How To Start A Clothing Brand
I remember one of the first things that I looked up when I wanted to start a clothing brand was, you guessed it "how to start a clothing brand". I remember finding some stuff, but none of it gave me good closure of knowing exactly how to start one. You will never find an article that gives you step by step instructions on how to do it the correct way because there is no exact way to do it, but I would like to share my story and hopefully give help to some people looking to start their own brand.
Your brand name must mean something to you. Take a lot of time picking out what your clothing brand will mean and the core of it.
Make The Small Purchase
I remember when I started I bought the domain for the website right away. It was $16.00. For some odd reason, knowing that I had spent that $16.00, it made me know that I was fully in it. Although it was such a small amount of money, it was the dipping of the toe into the water. You don't have to order 100 t-shirts and have a website up within a week. Make that small purchase so that you know you're in it.
Of course, you have tons and tons of ideas of clothing and designs, but my advice is to always start simple. I still get comments about our first hoodies that came out because they were simple, clean and to the point. I rushed into trying to become a "designer" way too quickly and that ended up biting me in the ass. You can always add more to your pieces.
I was lucky to be recommended to a small print shop in St. Louis. Park that helped me with my first hoodies and to be honest, I should've stuck with them for longer. I went too quickly into trying to create crazy clothes that were unique because I thought it would be the clothes that people would want, but I lost sight that it was the brand and the meaning that they wanted to rep.
Ask, just ask.
I always thought the questions that I was asking were stupid so I always shied away from asking people. That just resulted in me making mistakes that cost me money when I easily could've just asked. If the person you ask doesn't want to answer your question, then that's just a sign they aren't the right person to be asking! Google has tons and tons of help, but I found that sitting down with someone and actually talking out your questions helps a lot more.
If you use Alibaba, do research.
I now use Alibaba to manufacture my clothes, but I do a shit ton of research, and still have found mistakes have been made. I have probably spent over 24 hours looking for different manufacturers and I'm slowly learning how to find the right ones for the specific clothing piece I'm trying to make.
It costs money to make money
Remember that to sell a product you have to buy it first. I quickly learned that ordering clothes is expensive, and I still order small quantities. Ordering in small quantities means the manufacturer has to charge a higher price, which means you have to sell it at a higher price, but you're a new company and need to sell cheaper than the big brands, so long story short, at least in my situation, little to no money will be made when you're starting out.
Never Give Up
The clothing industry is the hardest industry to break into, but if you're doing it for the right reason, you will embrace the struggle. Yes, you will want to give up at times, but remember why you're doing it and why you started.