Thinking about sourcing from S & S Industries? Don't, RUN IN THE OTHER DIRECTION.
Apparently no 2 underwires have the same shape/length. So, when designing an underwire top or bra, you have to choose your wires first. You can either source them or have them made custom but the minimums for custom orders are very large. I found an underwire that was the shape I needed from a supplier in New York called S&S Industries who also had other trims that I needed. I went back and forth with a rep for 2 weeks trying to get samples. I eventually had to call in and ask for someone else to handle my account because this lady was so unbelievably rude and actually yelled at me on the phone when I pointed out inconsistencies with information she had provided. I began the process all over again with another rep, trying to get samples to check out their products. 1 week of this, and then he passes me off to another rep at their Honduras factory whose english is less than great. Another 2 weeks and finally initial samples show up on my doorstep. The changes in reps and complete disregard for customer service would all be red flags in a normal environment. But EVERYTHING had been exhausting and super difficult and I had been warned ahead of time by my pattern maker and by the most important book I read called 'The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing' by Kathleen Fasanella, that this industry is exactly like this and you have to be pushy and determined and wade through all the shit to get anything done. SO I did.
I designed my underwire bikini top around this underwire and sent the initial samples to my pattern maker for measurement. When I tried to order more samples to get my sewbys made and inquire about other products, my new rep in Honduras would take a whole week to respond to each email I sent and when she finally responded, only 1 out of the 3 questions I had asked were answered and it was written in broken english and the message was very unclear. And then I finally got the samples for the sewbys along with a $120 shipping fee, because they rush shipped it (not per my request), and it came from the Honduras facility instead of New York.
Eventually, I discover that the original rep that I had discussed minimums with, had lied. According to my new rep, minimums are several hundred more than what I was first told. Now I have a bikini top designed around an underwire supplied by a company whose minimums I cannot meet. This relationship started in January and ended in June- I put up with these people for 6 months and all of it was for nothing. I looked into getting the wires duplicated overseas and called every supplier under the sun and eventually after a month of research, I found a supplier in Massachusetts who has an underwire that is only slightly off and will work with the pattern that I have already paid for. My new supplier is lovely, responsive, and in the States. Barekini (1) ; S&S (0).