Having the “Made In Italy” label on your shirt’s’ tag is 3 words of status – but few of us know the true cost that this prestigious label has had on manufacturing in Italy. Over the years, big luxury brands have leveraged their formidable buying power against small-medium manufacturers to close manufacturing deals that eventually have run this industry out of business in Italy. And this isn’t just a blank statement. MakersValley‘s CEO, Alessio Iadicicco, grew up in Naples, Italy where manufacturing was a powerhouse of an industry. When he was young, his parents had two shops – he would go to nearby factories to get leftover clothing from large production runs and his parents would sell it in their shops. From 9 to 17 years old, he saw the number of factories go from 45 to a staggering 9. Most of these factories closed due to globalization or the fact that big brands would exploit them. For example, the big brands with enormous buying power will convince the Italian manufacturers to make 10,000 pieces for $5 per piece. But in the long term, this $5 price tag does not cover the manufacturer’s true costs despite the lure of the big order from a big brand.
MakersValley wants to democratize manufacturing.
Companies that are part of a new platform economy are changing this antiquated scenario with new emerging designs and a strong Maker movement that is gaining momentum and democratizing the manufacturing industry. MakersValley is leading this movement. MakersValley is connecting emerging designers and boutiques who want to start their own private label fashion line with highly-vetted Italian manufacturers. MakersValley aims to democratize manufacturing. The name MakersValley comes from the company’s mission – to create a sense of community between Makers both on the designer side and the manufacturer side. MakersValley is a bridge that fuses these two separate worlds and crosses the chasm. It comes from the idea that both diamonds and graphite are made of the same atoms but the difference is, diamond is the strongest element in the world whilst graphite is the most vulnerable. The only difference? A diamond’s atoms are the most interconnected.
The only difference between the strongest element in the world and the most vulnerable element is how interconnected their atoms are.
This is a lesson humanity should learn from.
MakersValley applies this same belief in interconnectedness to the work that they do. MakersValley exists to enable Makers to create their own custom apparel products and produce them with independent manufacturers worldwide. With operations across the United States and Italy, MakersValley currently works with 143 manufacturers and has created over 1,000 clothing pieces. They are ramping up their growth stage now having put the structures in place and are most excited about entering this stage of exponential growth. Their app is in the beta stage after incredible development from their tech team led by CTO, Babajide Okusanya. Having spent their last year laying the foundational structures for their company, MakersValley is ready to take flight into the next stage of growth. Participating in Parallel 18‘s Generation 3 cohort, they’ve taken advantage of the resources Puerto Rico has to offer, especially the incentives for hiring talent (an example of which being the law of Juvempleo). They are currently leveraging partners worldwide to take the company to its next stage of development – working with referrals, partners, designer organizations, boutiques, and influencers. Their team has doubled going from 5 full-time employees to a team of 12 after hiring leads taking charge of growth hacking, branding, marketing, graphic design, visual content, user experience, and front-end development.
Are you an emerging designer ready to make your vision a reality?
You can join the waitlist here and MakersValley will soon be in touch with you about your project. If you’re a boutique owner or an aspiring designer ready to make your idea a reality, all you need to do is send your pattern, tech pack or a sample of an existing item of clothing with modifications that you want to create. That’s it. MakersValley takes care of the rest after confirming the prototype. To be part of the global MakersValley network and realize your design’s vision, you’ll need to sign up for one of their affordable subscription plans: $49/month for 1 pattern; $99/month for up to 3 patterns; $199/month for unlimited patterns and fabric sourcing. This is a small price to pay when you consider that MakersValley assigns you a dedicated account manager to guide you through the apparel manufacturing process from submitting your initial idea to having your clothing delivered at your doorstep. This price is extraordinary also in comparison to the fact that most manufacturing brokers charge a 100-200% commission top of their unit price to create your own clothing design through them.
Typical manufacturing brokers charge a 100-200% commission.
The MakersValley co-founders shared wisdom for fellow entrepreneurs. A simple but poignant one: persistence is everything. Have a plan – not one, but Plan A, Plan B, Plan C. And as so elegantly put by the Beatles, you can’t always get what you want – but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.
Persistence is everything.