Starting your own clothing line might seem like a lot of work, but with the right tips you’re halfway there! Make sure you keep these things in mind before embarking upon your new adventure.
Do your research
You can never do too much research. Make sure that you know the industry you’ll be diving into. Read about other successful brands, and try to find out their recipe for success. The fashion industry has a great variety of brands. This gives you plenty of examples to choose from, but it also means that some of the other brand’s methods might not be applicable to yours. Single out those methods that you think would be helpful for your own clothing line.
Good plans shape good decisions
When you are exploring how to start a clothing line it is important to think about every aspect of your business before you get started. What kind of clothes do you want to make, how much do you want to sell, where do you want to sell (online or in stores) and to whom do you want to sell? How are you going to create brand awareness, what will be your marketing strategy? And do you have a tech pack for your fashion product? Or do you need help with grading a pattern?
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you start a clothing line. Here at Sqetch we embrace the lean startup methodology. Which means that you test your assumptions fast and change when necessary. This way you don’t spend your precious time making something for a customer that does not exist.
Think about the costs of starting a clothing line. Make sure that you have a complete overview of your expected expenses. Having clothes produced can be very costly, but it’s also possible to start your brand with a smaller budget. Needless to say, you pay more for a cashmere sweater than for a polyester t-shirt. You can be inventive in thinking up ways to reduce the costs, but it should not be at the expense of the quality of your product. Also think about smart means to finance your project. For starting businesses it is advisable to consider crowdfunding, an attractive option for startups that have little financial means.
Spread the word!
Out of thousands of clothing lines, you want your target audience to find you. There’s an increasing pool of marketing channels, from ads to blogs to social media, and you have to find out which ones works for you. Try not to spend too much on promotion in the initial phase, but don’t be cheap either. Social media is a relatively cost-efficient and easy way to promote your product. Save money to market your business a little further down the road. Do not forget that word of mouth is a very powerful way to advertise your brand.
Strive for uniqueness
Brand uniqueness is extremely important in the fashion industry. Think about your clothing line’s image. In what way is your brand different from others? Do your clothes fill a hole in the market? Can you bring something new to the table? Create a brand with a clear identity. Get set up with a name and a logo that sticks in people’s minds. Always keep your target audience in mind. Knowing your customer makes up a big part your brand’s identity.
Hang in there
The process of creating a successful clothing line is one of trial and error, and definitely not the easiest thing to do. That’s also why we have created Sqetch, we want to make it easier for you. Of course you will make some mistakes along the way. No problem! But try to learn from them and hang in there. Rome wasn’t built in a day 😉