17 Tips to Startup Clothing Brands Business

Startup clothing brands: A clothing line is a collection of apparel designed for a target audience and sold in retail locations and/or through online stores. When you enter into the clothing industry, creating a clothing line includes establishing a company, designing the clothes, selecting materials, and sourcing the manufacturing process. You will then have to build sales channels to retail shops or create a brand is available through internet shops across the globe.

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Startup clothing brands


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There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your clothing line. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

1. Get the costs involved in opening a clothing line

If you only want to sell a few hand-painted shirts through an online boutique, you may not need much more than $1,000 to get you up and running if you own a sewing machine and computer.  However if you are planning on going further, be ready to look for a minimum of $500,000 for the initial investment for a small clothing line.  This number includes the costs of the design, branding, incorporation, manufacturing facility, marketing and other expenses. Should you wish to compete with the big-name brands and appear in every mall across the country, don’t be shocked at the start-up price tag.

2. Know the ongoing expenses for a clothing line

Marketing, design, and manufacturing will run hand in hand competing for your operational dollars.

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Startup clothing brands

3. Know the target market

This is possibly your most important part of the design process.  Who are you crafting clothes for? Do you want to build a line of clothes individually tailored to wealthy individuals and only sell a few pieces a month? Or would you prefer to see your T-shirts hung on the racks of every bargain department store across the country? Before you begin to cut cloth, you must determine if you need to make a million pairs of shorts, or just one.

4. Know how clothing line make money

Each individual piece of apparel designed for the line must earn the cost of its entire manufacturing process back through retail sales of the design.  For most profitable clothing lines, this means creating thousands of the same shirt, pair of jeans, or socks through a mass manufacturing process.  The elite boutiques found in Hollywood or in Paris cater to a very select clientele who eagerly pay a premium for their unique fashions.

5. Know how to charge  your customers

A fun graphic T-shirt can run from $8 to $30.  A one-off designer gown created for the red carpet can run up to $10,000. You will price your apparel according to the customer you wish to sell it to.

Startup clothing brands

6. How much profit can a clothing line make

Your pair of pants sold to a large national retailer may see a profit of one or two dollars per unit. The tailored suit sold on Fifth Avenue will profit a thousand dollars. You may sell a thousand pairs of the $2 pants, but only twenty of the suit.  In both cases, volume will determine your final profit.

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7. Know how you can make your business more profitable

It is a business and expenses must be controlled. You will need to ensure that your payroll doesn’t spiral out of control and that you are purchasing quality fabrics at the best possible price to create your beautiful designs.

8. Know how to promote & market a clothing line

Your customers will want to see your designs in use before they will ever buy one at the store. You will need to complete some major photo shoots and place large full-page ads in popular fashion magazines targeted at your demographic. You may wish to hire familiar models or celebrities to help spread the word about your new look. Social media can be used to create buzz about the brand, inserting the name into everyday conversation. Target television ads to appear during peak viewing hours and top-rated shows that are viewed by your target audience.

9. How to keep customers coming back

Of course your clothes have to look great! That will draw your first customers to the racks.  When they discover the quality of the construction and performance of the materials, they will buy your products again.

10. Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

10. Is this Business Right For You?

The person who starts a clothing line has a passion for fashion. This person sees clothes as a way each person expresses themselves. Most often, clothing line founders have an artistic vision and see clothing as their medium. They see clothing as a way to allow others to tap into their own expressive selves. If you have this type of artistic vision, a passion for clothing and design, and a desire to help others express themselves, then starting a clothing line may be just the right business for you.

Startup clothing brands

11. What happens during a typical day at a clothing line?

When you’re involved in opening a new clothing line, you may be asked to:

  • Review or design new looks for the upcoming season
  • Determine your target demographic through matching proposed color and design of the new apparel
  • Source materials for new designs that provide the feel and look desired at a price that will turn a profit
  • Establish a brand and ensure it is aggressively marketed to ensure the best return on your investment
  • Source the manufacturing process for your new clothing and determine if the quality of the end product will be best when produced in a large facility or in-house by your devoted crew
  • Follow the designs of competitors in the industry
  • Plan for future year designs through constant research
  • Balance the cost of materials against the target price
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12. Get s some skills and experiences

Even if you are not handling all aspects of the business yourself, somebody will need to know how to:

  • Design attractive and functional clothing items and translate the design into a pattern for the manufacturing process
  • Fully understand the market demand for each piece of apparel you are including in your line
  • Know how to make the most out of social media for promotion purposes and utilize it
  • Creating a solid business plan with realistic projections for start-up costs over a 5 to 10 year period
  • Be able to determine if large scale or boutique approach is best for manufacturing your items
  • Have excellent accounting knowledge
  • Develop contacts throughout the retail industry to help introduce your line and build recognition among buyers
  • Maintain knowledge of changing fashions and adjust your styles to meet the new demands
  • Plan ahead for at least a year to be able to keep up with the industry

Startup clothing brands

13. Know the growth potential for a clothing line

With a savvy designer creating unique looks and a killer marketing machine, it is possible to break out on the international scene and earn millions with your clothing line.  It is much more likely that your creations will appear in your online store and on the racks of a decent assortment of retail stores across the country.

14. Find a business mentor

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

15. Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Startup clothing brands

16.What are some insider tips for jump starting a clothing line?

You need a brand that everybody will recognize and love. This is why so many Hollywood and athletic superstars add their names to a clothing line–shoppers know who they are, like them, and will be more willing to spend money on that familiar brand. Consider using a popular location or even hiring a celebrity to help establish and advertise your brand name before the first shirt ever hits the racks.

17. How and when to build a team

Your design team must be in place and producing creative looks long before you buy the first shipment of fabric. Your marketing team should be in place as the first pieces are being tested.  Your manufacturing team will fall into place when you are prepared to make the first run.

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