Reni Fee, co-owner of Artist Generations standing behind a booth at Dorval Elementary School Fall Fair.

On Demand Manufacturing ~ Our Story

With all the Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday hype going on I’ve been thinking a lot about our company and business model over the weekend.  Specifically how we are just not able to compete with all the companies out there offering 50%-80% off plus free shipping but also why at the end of the day we are ok with it.  Of course we’d like to be able to offer our customers crazy discounts but at what cost?  We operate on very low profit margins primarily due to the way we source & manufacture – all local and ‘on-demand’.  I realize we don’t talk much about our back-end process so I thought I would share.  We are very proud of who we are, who we partner with and of our business model which is founded on ‘On-Demand Manufacturing’. 

For Artist Generations ‘On-Demand Manufacturing’ is a no brainer.  Ultimately this type of business model enables us to do what we love to do given the minimal financial risk involved.  We truly see it as the way forward for many other reasons though...… 

  • Not Fast Fashion ~ We pride ourselves in not being involved in any “Fast Fashion” practices.  On-Demand Manufacturing is the exact opposite where every item we make already has a home and is intended to be used for a long time due to thoughtful craftsmanship.  It’s definitely hard to compete with the likes of Amazon Prime but we still manage to ship our items relatively quickly without compromising quality (usually 10 days plus shipping time).  We also sleep better at night knowing that we are not ever over-producing and/or stocking!
  • No overstock ~ Every piece of wearable art we make has a home and is literally made with someone in mind.  We are not a warehouse taking up green space & stocked to the brim with excess clothing….an unnecessary waste in our minds.  
  • No need to liquidate ~ We don’t liquidate because we never have overstocked items on-hand collecting dust.  Almost every single one of our pieces is created & shipped out just for our customers.  Manufacturing only what our customers order not only eliminates the need to discount excess inventory (critical when your profit margin is minimal to begin with) but also eliminates excess materials which is extremely important to us.
  • Enables creativity ~ The beauty of the ‘On-Demand’ model is that we can experiment with certain designs & looks without breaking the bank.  We can test out what our customers like by producing a couple of samples as on-demand manufacturing means we don’t have to make something before we know if it will sell or not.
  • Unique wearable art just for you ~ We work with a wonderful local production house that supports what they call ‘On-Demand Ethical Production’ and we are proud to be a part of that.  They are a community driven studio that creates exceptional prints and amazing quality fabrics for us.  We don’t have to purchase an outrageous amount of fabric upfront; only what we intend on selling.  This allows us to create high-quality, unique & individual wearable art pieces just for our customers to enjoy.  The manufacturing cost is higher but the end result is better.   
  • Reduce, Reuse & Recycle…always! Every business has a responsibility to reduce their environmental impact.  By manufacturing on-demand and sourcing locally, we help reduce our carbon footprint.  In house we keep our artistic practices as environmentally friendly as possible and our manufacturing partner is committed to minimizing their excess every step of the way.  Instead of printing the full fabric surface, they only print the portion of fabric needed for each piece of wearable art.  Any excess paper (used for sublimation printing) is recycled or collected by contractors for other purposes and any imperfect garments are donated to local shelters.  They recover straps and hardware from flawed products to be reused.  All of the ink they use is water based and non-toxic which can be disposed of easily.  Ultimately our goal together is to be zero waste studios so that all production excess is reused in some way. 

So that’s us and what we believe in!  On-Demand Manufacturing is an emerging industry that will hopefully continue to evolve as more and more businesses jump on board.  Of course there is always room to improve but For Artist Generations it’s the only way forward and we will continue to work with people who believe in and support this mindset.    Hopefully it helps paint our picture so to speak & explain why we did not partake in any Black Friday sales this weekend J.  We still love our customers and hope that we make up for it by producing beautiful wearable art that they can truly enjoy knowing more about us &  everything that we support! 

As always we’d love to hear from you so don’t be shy, comment below and let us know what you think! 

Artist Generations - Wearable Art


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