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Hey dudes, I'm just wondering how u started your clothing lines? What were your first steps from the very beginning? Just trying to figure out my path in all this. I'm screen printing by the way. Thanks.


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Wrote a business plan; Registered my business; Applied for a Tax ID Number; Opened a bank account; Applied for a Certificate of Authority (NY); Designed and finalized my logo; Submitted a trademark application for my brand name; Applied for an RN Number; Created and finalized my designs; Sourced the blanks I wanted to use; Contacted the printers I wanted to use; Sourced options for neck labels, relabeling and hang tags; Figured out all production costs including shipping; Wrote a marketing plan including isolating a target market; Figured out wholesale and retail prices; Created a linesheet for the offering; Created a lookbook for the offering; Set up web hosting; Designed and published my website; Contacted sales reps; Launched my online store (once products were printed and in stock); Designed and sourced promotional materials; Launched a marketing campaign; Contacted potential drop ship affiliates; Found local events and trade shows to be an exhibitor or vendor.

I'm sure there are some things I'm missing and there are definitely smaller things that need to be done in between. But this is a basic checklist of what I did to start. Hope it helps.
 

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started drawing on shirts with fabric paint and markers, making my own shirts with my characters and designs. people started asking me to buy them so i started selling them. These took several hours (6-10 hours) and they didn't last (after about 4-5 washes the paint cracks allot and start to deteriorate) so i couldn't justify selling these even tho the clients were fully aware that they wouldn't last (they'd say "it's ok, i'll hang it on my wall after") but i still didn't feel good about it. so i looked into screen printing and my adventures in the schmata trade began.
 

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Hey dudes, I'm just wondering how u started your clothing lines? What were your first steps from the very beginning? Just trying to figure out my path in all this. I'm screen printing by the way. Thanks.


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Truth....Just following your passions and make it happen! Work hard and don't give up! I know it sounds really cliche, but that's really what it all comes down too. The business side of things will come as you go.

NOW GO DO WHAT -->YOU<-- WANNA DO!!
 

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I'm not a really a numbers or filling out paperwork kind of person, but it's part of the start up process (writing business plan - to plan on who are your customers and how you can make money from it, applying for the proper licenses, and doing exactly what you're doing - asking for information). So you are in process of starting your line, by just seeking information to support it. Of course promotion and selling at all stages of your business.
 

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Wow Kimura...Thats the most info I've ever read in one paragraph!!! My head is spinning, great post.

Each of those sentences sounds like a chapter title. Those ~100 pg entrepreneur business books seem to be the hottest things right now. With all that experience, that would be a cool project/revenue stream to add (although I know most entrepreneurs don't have too much spare time lying around).

Thanks!
Nick
 

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Started on Cafe Press and then moved to an on online retailer who handled inventory and fulfillment for a couple of years. We started to doing conventions and ordering our own product so took over online retailing too using a screen printer. Two years ago we purchased a DTG printer and have been printing our own line since then. We weren't as by the numbers like kimura and learned a lot along the way. The t-shirt forum taught us a lot!
 

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i think kimura-mma has the best answer, i dont think following your passion is going to get you through legal bureaucracy... documents need to be filed and ****...
 

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I'm sure there are some things I'm missing and there are definitely smaller things that need to be done in between. But this is a basic checklist of what I did to start. Hope it helps.

What are some of the smaller things?
 
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The creative process, research, ordering samples, comparing prices, budgeting, etc. The types of things that go into accomplishing each of the items I mentioned.

For instance, I didn't just source the blank shirts in a day. I learned about different styles, fit, weight, fabrics, etc. I learned about how inks and print processes worked with the different fabrics. I found different suppliers and ordered samples and compared prices. And then made a decision. All of this probably took weeks.
 

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Hello Everyone, I am just letting everyone know that i am still in the learning curve of intensive video training with corel Draw and adobe illustrator!. Oh and also a little bit of photoshop training also. I got lots to learn yet but i will definetly get there soon! I jumped ahead of myself and went out and got the business license and a tax id # before i started to learn, but anyways i got that part accomplished and now have to conquer the training!.
 

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We started by coming up with the name and then logo for our company.

We then came up with a few designs and decided to spend some money getting a sample done of one of the designs just to test our process out. This cost us quite a bit as we were originally going to do shirts with many colors. It was probably the best money we spent, as it changed the direction of our designs from many colors to fewer colors and more vector type designs then full images. They just didn't come out with the impact we thought they would.

During this time where we were experimenting on designs, we were looking into different blanks to print on. We got TONS of samples from all over, from local Australian product to American Apparel, etc and none of them really fit what we were looking for. We liked Alternative Apparel the best for our line, but they were so expensive in Australia that we could almost get shirts manufactured ourself, in Australia, to our own specifications for close to the same amount of money. So that's what we decided to do. It did end up more money then buying blanks, but since we were going for a very up-market brand, we thought it was worth the extra in the long run. Also we can now advertise our product as 100% Australian Made, which has already helped us in many different ways.

We then moved on to manufacture and print sampling and then of course the actual printing. I would recommend print sampling, especially if you are new to t-shirt design, as you will learn a lot from those first samples of how the prints look on the shirts as compared to just on your computer screen. Luckily for the most part we didn't need to make too many adjustments, but they were important ones and the knowledge can then be used for the next designs.

The sampling for manufacturing of the shirts probably took longer then I expected, so it definitely pushed back our schedule, but in the end we were really happy with the result.

It doesn't matter how much you prepare, you will have to put out fires along the way, but of course the more research you do ahead of time, the easier it is to deal with those fires.

Cheers,
Stephanie
 

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Just go out there and get started, ask your self, are you treating this as an experiment or is this going to be your job. I think that will help in determining wether or not you should proceed with all the legal documents.

If your only spending 500 bucks on the launch its probably smarted to just sell some shirts.
 

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Several thousand dollars.

But keep in mind, it's different for everyone. The paperwork fees differ by state. Trademarks and copyrights are optional. Some people start off with one design and get 50 shirts made. Others start off with 10 designs and get 1000 shirts made.

My advice would be to start writing down all of the things you need to do to get started. Then write down how much it costs to accomplish all of those things. As your budget starts to take shape, you can add and subtract based on how much you can afford to start with.
 

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an older thread, but still worth looking at....

while i don't have a brand as of yet (it's in a loose planning stage), consider that you need these things for a typical brand, imo; in particular order:

market research
marketing/advertising/branding
design
production
shipping
sales (avenues to sell through, such as web site and on-site events)
clerical, such as processing orders and paperwork, taxes, licenses
 

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It's tough
You first got to start low and find manufacturers who'll provide the shirts itself
Then you have to start marketing your items and advertise to the people. Get the name out their etc etc
One guy I know started a new clothing brand Korelimited, and it was tough for him. But that basically the gist of how to start one.
 
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