The question that I often get asked is: How do I start my own dance fashion business? Obviously you need to know what you want to design and produce, but the key to your entire venture will be first, getting a top quality factory to work with you and second, being able to find the money to produce your first dance wear fashion collection.Getting a good quality factory to work with you is not as easy as it sounds. All the first class factories are working flat out with their regular customers and will not want to drop any of these for the sake of a new and untried venture.The only factories that tend to have spare capacity for a new venture are the lower quality factories. These will often give you problems of quality and consistency. You also have to be aware that the “rag trade” is a notoriously difficult industry. There are many examples of people choosing a factory on the back of it making some excellent “samples”. But when the first collection is produced, it is found to be nowhere near as good as the samples. So then you are left with thousands of items you cannot sell.If you manage to find a first class factory that is prepared to work with a new venture, you then have your second key problem: funding your first dancewear collection. This again is not easy unless Daddy works for Goldman Sachs! Most factories will insist on making at least 400 of each item. So if you want to make 20 items for your first collection, then you are going to have to order, and pay for, at least 8,000 items. (I am keeping this as simple as possible and ignoring the fact that you have different sizes and colours, etc). If each item costs £10 to make then you have to find at least £80,000 to fund your first collection – factories do not offer credit to new ventures! It is payment up front.I have been involved in the retail industry for nearly 30 years and have never found a viable shortcut to the problems above. This is why many new fashion businesses are actually just printing their design or logo on T-shirts and hoodies, etc, that can be bought for this purpose. Once you start designing items that are not “standard” like we do at Dincwear, then you have to get a quality factory on board, find the money for your first collection, and then begin the process of making samples and trying them on a (Professional) fitting model… A lot of “new” fashion brands are actually owned by old fashion brands and use their factories and cash flows.The final point to bear in mind is that even the best factory can only do certain things. If you, like us, have mens & womens dance fashion designers who are used to designing “one-off” pieces, it is highly unlikely that the factory will be able to make them. So you will need somebody who is very familiar with both what the factories are capable of doing and what your designer wants to achieve so that they can “translate” between the two without losing anything. We are very lucky to have one of the best” translators” in the business and we look after him very carefully – even though he can drive us bonkers!