Sunday, June 20, 2010

Done and Done

I have finished my placement, 200 hours of my life, most of it in front of a computer.
In the end, my report - the big project of my placement- ended quite well. I had contacted a few folk in the industry and actually got to talk to them about the challenges of their uniforms. I got to speak to people who make the fabric. I figured out all sorts of crazy connections that the makers of Canada's military everyday wear have to the Queen's Royal Buttonmaker (Yes. That's a real thing). I learned all sorts of crazy stuff about regulations and acts and legislation and standards. Boy oh boy. In the end, it was a lot of information to go through, and my boss' and my practicum supervisor all discussed how much businesses could benefit if companies made it a priority to assign workers to researching things. Of course, that's hard to do, which is why I am not getting a job out of this... but my research report looks pretty nice all fancy in a binder, and had some recommendations which applied not just to their niche markets (the big fancy pants industries out east) but also to the other markets they serve: Small based businesses within Alberta and BC need to know about all their weird sales (tonnes and tonnes of serger and sewing thread at $2-3 per giant spool [I think about 10000 m]). I told them about all my friends with small businesses making things like receiving blankets and purses and jewelry- things which need all the supplies they sell. My friends don't come to see the warehouse because they don't know about it. The cheap, easy, fun answer, which also helps market to safety associations and businesses out east? Twitter and Facebook. Ok, I'm not a genius, I'm just 10-15 years younger than they are, so I get how useful it will be. I suggested they post pictures of their customers goods- things made out of their goods. We serve a lot of First Nations bands who buy bolts of beautiful fabric to make dance costumes and flags for their celebrations. We sell high quality dance and athletic fabric for custom dance and figure skating costumes. We sell industrial quality fabric patterns which fit sizes 2 years to plus size (in ONE pattern. CRAZY!) I would love to see the end of all the things I packed up for people. In talking about these things, I think they finally started seeing the relevance of these different networking systems, and have already put someone on staff in charge of getting their profile set up. At least one thing changed from my participation!

One of my personal objectives was to compare the cost of goods to make some garments from this wholesaler compared to the fabric stores I actually used for the garments I made in class a few years ago. Much of the fabric within my site was better quality, and so was a little more expensive, even at the reduced prices of wholesale. Zippers, buttons, thread etc was much cheaper than in the other stores. In the end, the final cost of the garment was 10-15% more expensive to produce, but was made of exemplary goods, so I think my site still came out on top of the fabric stores.

I have a week to myself to pack and get my stuff together for my new job down in Calgary.
Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on finishing this!!! It's a little late, but GOOD LUCK in Calgary :) You work so hard with valid results at the end. Cheers for you my sweet - so proud of you. Mer.