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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

"Hey Jimmy, I need the good stuff."

"I haven't had time to cut it yet."  Jimmy eyed the young girl nervously.  She'd been here before, and would be back again. 

"I'll take it uncut.  Please," she begged the desperation in her voice evident.  She fiddled with a wood-block keychain cut to spell out the name Alex. 

He didn't want to risk giving her too much too soon; a move like that could kill his business.  On the other hand, this one transaction could mean a lot of money fast.

"I'll be careful.  I know how to cut it myself.  I'll pay top dollar…" her voice drifted off. 


Cliched conversation between yet another dealer and customer?  Yes, only different.  Jimmy works at a fabric mart.  His business is buying end-lots of hundred-dollar-a-yard fabrics from the best mills in Europe.  Because he buys these remnants in bulk, sight unseen and often at a great discount, he has no say about his assortment, and really doesn’t care.  These jobbed-out lots of fabric are sold to an audience looking for high quality, low yardage, often designers who don't have enough capital to earn bulk discounts from the fabric mills themselves.   

Alex is a designer.  She's competing with others for a break in the business, and those others will also want the best fabrics their limited money can buy.  If she can talk Jimmy into supplying her with uncut yards of fabric, she can easily use her own patterns to create high-end garments, but, like a car that's been stripped of its parts and sold at greater profit, once Jimmy takes scissors to that bolt the smaller cuts of fabric may only make up a piece-meal garment.  If Jimmy gets enough seekers like our young designer, his "top dollar" would go up.  A greedy fabric dealer is no different from a greedy drug dealer - and that greed can eventually bring people to questionable behavior. 

If our designer is putting together a collection to show to a select group of buyers, she better have the fabric to produce the items she shows.  If Jimmy promises that supply of fabric and then reneges, how desperate would Alex be?  If she's already had successful showings to buyers and is sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars of orders, does that desperation drive her to actions a normal person wouldn’t consider?   

Posted by dianevallere at 11:07 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 23 March 2010 11:12 PM EDT

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