Starting early on your custom dance costume design can save you time, stress, and money, but one of the main constraints we hear is, "I don't have my team or money yet!"
No worries, there are ways to get started even without your team assembled or your funds in place for the year.
You can take advantage of early bird savings by getting started with your design and prototype before you have your team or your full funding. Then, when you have your team and funding secured, you can place your full order.
How the Custom Design Process Works:
If you’ve never design a custom dance costume before, here’s a rundown of the typical process:
First step is the design illustration. Many custom dance costume companies, you can get your initial design consultation for your dance costume done for FREE. You don't need to know your quantity or team roster to start designing
Once your design is confirmed, a sample garment will be made. Typically, a 50% deposit for the cost of your order and prototype is required. However, some companies may be willing to let you order the prototype first and pay for the group order later. This means no big deposit is due!
Once your design and sample are done, the last step is production. For your order to move to this phase your full payment, confirmed sizes, and quantities will be due. This part can be done at a later date once you have your team and funding established!
4 Things You Need to get Started:
In order to get started with your dance costumes early and take advantage of early bird savings, here are 4 items you’ll need:
1. Your Theme or Concept
A theme or concept will give your costume a clear focus, and every design decision can relate back to that vision. Organize your ideas in a Pinterest board or mood board to get inspired and communicate with your designers what your custom dance costume vision is.
Looking for inspiration? Check out this post: How to Design a Custom Dance Costume: Finding Inspiration!
2. Your Budget
You don't need to have your funds together yet, but a budget is essential for your designers to begin. They'll want to know what you can afford, so your costume isn't over designed and out of your budget!
If you don't have your official budget set yet, you can base it off the cost of last year's costume. As long as you and your designers know a rough estimate, it can help steer the direction of your design.
3. An Estimated Number of Performers
If you can provide an approximate number of dancers, this will help determine what quantity discounts are available to you, as well as help with budgeting your estimated cost per costume. Know that you can still get your design AND your prototype finished before your team is assembled. Then once your team roster is finalized, your final order quantity and invoice can be adjusted with your confirmed numbers.
4. Your Estimated Time Frame
Knowing your time frame is the last thing you need to get started. Not only will this secure your "spot" in your costume company's production schedule, you'll be able to confirm that your costumes will get to you on time and avoid any rush fees! It can take from 10-18 weeks to design a custom costume from start to finish.
Concept, budget, an estimated quantity and time frame are all you need to know to get started with designs. The biggest benefit to starting early are the discounts!! You can save an extra 5-10%. These discounts don't sound like much, but combined with quantity discounts and the savings can add up to 30%!