FAQ: How To Start A Clothing Line
If you have been wondering how to start a clothing line then you have come to the right place. The reason why we are writing this post on how to start a clothing line is because we have been getting a lot of questions on the process. Santa Barbara is filled with young and old entrepreneurs that want to make a name for themselves, their family, their company, their brand, and for their city. One of the best ways to do that is by creating a custom clothing line. In addition, it also acts as a nice revenue stream. For some people it is their daily job and for others it is simply a hobby. Regardless of how serious you take it, nothing is as difficult as starting a clothing line. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, so the key is to not give up. A lot of time must be dedicated to marketing, accounting, sales, customer service, shipping, etc., so the task will require a lot of skills.
For this post, we are going to cover three basic things that must be addressed when starting a clothing line. It will be nearly impossible to cover everything in a single post, not only due to the massive amounts of information, but because the industry is constantly changing. So, in order to keep up to date, this series of posts on how to start a clothing line will be continuously updated.
To be completely honest, a lot of clothing lines out there are really identical. The only thing that differs is the design and the name of the brand. There are only a handful of apparel manufacturers out there, so a majority of clothing lines all purchase from the same companies. The exceptions are the brands that have the budgets to spend on custom cut and sew pieces. But, for the most part, those are only the very well established brands. So, since everybody is printing on pretty much the same type of tee, then what makes one clothing line different from another?
The difference lies in the marketing. More specifically, the photography and message behind the clothing line. Photography is massively important now a days especially with how massively popular social media us. People would much rather see an image then read text, which is why a lot of clothing lines utilize Instagram and Facebook with picture status updates.
We have noticed that the clothing lines that are the most successful are the ones that have the better photography. Photography can make an OK design look AWESOME and it can convince the potential customer to want to buy the product. We massively and highly suggest for you to invest a lot of time into your marketing efforts, because no matter how good your design is it will not sell if it is not marketed properly. You must know your target audience and their wants/needs.
It should come as no surprise that accounting is very important. They say that the difference between a good business and a great business lies within the accountant. S/he can let you know how much cash you have to invest, how much you can spend on marketing, how large of a risk you can take, how much you can invest into new apparel, and much more!
If you plan on taking your clothing line seriously then you should definitely take a couple of courses in accounting. The reason is that your accountant will only be as good as you, so in order to utilize the information that they give you properly then you should know what the numbers mean.
After buying a product, do you like waiting? Probably not and neither will your customers as well. So, make sure that your shipping is on point. One thing that we have noticed works well is to get an account with UPS or FEDEX, because they will offer you reduced rates since you will be shipping often.
Also, make sure that you always keep some sort of inventory (the amount will depend on your demand), so that when a customer places an order you will not have to make the product. You’ll quickly be able to ship it to them without any hiccups. Plus, you will get that much more respect from your customers if they receive their product(s) in a timely manner.
These three things that we just listed should be taken seriously. Before you start a clothing line you should do a lot of research into how to start a clothing line. The purpose of this post was to not explain everything in detail, but rather give you a bird’s eye view of the importance of each. You can find tons and tons of books that have been written on these subjects, so take some time out this weekend to read. Knowledge is truly power and especially when it comes to creating your clothing line.