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Some Thoughts About New Products (7/14/2021)

Posted on July 14 2021

I know there are mixed feelings about our new imported line, and I wanted to let you know that we hear and appreciate your concerns and will address them in order to continue improving our product and company and your experience as a customer.

Sizing

First, there are concerns about differences in sizing between the ‘old’ Chris N Missy dresses and the new ones. We have worked very closely with our partners to try to make the new sizes as close as possible to our old ones. However, it was also important to improve the consistency across our entire size range.   If you have ever moved up from a size 6 to a size 8, you might know what I am talking about. Our existing size range just did not grow at a steady rate from one size to the next, so some adjustments needed to be made. I developed our USA made patterns from scratch, and as we’ve grown, I’ve realized that there was room for improvement.  It also helps people who may not know what size they need because it is more comparable to generally accepted commercial sizes. From the perspective of a single size, you might notice some difference, but for the overall size range, everything should be more reliable. I realize this is a change for customers who know what sizes they wanted under the old size chart. Because of that, I will be posting a size chart for every available product as they become available. Our best advice is to check these measurements against the actual measurements of a dress you already own and choose the size that is closest. That is what we have always told customers that were not sure. Again, I do not think you will see a lot of difference, but there may be some variance in old and new with specific sizes, and we want you to love your purchase and not be surprised or feel like you are guessing at sizing.

Quality

Secondly, there have been concerns about quality of the imported line. The most important thing I want to say right away is that our return policy is unchanged. If you are unhappy for any reason, simply contact me at chris@chrisnmissy.com, and I will arrange a return and refund subject to our return policy. This is true for both our imported and made in USA lines. We back our products regardless of their origin.

As quality is concerned, I think the issue has to do with either fabric quality or quality of workmanship. I will address these individually:

  1. Fabric Quality: In the nine years I have been sewing, I have seen only two mills that produce suitable children’s fabric in the United States. One is no longer in business, and the other had poor selection. This is significant because I want you to know that essentially all fabric comes from overseas to start with. This is true whether the end product was completely sewn overseas, or the fabric was shipped to the United States and then sewn here. The clothing company may be American, and the fabric may have been purchased in the United States, but the fabric itself is likely to have been manufactured overseas. I have purchased thousands of rolls and bolts of fabric, and they mostly come from South Korea or China. Occasionally, I will see something from India, Pakistan, or Japan. The point here is that it isn’t reasonable to say that fabric is poor quality because it came from overseas when in fact, it all comes from overseas. When you see a label that says ‘Made in USA’, it probably should say ‘Made in USA of Imported Fabric’. I see that occasionally, and that is the correct statement per the Federal Trade Commission of the United States (the FTC). Perhaps you have seen Apple’s ‘Designed in California. Made in China.’ I mostly love and admire Apple and their products.
  2. Quality of Workmanship: I check every piece no matter who made it or where. With our imported line, we are currently returning less than ½ of 1% for quality issues. With our Made in USA line, we have had orders where I have returned over 20%. It is devastating to return over 20% of an order. This is not to say that manufacturing is better overseas or vice versa. The most important thing to me is to put together the best product regardless of where it came from. I want to be clear that starting up an imported line is not a decision that we made quickly or lightly. I spent the better part of a year vetting factories and samples to make sure we chose the absolute best manufacturing partner for our products. As I said in a previous post, this was not a cost issue. We chose to do this because we simply could not buy fabric last year during the pandemic. 

The upside is that I found out that we could custom print our own fabric, which is something I have been wanting to do for a long time, and we have a much better choice of fabric types. I have even been able to print MY OWN DESIGN for a gymnastics/ Olympics print that you will be seeing very soon!

Pricing

I hope you have noticed also that the price of our imported line is lower than our Made in USA. It is not our intent to deceive anybody. It is a little bit cheaper to manufacture overseas, and we are happy to pass this savings on to you. If you care about country of origin, simply look at the description on the product’s page. It will always say either ‘Imported’ or ‘Made in USA’.

To be clear, we will be continuing our Made in USA line, and it is not our intention to ever stop manufacturing here. Rather, what we will have is two different lines at two different price points. The last thing I want to say in this blog post is that in the future, the price points between the two lines will be more noticeable. We have always tried to keep our US made products priced as fairly as possible, and in fact, they were priced too low to allow us to continue at that level. When we started the company in 2013, dresses were $45 and up, and that is a fair price for domestic production. I would anticipate our domestic line will be priced similarly from this point on.

 

As always, if you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at chris@chrisnmissy. I’m always happy to discuss anything with you our customers and welcome any opportunity to serve you better!