturing and custom apparel.
Some of the custom apparel I have made in the past have been costumes for kids and some adults. I went from the Power Rangers to Cinderella, Sylvester, Tweety Bird and others.
I have made some outfits for granddaughters, my husband, myself, and various customers.

WM Clearly, you have alot of experience in different aspects of apparel.

WM Have you ever worked with a group of independents?

CM I have never worked with a network or a group of independents. However, I like the idea of working with other individuals and the ideas they bring to an apparel creation. I want to see the group come together to express one idea of which we have all been a part.