Manufacturing and Importing Your Shoes

How to get shoes made for your new shoe brand?

With your designs in hand, it is now time to find a factory…right? Wrong. With your new shoe designs in hand, take some time to show them around. Let your friends and family have a look, show them to your neighbors. This can give you some new insight and confidence to move forward. Most of all, when you show your designs, you will be practicing your sales pitch. This is a great time to have some people in the industry take a look. Try a local shoe store manager. If you have any contacts in the shoe business, go ahead, talk to them, and collect feedback.

Once you have your sales pitch polished, you are going to need working capital to get started. Shoe factories, agents, tooling shops, airlines, material suppliers, and shipping companies will require payment, in some cases, in advance of services. Make sure you have capital available. We will review capital requirements a bit later, but you need to be prepared to raise some. You will need to pull together a detailed business plan to show that you are ready to build and operate a business.

Are you ready to look for a shoe factory?

The shoe factory salespeople will be working hard to “qualify” you. They want to make sure you are serious and that there is potential in your project and potential in YOU! Make sure your sales pitch and business plans are complete before you start meeting with the factories.

Factory meeting checklist

Going into a meeting with confidence in yourself and a polished business plan will help you to present the professional image you want to project for your company. Make sure to have the following information:

1. Project Brief: A list of exactly what you want to accomplish. How many styles and colors, etc. 
2. Designs: Complete detailed drawings with all colors, materials, and constructions.
3. Outsole designs: Must be complete in 2D drawing form.
4. Pricing: Target FOB, wholesale, and retail prices must be calculated.
5. Schedule: Dates for your retail release schedule.
6. Capital: Estimated capital requirements and a plan for raising it.

Finding a factory to make your shoes?

The real truth is that finding a factory for a new shoe project may be very difficult. If you are new to the shoe trade and don’t have any personal connections, it will be hard to find a factory that will accept your project. But don’t worry, there are a few strategies you can follow to get your project placed in the right factory.

Learn more about footwear sourcing:

How to Start A Shoe Line: A Step-by-Step Guide

Start reading today! How to Start Your Own Shoe Company
Learn more about:
Shoe designer contacts,
internet searches for shoe factories,
footwear agents, and
footwear trading companies.
Working with a footwear agent and
The “right” shoe factory for your project.
Shopping for a quality factory.
What factory size is best for your shoes?
Do factories help start-up brands?