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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have had an idea for a clothing line that has been driving me crazy for the past few months. I just recently decided I need to go about starting it. I have a few questions as I am a rookie!

First, I was wondering about trademarking the name. I have the name I want but I also heard I should just go about purchasing the domain name first. I heard it offers some protection then you can worry about a trademark once you start making revenue.

Second, I am wondering about the domain names. Should I secure other names (ie. .org, .net, .co.uk, .ca etc.). Also what is the best webhosting site to go through? I am from Canada so it would have to allow me to purchase from here.

Third, I need to know what printing method is right for starting out. I have seen a cheap method using fabric wheels, fabric, mod podge, and fabric ink. Would this be ideal? If so, what type of fabric works best? What type of ink is best?

Last, but not least, Blank Tees. I need canvas for my art. I want to start out with some tees and hoodies. Possibly some sweats and shorts. Where is a good idea to order these?

Your help is greatly appreciated.
-Jason
 

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Hi Jason,

It is a good idea to purchase the web URL as soon as possible, and yes it is true that you don't need to secure a trademark initially. However, you might want to go on the the trademark website and do a simple search to see if your desired name is already taken - otherwise, you may just be wasting your time. Not sure what the site is for Canada, but for U.S. it is Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS). It can all be a pain in the butt, yet it's good protection in the long-run.
 

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First, I was wondering about trademarking the name. I have the name I want but I also heard I should just go about purchasing the domain name first. I heard it offers some protection then you can worry about a trademark once you start making revenue.
Trademark and domain are two totally different things. Domain does not protect your trademark, unless you register trademark for your domain.
Steps you should do:
- Register your domain both .com (cost $10 a year) and .ca (have to be Canadian resident - cost $12 a year).
- Go to any Registry office, register your Trade Name, cost around $50. If you want incorporated, cost around $300. You need a Trade Name to open a business bank account and GST number to open account with wholesale suppliers.
(Please note: Trade Name is not a Trademark).
- If you decide to have your own label, you may have to register your trademark.

What you should do is:
- Start up small. Buy t-shirts such as AA, Bella, Hanes, Alstyle, Gildan, print it and sell on eBay, Kijiji, Cafe Press, flea markets etc. see how people like it. When everything goes well and then thinking about make your own label. There are some regulations you have to register and follow when you use your own label.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. I am aware that domain and trademarks are very different. I was just worried that I may be risking my name by placing it on the internet without a trademark.

So register the trade name, and open up a business account? I understand start small should I use that printing method I described? (fabric wheels, stretch fabric out inbetween- place design on, mod podge the negative space and then work ink on it with an edge). Would that be the best method to start out with?

Oh and one more thing. I went to purchase the urls and realized the site was not Canadian and did not accept the currency. Does anyone know any good webhosting sites out of Canada?
 

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I understand start small should I use that printing method I described? (fabric wheels, stretch fabric out inbetween- place design on, mod podge the negative space and then work ink on it with an edge). Would that be the best method to start out with?
By "fabric wheels" do you mean embroidery hoops? The tutorial someone wrote up on Livejournal a number of years ago? Using a cow as the example image, if I remember correctly.

Personally I don't think that's even a good way to print one t-shirt for yourself, let alone a product you are selling. It's time consuming, inaccurate, poor quality, etc. etc. I think the whole tutorial was a bad idea from start to finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes embroidery hoops I beleive. The design was a rock on hand symbol. It turned out really nice but I could see how it is time consuming and not very efficient. What is the best print method I should use for starting out?
 

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What is the best print method I should use for starting out?
As a screenprinter myself, I favour screenprinting. A lot of people find it intimidating at first though, or can't/won't budget for the equipment.

It's still the unbeaten gold standard for a clothing line though. There's also no reason you have to do the printing yourself, so my recommendation for a clothing line is to decide between 1) Outsourcing the screenprinting to someone else, or 2) Start screenprinting yourself.

Some clothing lines have had success with plastisol transfers. If you want to offer a lot of different colour and size options, it could be beneficial. If you're not offering that many choices (more like the traditional "Here's the design, it looks best on Blue, so I sell it on Blue..."), I think it introduces unnecessary costs and hassle without offering anything significant in return.

Personally I'm not a fan of the "Here's the design, which of these twelve coloured t-shirts would you like it on?" approach, but if you are taking that approach plastisol transfers are the way to go.
 
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