How to start a clothing line
Do you always find yourself scribbling designs on your notepad? Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of starting your own fashion empire? Starting a clothing line can be an extremely rewarding business, though it takes a lot of work and dedication. That said, with increasing marketing opportunities as well as new technology and equipment, it is now easier than ever to start bringing your designs to life and creating your own brand.
So if you’ve got a passion for fashion and you’re considering starting your own clothing line – now could be a perfect time! To help you get started, this guide will look at five simple steps you can take to get your business off the ground and become a budding entrepreneur. If you are serious then we recommend speaking to expert fashion manufacturers.
1. Decide on your niche or products
You may already know what types of clothes you want to produce, whether that’s T-shirts, hoodies, dresses, lingerie, accessories or a mixture of a few. If not, you’ll need to put some thought into where your designs would look best and what you would be happy to produce. Finding your niche is the first step to getting your business off the ground.
While it’s likely that you’ll want to produce a number of garments to give your clothing line some variety, when you’re starting out it’s best not to cast your net too wide or you risk becoming overwhelmed. Instead choose a few items that you can really focus on and perfect. You can always add new items to your clothing range as it becomes more successful.
Know the market and put a strategy in place
Once you have a better idea of the types of clothing you want to produce, you need to do your research into the market and look at who your main competitors are. You may already have a good idea of some of the bigger name brands out there, but it can still be helpful to grow your knowledge of the industry. You can do this by running an internet search and checking out the websites and social media accounts of fashion designers and clothing startups like yours.
This will help you to start putting a strategy in place for building your brand and marketing your clothing. After all, if no one knows about it how are you going to make sales? In the beginning it’s likely that you’ll want to start small and market yourself locally. Social media and the power of the internet can also be a useful tool for selling your products and getting your brand out there. Put some careful thought into how you’re going to tell people about your business and get a strategy in place. It’s OK if this changes over time, but in the beginning it helps to give you some direction.
Keep your costs low
You might have a bit of capital behind you, whether that’s your savings or a loan, but you don’t want to break the bank right away. In the early stages you need to keep costs to an absolute minimum. This shouldn’t be too hard depending on how you plan to create your line, so you need to decide will you be having clothes printed? Will you be making any yourself? Or will you be buying in from other designers. This will give you a good idea about the unit price of each item you want to sell.
Other than the initial cost of clothes you should be able to keep your spending down. You can do your own marketing and the internet makes this much easier to do! And you’re probably operating a one person business at this stage, so there’s no real outgoings in terms of staff or office spaces. This might change over time as you expand, but initially you want to keep your costs as low as possible until you begin making a profit.
Build your brand and marketing yourself effectively
When it comes to branding and marketing yourself you should make the most of social media and the internet. If you don’t already have one, it can be a good idea to set yourself up a blog or website, as well as dedicated social media accounts for your brand. Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to conquer every platform at once, choose one or two and stick with them. This might be Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest – find what works best for you and what others in your industry tend to use most, and stick with it. Once you’ve done this you can share content about your business and products online.
This will help to build your brand. The fashion industry is bursting at the seams right now, so you want to do all you can to stand out. Make sure to always be authentic, share your dreams and goals with your followers, and give them regular updates from your business. While people might enjoy your clothing, they’ll also enjoy engaging with you and your brand as well.
It can also be a good idea to try and get yourself spots at local fairs, market days or events where you can market your business and your products. This can be very helpful in the early stages as word of mouth can be a very powerful marketing tool. Getting yourself out there in front of as many potential customers as possible is the key to getting your business off the ground.
Sell like crazy!
Unlike many other forms of retail, clothing isn’t as heavily regulated so you really can get selling right away. That said, you’ll need to make sure you’re aware of any regulations that can affect you and that you have the correct licenses if you plan to sell on the street or in a store. As stated above, you can use fairs and markets to begin selling and you can even set up a page on your website where customers can place orders. Being a salesman isn’t for everyone, but if you want your business to be a success you need to be confident in your brand and products and take up as many opportunities as you can to sell these.
Written by Stuart Cooke, Blog Editor at Mahileather.com specialists in ethically sourced leather bags and accessories.