The world of fashion is yes beautiful and rewarding, but also vast, competitive, busy and bursting with hustle.
For the aspiring fashionistas all this can be intimidating, to say the least. However, it should not necessarily be a steep upward hill if you follow our recommendations. Well, admittedly there is a long learning curve to it and a pinch of luck is always welcome, but keep reading, we will help you to kick-start your venture on the right track and avoid getting too bruised along the way.
The process may seem all-consuming sometimes, but keep in mind, with that first sample run and customer sale, comes great satisfaction. Gradually, but surely, you will get there, with some positivity and hard work.
Where to start?
First of all if you are a beginner in the sector, with no skills or experience at all, but wish to start a clothing line, we suggest that you enrol in short vocational courses and qualifications.
These will assist you in grasping the basics, not only around fashion per se, but also about learning the ropes of running a business, the methods, the financial side and the possible risks. It`s paramount that you are well-versed as all these facets are encountered in most trades.
Once you`re polished on the subject, start creating your designs, and sketching on a paper or on a screen. If you`re going digital we recommend Adobe Illustrator.
When done, you will need to deliver your pack to the manufacturer, explaining materials to be used, measurements and sizes to the dot.
Choose a brand name and logo targeted at your niche, depending if it`s meant say for kids or sport. Your logo is important as it could feature on your clothes and on your social media platforms. Make it memorable, just like the very good sign of Nike.
Which Niche to opt for
Clothing profession is very personal, you are undoubtedly a creative person with something different to offer in a fast-moving industry. Most probably you have already identified a gap in the market, or have original ideas of your own which you want to get through to a specific group of clients.
At this stage you need to have your mind set, and plan accordingly. Will you be targeting the sports section, or focus to gather a fan-base around one specific item, like the world-famous Fred Perry shirt? It`s vital that you do your homework carefully before wasting any energy, material and money.
In this day and age, you ought to be mindful too. People, therefore clients, are now more aware about both sustainability and animal cruelty, so if you are going for fur, you`ll start on the wrong foot and be infamous.
So, study and choose your niche carefully. Even if down the line you will vary your business, most probably you will be still remembered for that original idea with which you had started, people will keep linking you with it, so try to get it right first time.
Always Budget Wisely
Depending if you`re testing the waters with a small idea, or if you`re going big scale, you need to dedicate some quality time on financials and tax. Mind you a successful small idea could gauge up real quick, so better prepare for all possibilities and at least study a rough plan in the background.
We know that it`s maybe the most boring aspect of the business for a creator, but you don`t want to get caught off guard, as it can damage your trade and reputation.
The most common question is “how much does it cost to start a clothing line?”. Well, although there are those who started with few hundreds, according to a recent study by Make It British, 50% of start-ups spent over £15,000 launching their UK-made brands. So, expect to set up a meeting with your friendly banker at some stage, and keep an accountant close-by.
The fashion commerce is extremely difficult to predict, your plans will need to be flexible while there are no assurances, so you`ll need to be up for the challenge.
We recommend to start small, stick to a design which you love and invest in small machinery, as it would be easier for you to launch one popular design than go out with a lengthy product catalogue.
Budget to be in a position to drive sales, and depending if you are going for it solo or in tandem with a manufacturer, distribute your hard-earned bling carefully.
Best ways to start selling
There are various ways to reach your clients, from sewing in your bedroom with customers calling at your home, to selling on a stall at first or eventually thinking about moving to a small studio, shop, store or boutique.
Remember that from a simple sewing machine, material to be used and moving to a studio with rent, to name but few, everything must be taken in consideration regarding expenses.
Boost your chances of sales and go online. Everyone can access your line of clothing via their smartphones nowadays, so we highly suggest to make the most of this option and consider alternative routes like Facebook Marketplace or Instagram, where you will achieve more reach to your niche. It is an efficacious way to advertise your products too, word can spread very quickly, while visitors can comment, share and recommend your clothing line.
Never ignore Insurance
You might stick to your small sewing machine and focus on one product at first, but since you are dedicating time and money, you still ought to be insured.
Check out options which can meet your budget and get your business covered immediately, you would want to avoid any nasty surprises.
You`ve Made It!
Hopefully our article served as one of your refer-to guide along the way.
You have tested your creation, it`s selling and you`re ready to order your first full product run. It`s time to get serious, exciting times ahead, good luck!