Start your own clothing line in 5 steps
Are you bursting with inspiration? Do you have enough designs for your own collection? Then the start of your own clothing line has already been made. After all, you already have the creativity in you!
But designing clothes is completely different from selling them. For example, you should start thinking about how to sell the clothes, how much you should have in stock, when to change the collection and how much money to invest.
Do you dream that your clothing is in everybody’s closet all over the world? This blog will help you make this dream reality. If you follow these five steps, you will make you own clothing line a great success!
1. What makes your clothing line unique?
There are many clothing brands. To be different, you need to distinguish yourself. Be critical on yourself and consider what makes your clothing line unique.
Some tips to help you with this process:
- Create a mind map. Write down everything you (and your brand!) stand for. Try not to think too long about the right words: write down everything that comes to mind.
- Have someone else think along with you. What do they find unique about your designs? You may need to tweak your designs slightly to achieve a unique clothing line. Someone else will take a fresh look, which is very valuable.
- You cannot be the first in everything. Therefore, try to focus on a maximum of three unique selling points. In other words: three characteristics that make your clothing line unique.
2. Determine your target group and explore the market
Now that you know what makes your clothing line unique, you can determine the target group. Explore the market: Who are you going to sell your clothes to?
Make sure you have a clear vision of this. Think about where they buy their products, how to reach them and what their budget is. We explain these questions further below.
Where does your target group buy their products?
Try to find out where your target group is. Do they prefer to buy clothes in boutiques, or online? You can base your distribution channel on this.
If you don’t think about the beforehand, you risk that your target group will not find you. And if they don’t see your clothes, of course they can’t buy anything.
How can you reach your target group?
Determine which communication channels are best for your target group. Or even better: ask them! Would they like to receive a newsletter by e-mail? Or a folder by mail? Maybe they think it is important to see a lot of inspiration photos on Pinterest or Instagram.
Oftentimes multiple communication channels are combined. To reach new people, you can use Social Media. To keep existing customers stay interested, you can regularly send newsletters.
When combining different channels, it is very important that they are well coordinated. Be consistent in your communication and use the same design, photos and videos. This way you are always recognizable as a brand.
What is the budget of your target group?
Before you start your clothing production, we recommend that you delve into the budget of the target group. Your idea can be so good, if your products are not sold, your clothing line can never be successful.
On the internet you can search which prices other comparable brands offer. Do you want even more guidance? Then set up a survey, take a look around the city about what people spend or look for relevant studies or research.
3. What does it cost to produce your clothing line?
At most fabric manufacturers, production costs depend on high volume and time. This is also the case with House of U. The more you order, the cheaper it is! You can already order from 1 meter.
However, when setting up your own clothing line, it is unwise to immediately have a lot of stock. Therefore we advise you to go for less fabric in the beginning. This way you can first discover what does and does not sell.
Are you in a hurry with your design? Then you will pay extra for this. Our advice is to start on time and order in advance. This saves a lot of money, especially for small orders. You pay almost double if it is an urgent delivery.
4. Think about your production philosophy
Think about how you want to produce your clothes. We do not mean which concrete steps to take, but the philosophy behind it. Your personal product philosophy!
There are roughly three different production philosophies:
- Lots of clothes in stock, produce in advance and deliver directly to customers.
- Little clothes in stock, more on-demand production and keeping customers waiting.
- No stock at all: only deliver after orders, keep customers waiting longer.
The choice for a certain production philosophy has consequences for how your further organize your clothing line. For example, if you want to work without stock, a physical store is not an option. But if you want to have a lot of stock, it is actually a shame to present your clothing line in a store.
Depending on your budget and teste, you can make your choice. The three philosophies have their own advantages and disadvantages, so see what suits you best. You can start a successful clothing line with all three!
5. Determine how much budget you need
You now know who you want to sell your products to, where you can reach them, what their budget is and how you want to produce your clothes. We advise you to determine your first investment based on this.
The main important major expenses for a starting designer are:
- Production materials: from fabric and yarn to a laptop and telephone. Everything you need to prepare your clothes.
- Possibly a physical sales location or store.
- Budget for advertising: on- and offline.
In addition, the point of sale and what design you use, have a major impact on the costs you incur as an entrepreneur.
The point of sales
Do you want to sell your clothing line in a store or boutique? Then you need money to rent a space.
With a webshop you do not have te rent a retail space, but you do pay for creating a webshop, hosting and storage of goods.
The design you use
You can save a lot of costs by having your own design printed, instead of buying your design in a studio. Of course, there is something to be said for both options.
Many designers who buy their design in a studio do this because they have already seen and felt the material. But that is also possible with your own designs at House of U. You can order a fabric book or specific fabric samples.
By printing your own designs, your clothing is even more unique! You can upload your own designs via our design tool. Then choose the fabric on which you want the print your design. Or first or a number of fabric samples or our fabric book.
Do you have any questions about this? Get in touch!
We are happy to assist you.
Good luck with your own clothing line!
With these tips you will definitely succeed in launching a successful clothing line. Take time to properly prepare your business plan so that you can start this adventure.
For more tips for clothing designers, check out our other blogs. At House of U we are happy to share our knowledge with you.
Do you have any questions for us regarding this blog? Or do you want to have your first design printed immediately?
Do not hesitate to contact us. We are here for you!