From selling t-shirts to creating a signature line of summer clothing, fashion is big business. There is always room for new and ambitious entrepreneurs to take advantage of the overwhelming demand in the fashion industry. Worldwide The fashion industry is valuable $1.7 trillion as of 2022.
With social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, individuals have more opportunities to create and launch their own clothing line. If you have a passion for fashion and want to know how to turn that love into a business, this article will help you get started.
Understand your business
Many people who enter the fashion industry do so because they love clothes, love to design clothes or look good in clothes. You can fit the bill of all these things but all that does not make a business.
As a business, you need to create a business plan, set goals, market and manage the business. There are many elements that are related to the operation that you will be on top of to get through it and prosper.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself and include in your business plan:
- Who is my target market?
- How do I plan to reach them?
- Who are my competitors?
- What makes my clothing brand unique?
Asking yourself these questions will help you take a critical look at your business. The idea is to prevent future problems by having a clear understanding of your business before you launch it.
You need to find a way to finance your clothing line. The amount of money needed to launch your clothing line will depend on the type of line you are creating, niche and production size, among other things. You may only need $500 or that number may be closer to $50,000.
Be sure to monitor your spending closely. Production and operating costs of an apparel business can spiral out of control if not closely monitored.
Whether you’re printing t-shirts or you’re developing a unique fashion line, someone has to make stuff. You need to find a manufacturer that can make clothes to your exact specifications.
In the beginning, you may be able to get away with sewing and printing the clothes yourself. However, if you start to gain some traction, you will have less time to devote to production. This leads me to my next point.
When I was in college, I used to make fashion jewelry as well as offer their stores to make ends meet. I can tell you that most of my time is not spent creating brand new jewelry styles. 70% of my day is spent doing what it takes to run a successful company.
You should be prepared to do everything yourself unless you hire help. You’ll find that a lot of your time will be invested in paperwork, customer invoices and online ordering and expense tracking. Likewise you need to be prepared to deal with shipping, customer support, promotions/press sets as well as operations development (building your client base).
Build the brand
be everywhere-Seeing brand names and logos everywhere is an important part of marketing for any business but is especially important for clothing lines. The fashion industry relies more on social proof than most.
As much as teenagers want to be unique, they often wear what their friends are wearing. Adults are no different. The more people see your clothes, the more people will want to wear them. Once you’ve identified your target market, somehow get in front of them and stay at the front of their minds.
Be known for something-There’s nothing like a good story to go with a good brand. Your clothing line should be known for something special to stand out. What unique fabrics do you use? Do your clothes fit great? What is a type of design? Find something unique about your clothing brand and put that uniqueness front and center.
First create fans-think Fashion bloggers. Those who are fans of you or your style will be your first customers. Even if you’re not in the fashion field, it’s possible to use your awesomeness as a springboard. You can create hype around your brand by using influencers on Instagram or YouTube.
Prioritize customer service-While the fashion industry is about selling products, your service will be what gets people to buy. Make sure you are ready to fill orders from boutiques and retail stores. Also, make it a priority to send your online sales to your customers quickly and accurately.
Choose how you want to sell
A mistake many new fashion entrepreneurs make is trying to get their products into stores and onto the runway. Although getting your clothing line in retail stores is one Long term goals for an apparel businessIt should not be the primary focus in the beginning.
To do this you first need to sell your item to get noticed. The easiest way to get it to people is online.
- Online marketplace– There are pros and cons to selling your clothing brand on a marketplace like Amazon. An advantage is that your items are likely to reach more people. The downside is that placing your design on a marketplace can make the brand seem less exclusive. You need to decide what works best for the type of business you are building.
- Your website– An eCommerce website is one of the best ways to showcase and sell your clothing line. Even if you decide
- Instagram Shop– Instagram is the “fashion-line friendly” social platform. The app makes both buying and selling of unique clothing items very easy and convenient. Many entrepreneurs have launched very successful online clothing businesses just on Instagram. See our article How to start an online clothing business on Instagram Learn more about how to build an online business on Instagram.
- Print on demand-Another option that an aspiring fashion entrepreneur can opt for is the print-on-demand sales option. With this option, you can use a site like to print To design and sell apparel items like T-shirts and jackets. This option is simple and requires no capital as you can display your designs but the items are not manufactured until the order is received. Also you don’t need any inventory.
A clothing line can be a great way for an entrepreneur to turn their passion for fashion into a successful and profitable business. But like any other business, a person must take the right steps to increase their chances of success. The above tips will help you start launching your own successful clothing brand.
This article was first published in June 2016 but has been updated and expanded
Business Opportunities · Clothing Lines · Featured · Grow Your Business · Product Development
Find your way · Grow your business · Product development