Planning to start a clothing line with no experience? This beginner’s guide includes all you need to know about launching a clothing brand.
How to Start a Clothing Line with No Experience?
Starting a business with no experience is quite a daunting task – let alone starting a clothing line which is the toughest category in all of E-commerce.
At the same time, it is one of the potential-packed and exciting categories of e-Commerce to be in. If you’re planning to start a clothing line from scratch, you’re in for a hell of a ride.
Now there’s a lot that goes into creating a successful clothing line. Ranging from engaging designs to effective selling, there’s a lot that you need to work on. Not to mention that there are a lot of side domains like marketing and branding that you’ll have to focus on as well.
While it may sound quite daunting to kick start an apparel business, we’ll walk you through a rundown on starting a clothing line with no experience. Let’s dive into that. Starting a Clothing Line from Scratch (Step-By-Step)
Step#1. Decide What’s Going to Make You Different (Finding the Right Niche)
When it comes to being a clothing manufacturer, the toughest part around starting your business is to choose a differentiation. The apparel industry is surprisingly humongous, and almost every niche is highly successful.
Therefore, you need to be careful and versatile when choosing your niche and think about how you will make that better than the competition. There are typically two effective best practices to find the right niche for your clothing line.
The first one is to stay up to date with the fashion design trends and focus on trending items. However, there’s a serious problem with this model. The trends in the fashion design world change constantly. And with these rapid changes, you’ll have to change your focused items rapidly. This isn’t easy, especially for people new to the industry.
Another great practice is to observe your top competitors. Observe the areas they’re especially successful at and draw your inspiration.
A Bonus Tip: Think like a customer and try to find what you want to change about their products or service and fill those gaps with your brand. This would help you provide more value to your potential customers and have a competitive advantage in the overall market.
Once you’ve chosen the right niche for a clothing brand, it’s time to define your differentiation – what makes your product a different or better option than the competition. Here’s a quick example of differentiation to help you get started. Taryn Rodighiero is a swimwear clothing brand. But unlike other such brands, it focuses on custom-made suits, made to order to each customer’s specifications.
Step#2. Decide Which Business Model Suits You Best.
Once you’ve decided on the niche and differentiation, the second most important thing to consider is the business model you will run on. Remember that the apparel market is a low margin and high refund space.
Therefore, if you don’t opt for the right business model depending upon your circumstances, your clothing line will most likely fail. Result? Poor to no sales at all. For starters, it is important to understand that you need to build a short yet loyal audience initially and capitalize gradually with time. Nevertheless, there are 3 main business models mainly opted by clothing manufacturers.
Hand-make your creations and sell them directly to consumers via your site, internet platforms, or the marketplace. Create clothes collections and pieces with the manufacturer, and then sell your clothing collection in bulk to various merchants. You can create repeating patterns or graphics for printing on blank T-shirts and other clothing items with a print-on-demand strategy.
Selling through your online store is a great way to make money online. We believe the first model is a better fit for those who are just starting their brand because you do not have the dependencies for manufacturers and suppliers in this model. However, if you’ve got connections with such entities,
You can kick start your clothing brand with the other two options. Learn more about: Career Opportunities in Starting a Fashion Boutique
Step#3. Build up a Strong Brand Identity You may or may not believe it;
If you start a clothing line with 0 focus towards the brand approach, you’re getting nowhere. What’s worse? You’re missing out on tons of revenue on the table because your sales are technically reliant on consumers who randomly land on your website.
Therefore, branding is essential for a successful business in the apparel market. Now, the most crucial aspect of branding is your logo. It’s the first thing your visitors see when they enter your store. The logo’s technical aspect is that it serves as the identity card of your clothing brand. People will remember your brand by its logo. Thus, you should develop a strong design that is appealing and relevant to your niche.
There’s plenty to consider when it comes to branding the creation of a logo. When you’re planning a successful branding, it includes showcasing your brand’s vision, mission, values, your story as a brand, and much more. Simply put, every aspect of your content in both written and visual formats must reflect your tone of voice and the nature of your brand.
One of the best ways to conduct successful branding is to create guidelines for branding. This can help make informed branding and business choices as you expand. They’ll determine the visual direction of web design, site design, and marketing strategies. They should be the guiding light for what you are looking for in a retailer partner or new employee.
Step#4. Design Samples for Your Clothing Line
Now, this is where the creative part of designing comes into play. In the apparel industry, success is determined by the fact of differentiation.
How valuable your product is compared to the competition will define how good your brand is in the market.
Therefore, to make your clothing line stand out from the competition, you need to go to the drawing board and design your clothing samples before getting to the production part.
It will be a great idea if you design your clothing samples independently.
It starts with doodling. While it may initially sound quite dull and time-consuming, every good idea starts from the paper. Moreover, since the entire idea of your design has been punched on the paper, refining it on illustrator and other designer tools gets much more accessible and efficient. Not to mention that you’ll get an idea of how results would look beforehand.
Side Note: When designing your clothing samples, you need to be highly creative. An effective way to achieve this purpose is by working as a team, and you can conduct brainstorming sessions where everyone can share their input.
Also, you can outsource the design work if you’re not the one for creativity.
Step#5. Set Up Prices That Outmatch Your Competition
While this factor is often overlooked, prices play a vital role in the throat-cutting competition of the apparel market. If you’re not able to set up relevant pricing for your products, no one will purchase from you despite being a top-tier quality brand.
Simply put, lousy pricing means people would start looking for alternatives.
Some of the most common pricing models for which you can opt include the cost-plus or competition-based models.
In the cost-plus model, you keep an average profit rate margin over the total cost, while in the competition-based model, you set your prices based on the competition in the market.
Another great way of setting up prices is the skimming model, where you can start with lower prices and gradually increase them as the demand goes high.
Ready To Launch Your Store?
Once you’re done with the steps mentioned above, it’s about time for you to launch your clothing line into the market.
It is worth noting that a soft launch is preferable to a grand launch. You can spend this saved money on other business areas as you start growing.
Also, you need to ensure that your clothing line goes eCommerce because this marketing is estimated to share a whopping 23% of the global retail sales by 2023.
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Founder & Editor of Textile Learner. He is a Textile Consultant, Blogger & Entrepreneur. He is working as a textile consultant in several local and international companies. He is also a contributor of Wikipedia.