Step 3 - What Type of Clothing Line Do You Want and Designing It
Now you should be thinking about what type of clothes you want to make first. Do you want to start with T-shirts, jeans etc. Keep your scope limited at first until you build a name for yourself. This is important because doing a large line can be very costly when your starting a clothing line from scratch.
Get a fashion design program like Digital Fashion Pro to lay out your fashion designs. Get all of your fashion sketches together and figure out which ones you want to produce first. Show them to friends and family and see which ones people like the most. Next you can use your professional sketches to give to a seamstress, clothing manufacturer, or screen printer who can make your designs for you. First create your design sketch, then a technical sketch that you can learn how to create with our Beyond the Basics Upgrade for Digital Fashion Pro, then a spec sheet that you can create with our Fashion Business Center CD. These items make up your style tech pack. While designing create your logo artwork or print in case your going with something like sublimation printing.
Read article on fashion design software and the fashion design process.
Step 4: Manufacturing A Clothing Line and The Cost To Do It
Next decide how you want to get your clothing made. Do you want to mass produce or just produce a a small production run to see how things go. Find manufacturers on our Ultimate Fashion Contact List or look for local contractors like screen-printers to print your T-shirts.
How much money does it cost to start a clothing line? The answer to this question is different for everyone. First you should make your business plan and determine how much money you need to get your line off the ground. To do this, you should find out how much a production run will cost, advertising etc. Coming up with the capital to launch your clothing line can be tricky depending on intangible business. Banks will loan you money if you have collateral such as a house to put up. The Official Step by Step Guide To Starting A Clothing Line Book offers creative ways to finance your clothing line plus a better understanding of exactly what it will cost you to get started. It is the number one book in the world to related to the real facts of the reality of starting your own clothing line with truly detailed steps and information.
Another Great Tool for finding out how much it will cost you to start your line is The Fashion Business Center CD. Now whether you buy the items we recommend here or other items this is what you should remember. If you can’t afford something - you should figure your how you can afford it. Web articles are great but they will only take you so far. Investing in proven things that have worked for others will take you a long way. Also this tool helps you figure out how many pieces to include in your collection based on budgeting.
One of our clients told us that, “He wish he had just bought our course because it would have saved him $4800 that was wasted on a botched production run.” So maybe you don’t have the funds for our highly recommended course or package at the moment but having a clothing business is all about selling. Therefore, you have to sell the idea of your clothing line to family, friends, co-workers etc. to raise money even if it is to buy resources. If each of them were to give you a little something towards buying the resources that will help you out you would be well on your way. Later they may even become larger investors in your line. After all, if you can’t sell the people close to you on your idea - who can you sell to?
Believe in yourself and your vision and others will help you if you ask. The biggest myth about starting a line is thinking someone or some company is going to take all the risk of getting your clothing made while you bring nothing to the table but an idea and then they are to get paid once you sell something. In this day and age that is pretty much a pipe dream. There are always a couple exceptions to the rule but are few and far between. This is why the Official Step by Step Guide to Starting a Clothing Line Book is so important because it shows you how to get your line started even on a small budget.
So back to the next step in your line. Now that your clothing is being made it very important that your contractor / manufacturer delivers quality goods to you and on time.
Step 5: Marketing & Advertising + How To Sell Your Clothing Line To Retailers and Directly To End-Customers
As a clothing line owner, you have to think about new ways to brand your line everyday. It is important that you give consumers and store owners a reason why they should choose to support your line. Make sure you stand out. Being different and unique is a good thing in the fashion industry. You also want to think strongly about how to define your apparel line.
Now that you have goods on the way. Begin taking orders for these items if you haven't already. When my partner and I started our line, we would go to summer festivals, church festivals etc. and rent booths to sell our line. One summer we made over $15,000 selling T-shirts. T-shirts are actually an excellent way to market your line. Sell your items to any and everyone you know. People will see them wearing it and ask how they can order. Make sure you offer deals if people buy more than one. This is called building a local selling network. Once you have a network that loves your clothes you can always sell them your new releases. Make sure you maintain a contact list of all of your customers. This is good for cash flow.
Where can I sell my clothing? First think about putting your line in local stores. Make appointments with them to go in and show the buyer your line. After getting your line in stores locally and learning how things work you can then move on to thinking about national distribution.
How to Market a Clothing Line - See the Official Step by Step Guide for that as well. Marketing is an essential step in the success of your clothing line. People must know you exist. Make sure you have a professional looking web site first and foremost. Make sure you put out a press release about your line. You can also advertise your line online and in magazines etc. One thing you must have is post cards. Make sure you blanket your city with post cards that advertise your clothing line. Important: Make your your postcards have your Facebook page, Pinterest Page, Twitter Page, Instagram and certainly your website. I got ahead of myself. Make sure you have set up your clothing line on those sites to help market it. Also make sure you have a QR scan code on the postcard so users can scan it and go directly to your website. A good resource for free QR codes is Qrstuff.com. The important thing is to build buzz and momentum surrounding your clothing line. Contact your local radio stations and see if you can get them to interview you. You can also think about attending local and national clothing trade shows like Magic International. Exhibiting at clothing trade shows will put you right in front of clothing buyers if you want to distribute your line nationally. Other fashion events like New York Fashion Week are great to attend as well.
Step 6 - Managing Your Clothing Line
Management. Manage your money, your orders, production, delivery and everything else about your line to perfection. The Fashion Business Center CD on our site is the perfect fashion business management tool. It helps you manage production, inventory, style production forecast and costing, retail orders, spec sheet templates, line sheet templates, order forms and more.
Startingaclothingline.com was created to help fashion entrepreneurs develop solid strategies to advance their fashion lines and ideas with an emphasis on management. See All of what we have here. The thing about starting a clothing line is that you must have the passion for it. Sleep, eat and breathe it. Nothing feels better than seeing others wearing your creations. Making money off those creations feels even better. Make sure you have adequate price points on your merchandise that will allow you to make money via wholesale and selling directly to the consumer. See Our Fashion Mogul Package - covers designing your line and the full process of launching it. See the updated version of this article here - 10 steps to starting a clothing line on our SCLStyle Blog.
About the Publisher: Startingaclothingline.com is a company specializing in resources that help ordinary people start their own fashion lines successfully.
About the Author: Michael Harper Co-Founder of StartingAClothingLine.com and Co-Author of the Official Step by Step Guide.
Article Posted by John Thomas. Published 2/1/2007. Last Updated 10/1/2013