Origins #10 — Meet The Samples
Design preparation for the first round of samples.
In this series we are documenting the journey of building DULO, starting from Day 1. Every week we publish a new chapter that takes you behind the scenes of our process. With every article, we want to provide value to you, the reader. We share the success and failures, the opportunities and the challenges that we face while executing our vision.
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In the previous post we talked about registering the company and preparing for the trip to see the first sample shirts. It was now Thursday and time for us to hit the road and meet with our supplier.
Product wise, the plan at this point is to launch with a white women’s and men’s dress shirt. This would be the most universal and classic option we could go for, without having to pressure ourselves into launching in time for the next season and it’s temporary styles.
We arrived in Ruse and met with our partners at a cafe close to their office.
Turns out that they had some leftover fabric which was in a yellow color, so you can imagine the surprise on our faces when we saw three hangers with shirts in a 80s yellow color. Anyway :) they told us that this was the fabric they used only for testing and that we’ll make design edits on it, but the actual samples will indeed be white. It was also the first time that we saw the fabric live and it didn’t look bad at all. We feared that, being a performance fabric, it would have a shine to it, that would definitely give the shirt a different look, when compared to ordinary cotton shirts. However, the fabric didn’t shine at all and previous to a touch, you couldn’t really tell the difference, which was a great sign.
We had three models to look at, a men’s regular and slim fit, as well as a women’s slim fit. We went through them and consulting with our manufacturers, made small changes, such as removing pockets, discussing number of cuff buttons, type of buttons etc. After the noted corrections we felt good about the direction and the changes we made and we decided to go ahead and produce the initial batch of 20 samples, which we can then hand out to the first focus group of friends.
We were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t leave with some shirts, but the supplier needed them to make the corrections and use them as models for the actual samples. The real samples would arrive in one or two weeks and we were very happy with the overall look and feel of the shirt.
Of course, a lot of testing is to be done, once we receive them, but for a first version of the product, it was definitely satisfactory and a great starting point from which we can build on.