Starting a clothing line may seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re ready to start a clothing business of your own, here are some things to think about before you take the plunge.
1: Who You’re Designing For
Before you begin the design process, you need to think about who you’re designing for. Whether it’s women, men, children, or adults, you need to think about what these people want to represent in their clothing. That said, we highly recommend doing research and asking people you know about what they think.
2: What Fabric You’ll Use
People want to buy tees they’ll actually want to wear! That said, be sure to choose high-quality blends, good weights, and beautiful colors to keep your tees stylish and comfortable. Once your line has been out for sometime, you’ll have sales data of your own to base your buying decisions on. Look for fabric that uses 100% combed and ring-spun cotton. These are the only types of tees you’ll find in retail. Check out the BELLA+CANVS Flowy and Triblend collections if you really want to impress your customers by your choice in fabric.
3: Get Feedback
Email friends, family, or co-workers to get their feedback on your designs before you release them to the public. This will give you an idea of what people like and don’t like. There’s nothing better than honest feedback to help you create a product that people are going to love. Order samples to show your friends, and definitely wear test them to make sure it’s something you would be proud to wear.
4: Think About Quality
While the design may look nice, the quality of a tee is just as important. That said, we highly recommend taking the extra time and putting in the extra bucks to make your shirts worth the price. That extra attention to detail will show your customers how much you care. If you decide to buy off-the-shelf blanks instead of going the cut and sew route, it doesn’t mean quality has to suffer. At BELLA+CANVAS, we make the highest quality garments at a price that still leaves you a great margin. If you are looking for something super on-trend, check out our Fast Fashion collection! We release new products every month inspired by what we see trending in retail, like a raw neck or rolled-cuff detailing.
5: Choose the Best Printer
While there are tons of shops out there, not all of them are created equal. Some use water based ink, and some use plastisol ink. Make sure the printer you choose will help you along the way, and be sure you like who you’re dealing with. They should care just as much about quality as you do, so build a great relationship with them now. We recommend finding a printer who uses water-based inks and specializes in soft-hand prints. If you need a reccomendation, let us know–we can help connect you with one of the awesome printers we work with!
6: Market Your Tees
Once your shirts arrive, it’s time to market the heck out of them! It’s important to decide whether you’re going to market your shirts on social media, do pre-sales, run ads, or sell your tees at events. Decide what’s best for you and go with it! The easiest, most cost-effective way to market your product is through email. So as soon as you set up your website, start collecting those emails! We love opt-in monster for an easy plug in to help you grow your list.
7: See What Sells
Once you get your tees on the market, see what sells, and then you’ll know how to grow your profits. Re-print best-sellers, lose the pieces that don’t sell, and amp up those hits. If a product is in demand, don’t make the mistake of putting it on sale – it can devalue the product which makes it anything but special. When you are first starting out, it’s a good idea to do DTG printing–this eliminates some of the risk because you can print one garment for the same price you can print 100. Check out our post on DTG vs Screen Printing for more info on the different types of printing techniques.
8: Time is Everything
Decide whether you want to make this a full-time project or a side thing to start. That said, in the first year of a business, many founders don’t draw a salary, so plan ahead. If it’s a side project, there’s a lot less pressure but be sure to devote the right amount of time to your business.
9: Get Legal
Businesses can grow fast, so be sure to do things right. In the USA, you’ll need a tax ID number, business account, and a company structure to be taken seriously. Do your homework before you decide what works best for you!
10: Bank on It!
If you’re planning to accept online payments, you’ll need a PSP, IMA, or PPC. Decide what’s best for you, and get planning!
Are you ready to start your own clothing line? Have a look at the top-notch blanks on BELLA+CANVAS to get the ball rolling now!