7 Tips to Start a Successful Clothing Line
It’s easier than ever to start your own clothing company. It takes only minutes to set up an online store and you have many tools available to assist you. Despite this, there are more people trying to launch clothing lines. How can you stand out from the crowd and ensure your brand is unique in a marketplace filled with more competition? We have been able to interact with many successful clothing line that sell custom t-shirts and we’ve seen their different paths. This list contains 7 key points to remember as you start the process of creating your clothing line.
Choose a direction and create your identity
While it is important to have a name for your clothes line, many people overlook the most important aspect of positioning your brand within a particular market. It is important to identify the target market for your clothing line and then focus in one direction. It wouldn’t make sense for your clothing line to be all dinosaurs and then have 10 tex shirts, but sell one shirt with a kitten.
We see it from time to time that clothing lines with very consistent designs have a few offbeat designs added just because people like a certain animal, bike or creature. People need to be able to identify your brand if they want to remember it. Be consistent, showcase your talents with taste, and remain iconic in your chosen industry.
Comfort Colors’ piece on them demonstrates how their quality products and identity drive them forward. It’s easier to build relationships once you have a strong identity. This is crucial for growth.
Know your audience
You must first understand what you are designing. What is the purpose of your design? Is it a team sport? Is it a group? Do you consider it a hobby? It should be something that you are passionate about and will continue to do for the long-term. The next step is to decide who you’re designing for.
Knowing who is going to buy your clothing brand is the best way to market it. There are many people who have clothing lines but don’t know where they’re selling it to. You don’t need to know where to go with your product. A market that is interested in fishing clothing might prefer a different fit or feel than someone who is into high fashion.
Consider their age, gender, hobbies, interests, and financial resources. Most people who buy custom tshirts or other printed clothing are looking to express their identity.
These are important questions to ask when you’re creating and growing your brand. It doesn’t matter if you have one market in mind when you start, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your clothing line will be able to reach all of them. As your clothing line matures, this might change. Ask questions to find out which shirt is most popular with your audience. If you know the right audience, they will invest in your products.
Select the right shirt
People won’t wear your shirt if it is not pleasurable. You need to choose something that is both comfortable and stylish.
There are many options for T-shirts. You can choose from different colors, fabric blends, and weights. Some even have tear-away tags. There are many options – enough to confuse you if your new to custom t-shirts!
After your line has been in production for a while you will have sales data to make these decisions. For example, if your sales were five times higher for heavyweight than those of lightweight, it is a good indication that heavyweight should be your focus this year. This data is not available to you if you are just starting out. How can you make such decisions?
These rules should help make it easier.
You must first know your budget so that you can keep a good margin and make money, while still offering your customer a high-quality shirt.
We recommend that you don’t go style crazy. Your design doesn’t have to be on every crew cut or tank, long sleeve, hoodie, and hoodie. You should limit your selection to a maximum of 1-2 styles and ensure your design is consistent before you try to put all your eggs in one basket.
It is better to offer more styles than designs, as we find it easier to do so. Keep these things in mind, and keep the seasons in your thoughts. Your new line of custom tanks is not best launched in winter.
Research, research and more research
Research, research, and more research! You don’t have to sell your product. Know your product. There are many options for t-shirt printing. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles.
Learn about the various screen sizes and print options, the differences between plastisol and water-based inks, the different fabrics available and the special add-ons like custom printed tags, tags and hem tags. Your client will be very concerned about everything, from the design to the feel to the delivery.
Partnering with the right printer is crucial. All printers are not created equal.
This is your brand, your business, and your clothing line. You want to make sure that the printer you choose is willing to go along with you on this journey. You can trust their reputation if they are not committed to quality and adamant about excellence. You want to build a strong relationship with the printer, someone you can turn to for help, and who will be there to celebrate your big wins.
Know your numbers
The initial investment
It can be costly to design high-quality retail-quality shirts. However, there are ways to cut costs. Knowing is power. So, find out which tees are the most affordable based on how much you plan to spend on your clothing line. You might not want to spend a lot on a blank garment if you have a tight budget. There are many great options.
You don’t need to start at the top. You can work your way up! You also want to offer a high-quality product. Don’t buy a shirt that’s too stiff or uncomfortable just because it is cheaper. It won’t be worn by anyone, so the money stops here. How will your brand grow if no one wears it? Research is key to your brand’s initial success.
It doesn’t matter if you are going all out and are leaving your 9-5 job to start your clothing business. Most businesses won’t pay their founder a salary for at least the first year. Be sure to factor in your living expenses, such as medical bills, insurance, and make sure you have the financial means to handle them. You could also consider taking out a loan to finance your business. However, it is difficult to get a loan for a new company and you will be under great pressure. You will be able to take on less pressure if your clothing business is a side venture. You will need to be more disciplined about how you spend your time when you have less to dedicate to your business.
Sell your shirts
It is also important to determine the price you will sell your shirts. Here are some things to remember:
- What was the price of each?
- Do you want to make a profit, or break even?
- If you’re not making enough money or breaking even, how can you expect to order more shirts?
- Know your audience and their budget. Then, make a decision.
Promote your shirts
Your shirts are now in your possession. What now? Now, you have to market them. It’s best to have an action plan in place before the shirts arrive. Are you able to plan your marketing strategy?
Marketing strategy considerations
Before selling your shirts, take some time to think about the following questions:
- Do you promote on social media?
- What strategies have you used to grow your social media following?
- Have you done any pre-sales?
- How will they know the shirts can be purchased?
- Do you plan to run ads?
- Are you planning to sell your merchandise at events
- How do you decide the price?
- Do you plan to sell online?
- Did you set up shops to sell your shirts?
- How will you package your shirts?
- How do you want people to perceive it?
It may seem overwhelming to think about all the options. Your business will be able to move forward if you have a marketing plan that is affordable and will convert.
Select where you want to sell
There are many ways you can sell your shirts. There are many options for selling your shirts online, in stores, or both. As we mentioned earlier, it is easy to set up an online shop. You can also exhibit at events. Events are a great way for you to get in front people and show them your product, whether it’s at a local pop up shop or larger conference.
Make options and see what is most popular
It is not enough to sell one shirt when you are trying to create a clothing line. This means you have to sell multiple shirts. Make sure that everyone has options and realize that not everyone wants the same style or design. You can track which shirts are selling well and which don’t.
It can be difficult to roll out a complete line of t-shirts from scratch. If you have a limited budget, we recommend starting with just 2-4 designs. You can then evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Then, you can replace any underperforming t-shirts by trying something else. You can’t go wrong with trying new things.
Your business operations are the most valuable source of information. You will be able to determine which designs are most popular and increase your profits.
Reprint your favorites, get rid of the ones that don’t sell and add something new! You will most likely have some designs that will be big hits. They might not be what you expected.
Keep printing them! Don’t sell them if there is demand. Profits should not be cut. There is too much competition in the market for “everything’ so make sure you hold onto your products. Not to mention that cutting prices can cause consumers to lose faith in your product. Save the sale for something bigger and more special.