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How It Works

The journey of each garment.

Let’s face it: fashion, as an industry, is broken. Since the beginning, we’ve been dedicated to weaving kindness, care, and inclusivity into our entire production process, while minimizing harm to the environment. A couple years into business, we realized that shifting to our current made-to-order production model furthered that mission while allowing us to deepen our commitment to inclusivity by tailoring each order that we recieve. 

Many of us never see behind the curtain when it comes to how our clothing is produced which is essential to be a mindful consumer. We’ve worked hard to create a process we’re proud to show to you.

 Here’s what happens when you place an order:


First, we do a little happy dance. Thanks for supporting our small business!


Next up, your order is processed and added to the order list for studio team.


When it comes time to make your garment, any customizations needed for your order are made to the pattern for your garment.


Your fabric choice is rolled out on the table, and your pattern pieces are cut out to your specifications.


The cut fabric is handed off to our seamstress to be sewn into your garment.


Your finished garment is steamed and  inspected for any imperfections or hanging threads.


We package your garment, and hand the package off to be shipped.


Your package arrives on your doorstep ready to be worn and loved!

How do we price our garments?

Cost Breakdown behind every step of the production process

Product Development

15% of total garment price.

The design process, patternmaking, fitting, samples, and photoshoot are all elements in the product development cost.


20% of total garment price.

Cutting and sewing the garment is the biggest labor cost Processing, steaming, and packaging also factor in here!.

Fabric and Notions

12% of total garment price.

Our fabric averages around $10 per yard, And  garments use 1/2 to 3 yards of fabric depending on the style. Notions include thread, buttons, zippers, and labels.


1% of total garment price.

Packaging includes mailer, paper, sticker, and postcard.


4% of total garment price.

Marketing comes in a variety of forms including newsletters, ads, social media campaigns, website design, affiliate or influencer partnerships, and more. 


6% of total garment price.

Every garment is made in our studio in LA. Overhead includes everything needed to keep our studio operating.

The production process adds up to about 60% of the garment price. The remaining 40% is our profit margin. Our profit margin goes toward increasing employee wages, developing future collections, and unforeseen costs.

When items go on sale, we lose a large part of our profit margin, meaning we are selling the garment at close to cost. We keep margins tight in order to offer our garments at the most accessible price to you year round with minimal price increases. Hence why we limit sales and discounts to a couple of times a year!

Learn More about our Production and Pricing

What Does Made-to-Order Mean? - Sotela

What Does Made-to-Order Mean?

By Hanna Baror-Padilla

Originally posted January 30, 2020. We aren’t your conventional fashion brand. For starters, we only make what you order right here in our studio. Everything is designed, cut, sewn, ironed,...

Read more
Fabric Sourcing - Sotela

Fabric Sourcing

By Hanna Baror-Padilla

Originally Posted October 3rd, 2019. Welcome to the first of our behind-the-scene series. We want to expand on the topics we talk about on Instagram so you have a better...

Read more

Follow us on Tiktok and Instagram to see more behind the scenes.