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What was your best purchase starting in this business

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stimpy:
Like the title says, what was your best purchase when you started in this business. Or what are the things knowing what you know now that you would have bought? What are the things that you regretted the most. And what you would never have bought again knowing what you know now ?

Just curious to the responses.
I personnaly have a lot of stuff that i would have done differently. Like  building up stock in different colors, and always missing pieces to make this or that product.

Stoner63A:
#1 Walking Foot Sewing Machine.......hands down, the #1, best buy.    Punches through insane thicknesses, maintains consistent stitch length.

#2 Bartacker....mine started out as a $65 Craigslist buy

essal:
Best buy: Industrial walking foot
Worst buy: "Industrial strength" walking foot
Regret not buying: Bartacker, Automatic featured walking foot (trimmer and kneelift, maybe a computer)

It seems like a ton of money to fork out for a walking foot with automatic features and a bartacker, but if you're going to be serious about build gear in your basement then you should do it the proper way. It's not advice I'd give part-time or hobby guys because of the investment. I'm getting a tacker as soon as I can afford one when/if my company boots up again.

As for inventory, I kept it pretty basic with CB and RG, haven't lost out on too many orders due to not having a ton of MC. Mainly when I started doing Hypalon stuff is when people wanted MC, but it wasn't a product I could buy so I don't even consider it a loss. However, keeping a bunch of random fabrics and patterns on hand (especially if they go with your standard trims) is a good idea. One thing I would recommend is some exotic fabrics to play with, because it opens up new doors in terms of design and design capabilities.

A thing I would recommend is doing a pattern making course. You might not see the use for being able to drape a dress at the moment, but trust me, the $300-1000 you'll spend on it will come right back to you when you apply it to your designs.

Bootcat:
Best buy #1: programmable lockstitch machine with servo motor (needle feed for me, automatic+walking foot+heavy fabrics was not available to me at the time).
Best buy #2: programmable bartacker, 40x30mm area (pattern tacker really) with servo motor.
Best buy #3: K. Fasanella book. I didn't understand most of it at first, but I keep returning to it year after year as I evolve towards outsourcing, production organisation and such.

Recommendation: 3 colors for fabric and webbing (black, some kind of coyote, some kind of green, maybe a national camo pattern if applicable) and 2 colors for plastics (black and coyote tan obviously). The variety of stuff and storage space you'll need for a new color is staggering, I calculated that adding ATACS AU cost me around 400-500USD just to try it (and it didn't sell).

BergspitzeCustoms:
Walking foot machine, an older Consew 206.  Have yet to find a project that it won't sew through.  Local classifieds ad find, guy was just trying to get rid of it so I offered him a couple hundred below his already low price, AND he threw in a bunch of fabric, webbing, and hardware.  It was what started it all.


--- Quote from: Stoner63A on November 24, 2016, 04:20:04 PM ---#2 Bartacker....mine started out as a $65 Craigslist buy
--- End quote ---
The jealousy is so strong right now, you have no idea.  Have been searching for a good deal on a bartacker (would love a programmable tacker) for such a long time.  Missed one for $200 a few months ago by literally a few minutes.  $65 is a super steal.

Also, I concur with Bootcat's recommendation.  Keep it simple at first.

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