Melengo's Justin Kwong on the future of end-to-end clothing manufacturing | E1913

Melengo's Justin Kwong on the future of end-to-end clothing manufacturing | E1913

Jason kicks off the show (00:00:00)

  • Justin Kwong from Melengo will be discussing the future of end-to-end clothing manufacturing.
  • Jason will share his new framework for automating, deprecating, and delegating within a company.
  • Vanta is the sponsor for this episode.
  • Wizard can help turn innovative ideas into concrete product designs.
  • EPO can help accelerate experimentation velocity.
  • Melengo is an end-to-end clothing manufacturing platform.
  • Melengo went through Jason's accelerator program.

Justin Kwong from Melengo joins Jason (00:01:48)

  • Justin Kwong from Melengo joins Jason to discuss the future of end-to-end clothing manufacturing.
  • Melengo is a platform that enables brands and creators to develop, finance, and scale apparel lines.
  • Melengo handles the complex parts of the manufacturing process, including design, production, and fulfillment.
  • Melengo uses technology to automate parts of the manufacturing process, reducing development time from months to weeks.
  • Melengo offers a range of services, including:
    • Design: Melengo uses AI to assist in the design of apparel.
    • Manufacturing: Melengo manufactures apparel in countries such as China, Vietnam, India, and Pakistan.
    • Fulfillment: Melengo partners with fulfillment companies to deliver apparel to customers.
  • Melengo can produce a wide range of apparel, from hoodies to cashmere sweatshirts.
  • Melengo can help brands and creators compete with high-end brands by producing high-quality apparel.

Justin demos Melengo and its use cases (00:04:38)

  • Melengo's Moo app is a free platform that allows users to design and manufacture clothing, handling all aspects of the manufacturing process from product development to order fulfillment.
  • Users can collaborate with Melengo representatives and designers to provide feedback and make changes to their designs.
  • Melengo offers development packages ranging from $300 to $500 per product to help users get their samples off the ground.
  • The platform provides transparency and visibility into the manufacturing process, allowing users to track the progress of their orders.
  • Melengo's business model involves helping creators and brands with production runs, with a minimum order quantity of 50 units, and charges a small margin on the factory side, which is abstracted through the pricing for customers.
  • By negotiating bulk buying from factories, Melengo can offer lower prices to customers compared to sourcing on their own.
  • A strong sales team plays a crucial role in the success of the business model.

Vanta - Get $1000 off your SOC 2 (00:09:45)

  • Vanta helps B2B startups achieve SOC 2 compliance quickly and easily.
  • SOC 2 compliance is essential for companies that store customer data in the cloud.
  • Vanta can save companies hundreds of hours of work and up to 85% on compliance costs.
  • Vanta also automates up to 90% compliance for GDPR, HIPAA, and more.

Melengo’s business model, initial customers, and fundraising (00:10:37)

  • Justin Kwong, the founder of Melengo, an end-to-end clothing manufacturing company, aims to empower designers and small brands by providing access to fast and agile supply chains similar to those of fast fashion giants.
  • Melengo's unique selling point is its ability to create customized and unique designs based on inspiration from various sources, rather than simply branding existing products.
  • Despite initial skepticism from some investors, Kwong emphasizes the importance of understanding the founder's vision and talking to customers to grasp the true potential of the business.
  • Melengo's investor, Cyan Banister, had a personal interest in the fashion industry and saw the potential in simplifying the clothing manufacturing process.
  • Melengo's success in the accelerator program was driven by their innovative approach and the competitive environment created by weekly rankings among the participating companies.
  • Melengo received a $25k check from Founder University, which helped them get started.
  • Melengo now offers founders the standard YC Tech Stars deal of 7% for $125k, and founders can choose whether they want to come to the accelerator or not.
  • Uizard (UIzard) is an AI-powered suite of UI and UX design tools.
  • Uizard's text-to-UI mockup tool, called AutoDesign, generates app or web designs from simple text prompts.
  • Users can iterate on these designs with an AI assistant and export the completed designs as React or CSS code.
  • Uizard helps users go from idea to mockup in minutes, saving time in product development.

Building Melengo's team and the next steps for finding product-market-fit (00:23:26)

  • Melengo, a seed-stage company led by founder Justin Kwong, is seeking $10 million in Series A funding after reaching $2-3 million in net revenue.
  • Melengo focuses on improving unit economics and profitability in the sampling process and believes in the strength of multiple co-founders for redundancy and diverse expertise.
  • The company has brought on Greg, an experienced textile professional from Nike, and Bon, an AI expert previously working at Meta, as co-founders.
  • Melengo acquires new customers through referrals, especially in the enterprise sector, and educates entrepreneurs through content, including blog posts, TikToks, and Instagram Reels.
  • Melengo has partnered with Fourth Wall, a platform with 2 million monthly active users, to offer custom apparel manufacturing services to creators on the platform.
  • Melengo is considering developing a Shopify app to streamline the process for Shopify brands to create and sell custom apparel.
  • Melengo aims to make it possible for anyone to create their own clothing brand without the need for large-scale production.
  • Founder University offers a 12-week course for entrepreneurs, charging a $500 reservation fee that is refunded upon completion, and provides $125k in funding for 7% equity.

Eppo. Accelerate your experimentation velocity with Eppo. Visit (00:36:50)

  • Eppo is an experimentation and feature management platform that centralizes experimentation workflows across an organization.
  • It offers powerful analysis tools and integrates with existing feature flags or Eppo's SDK.
  • Eppo provides automated updates, shared reports, and allows for deeper analysis of experiment results.

Jason’s A.D.D. framework (Automate, Deprecate, Delegate) (00:37:50)

  • Startups should automate tasks, deprecate non-impactful activities, and delegate tasks to increase productivity.
  • A transparent management system, such as time blocking and reporting, can help assess work impact and identify areas for improvement.
  • Justin Kwong, founder of Melengo, emphasizes the importance of tracking and consolidating daily and weekly tasks to ensure easy replacement of employees.
  • Outsourcing non-core tasks to platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, or to lower-cost regions, can save companies significantly on labor costs.
  • Automating and deprecating tasks can free up employees' time, allowing them to focus on higher-value activities.
  • Artificial intelligence is playing a crucial role in catalyzing these changes by making it easier to find and manage remote workers.
  • Companies should aim to increase productivity by at least 50% per year by becoming 7% more efficient every month.
  • The "ADD" framework (Automate, Deprecate, Delegate) can help individuals and teams identify opportunities for improvement and increase efficiency.
  • Sharing efficiency concepts and best practices with others can lead to further improvements and innovations.

Overwhelmed by Endless Content?