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Finding International Manufacturers

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This story appears in the November 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You have an idea for the coolest new product in town--be it über-trendy purses or a nifty new kitchen widget. You'll need some manufacturing help, though, to make your idea a reality. Thankfully, the internet has made it easier for startups to find information on overseas outsourcing. Just keep in mind, it's going to require some serious legwork.

Tova Friedman learned that firsthand: She started her line of women's handbags using an overseas manufacturer, but only after she did a ton of research. This New York City entrepreneur was designing children's backpacks for another company when she started conceiving more sophisticated designs and decided to strike out on her own. Launching the first Teeze Accessories & Stuffline of handbags in 2003, Friedman knew that to get the bags to a reasonable price point, she'd have to produce them overseas. Thanks to contacts from previous jobs, she knew of some manufacturing houses in China and Korea.

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