Are you really into fashion, and you want to put out a clothing brand that is unique and versatile? Well, you have come to the right place, because you can start a clothing line from scratch. If you follow the right steps, it can be very rewarding. As well, you will have no problems getting your clothing line out into the market while being successful. Whether you have little experience or a ton, you can still start your own online boutique. What’s important to remember with a brand is that “A brand is how someone thinks and feels about your company and is based on the sum of all interactions they have with your business.” This quote was stated by Richard Lazazzera, who is an entrepreneur, advisor, and investor.
So, looking at the main steps required to start a clothing line, they are listed below. Keep in mind that some people’s lists may differ from the steps listed below and may also go into more detail. Still, these are the six main and necessary steps you should follow:
- Step 1: Brainstorming an innovative name for your clothing line
- Step 2: The name you desire for trademarking
- Step 3: The kind of clothing you want and its design
- Step 4: Manufacturing a clothing line and how much it costs
- Step 5: Marketing and advertising and selling your clothing line to stores and consumers
- Step 6: Analyze your competition
- Step 7: Management of your clothing line
- Step 8: Articulate your brand story
Step 1: Brainstorming an innovative name for your clothing line
When you want to start a clothing line, the first step is coming up with a name for your clothing boutique. You might think that this is the easiest step, but it isn’t as easy as people think. You want to have a name that stands out, but that also really explains and represents your online boutique in the best way possible. If you are having trouble coming up with a name on your own, luckily, there is BNG (Business Name Generator). You can check out Clothing & Fashion Business Name Generator online, where you enter words and click generate into the Business Name Generator. The website is also great because it has tutorials and suggests how to brainstorm for name ideas since coming up with a great name can be stressful. Ashley S outlines this in detail, who is a Branding & Marketing Specialist. A smart idea is taking a look at well-known clothing businesses and researching how they came up with their names. For example, Vans; “A name synonymous with skateboarding, the brand has been able to carve out a unique niche for their style of shoes. The name is simple, instantly recognizable, and easy to remember – an ideal combination.”
Step 2: The name you desire for trademarking
It is imperative that the name you pick for your brand/clothing line boutique is available for trademark. You will have to do a trademark search for your brand name. Once you do this and it is possible, you can register it as an LLC. Depending on where you are located in the world, there are many registration services that can assist you. For example, in Canada, you can check out the Government of Canada Trademarks. Looking at clothing and clothing accessory store sales in the US, they have done exceedingly well. So, if you are in the States and are thinking of starting your brand, you will have some competition. According to NationMaster, “in 2019, the country was ranked number 1 comparing other countries in Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores Sales.”
Step 3: The kind of clothing you want and its design
When it comes down to this step, this is where you have to put your thinking cap on. You have to dig deep and think about what type of clothing you want to put out there; t-shirts? Or maybe Jeans? Or even hats? Perhaps you want to just start with shirts and then expand. You may want to start with shirts, and when you get your brand more out there, then you will want to add more clothing options. Next, you want to start designing your clothes. You should consider getting a fashion design program like Digital Fashion Pro. With this program, you will be able to create a sketch and then move forward with a technical sketch and much more. When it comes to products and designing them, the demand for it has grown over the years. According to NationMaster, “In 2019, the country was ranked number 5 among other countries in Number of Industrial Design Applications by Residents with 33,372 Applications.”
Step 4: Manufacturing a clothing line and the cost to do it
The next step in starting a clothing line is manufacturing a clothing line and figuring out its cost. Firstly, you will want to decide how you want your clothing to be constructed. You have to determine if you wish to mass produce or you also have the option of producing a small portion to see how it all goes. Then, you will want to find manufacturers or individuals, such as screen printers or local contractors. The next step is financing your clothing line, and this step is, without a doubt, the most crucial part when commencing your brand/company. Financing your clothing line will vary on many things. Depending on whether you are doing shirts or sweaters, the prices will vary. Looking at an article from A Medium Corporation by Burag Celikian, he talks about the pricing of items from his own collection. “Currently I’m working on my own collection and one of the items is a long sleeve crew neck sweater. I ordered the materials from Japan and I’m having the item cut and sewn in Los Angeles. My total cost of producing the item is $69. Sewing alone is costing $22 per piece. My quantities are obviously much lower than Everlane and I’m working with a much smaller factory, however, it’s still worth noting. Producing an item could end up being very expensive.”
Step 5: Marketing and advertising and selling your clothing line to stores and consumers
The key to standing out when starting a clothing line is that you want to be different and have something unique that your competitors don’t have. It is also essential to keep in mind about shaping your online boutique. You have to start thinking of the big picture and brainstorm where you see your clothing line being sold. Do you want to have it in stores or just online? If you’re going to have your clothing line in stores, you have to show the buyer your clothing line. Once you get your clothing line in a store, you have to think even more about national distribution. Lastly, marketing is a vital aspect of starting a clothing line because you are trying to get your brand out there. You want to get as many consumers and get people attracted to your clothing line. This is where social media plays a major role. Let’s keep in mind how much the online world has grown over the years and how more people are buying things online and are influenced by marketing on Instagram. According to NationMaster, “Since 2014, the Capital Region of Denmark Individuals Participating in Online Social Networks grew 2.9points year on year. At 82 Percent of Persons in 2019, the country was ranked number 3 comparing other countries in Individuals Participating in Online Social Networks.”
Step 6: Analyze the competition.
If you want to be different and be the best clothing line out there, you have to see what your competition has to offer. Maybe you are missing something that they have. You always have to do your homework and scope out the competition. It is imperative when you are starting a clothing line. The last thing you want is to be unoriginal or miss something that makes your competition look good and gain more consumers. A popular term in the world of branding and business is “Branding Competitor Analysis.” According to Hubspot, “A competitive analysis is a strategy where you identify major competitors and research their products, sales, and marketing strategies. By doing this, you can create solid business strategies that improve upon your competitors.”
Step 7: Management of your clothing line
The last step when starting a clothing line involves managing your clothing line. It comprises of such matters as knowing how to properly manage finances, the number of orders you have coming in, manufacturing, and anything else that has to do with your clothing boutique to guarantee that it is the best. While it might not be the most fun part about starting your clothing line, the management of your clothing line is undoubtedly critical. You want to make sure that your orders are going out properly to your consumers and that they are satisfied with the order. All these tasks are not things you can do on your own, so you may want to consider hiring a team: someone to manage finances, manage orders, and more.
Step 8: Articulate your brand story.
It is crucial to have a standout brand name and cool design or logo, but what will make you stand out is articulating your brand story. What is the narrative behind your clothing boutique? Your brand must tell a story to engage with your audience. According to Major Tom, “A cohesive narrative illustrates your values and beliefs, allowing customers to align their values with what you’re offering. Through this, you can inspire brand affinity and customer loyalty.” If your audience doesn’t feel connected to your brand or inspired, they will lose interest, and that’s the last thing you want. So really dig deep and think about what you want to include in your brand story. Get creative and get emotional because people love that.
How much does it cost to start a clothing line?
This is an excellent question and one that many people are probably curious about. The first thing you have to outline is if you have enough capital to start. The price typically ranges depending on if you are going to start a small, medium, or large-sized one. According to Profitable Venture, for a small clothing line, home-based it would be about $500. For a medium clothing line, it would be about $1000- $5000. Lastly, for a broad clothing line, it would be about $25,000 – $50,000. Based on your budget and how big of a clothing line you want, this gives you a better idea.
Is starting a clothing line worth it?
You may be wondering if starting your own clothing line or online boutique is worth it? You can’t forget that it takes a lot of time and money to set it all up. But in the long run, it is definitely worth the time and money if you follow the steps and guidelines correctly. Also, you need to think of the bigger picture. By creating your very own brand, you have the power to put yourself out there and create something unique and innovative. If you dig deep and use your creativity, you can create something that no one has ever done before. For example, if you want to stand out from everyone else and create a brand that speaks to others, you will want to be mindful. There are companies out there that are creating “adaptive clothing” for those with special needs. Target is one of the companies that has created adaptive clothing for children but also adults.