Not only novices make the error of expecting too much from their first production run. Even industry veterans who are starting a new brand or capsule collection often put too much pressure on their first run of new garments.
The truth is, this will be the first time your garments (and usually brand as well) is exposed to the wide open world, and thus your first chance to see how customers react to price, quality, fit, and design. We recommend taking this time to get feedback from your customers on what is and isn’t working, and also see what inventory sells out first. We often advise our customers to think of their first production as a small test run; a necessary form of investment much like the sample and development process is a costly but very necessary component of research and development prior to production.
Oftentimes the items we are most attached to are actually not the most likely to sell and we make inventory cut sheets based off of our hearts and instead of available data, and there is nothing worse than dead inventory! We believe a successful first production run is not measured in terms of margin gained or percent sell-through, but rather via feedback and knowledge about the products themselves, enabling the next re-cut to be smarter, more efficient, and more cost-effective.