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Rule #1 to running a good company: Give away all your trade secrets. Not your secret sauce or formula for the right taste, but give people information to help them become successful. This is a great thread and actually puts a spur in my butt to think about adding on an sale component to my site.

One thing I would add, from short experience, is that if you have a great/unique idea people are going to try to copy it. So if you have a legal way to protect that, look into it, otherwise be prepared to be asked who came first or why you are copying someone. Don't explode on people and calmly tell them you can see that your company was around first by blog posts with XX date, etc etc.

Really great thread INKSCREENS!
 

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This is a very good post. I have read many here on start up this or that, but this one is more on point. I am glad you posted this. I already thanked you, but thanks one more time.

I am looking to start a brand. I've been doing stock transfers at tradeshows and it help me do some research and now I'm ready to do my own thing. So this post was on time.
 

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Whats up friends!!!

I just registered to this site and so far im glad i did. I want to start my own Clothing company just like soo many of you. I think everybody and their friends is trying to get into the clothing industry, but hey why not!. other people make money doing it so why not do it right. can't win unless you do things. sometimes i want to forget about doing anything and i know just thinking about all the brands that are outhere you doubt yourself. DONT!!! all i have to say is that " YOU STAND UNDER YOUR OWN LIGHT, SO MAKE IT SHINE"

you want to open a dog stand .. go and do it!

you want to make a clothing like just go for it..


 

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Whats up friends!!!

I just registered to this site and so far im glad i did. I want to start my own Clothing company just like soo many of you. I think everybody and their friends is trying to get into the clothing industry, but hey why not!. other people make money doing it so why not do it right. can't win unless you do things. sometimes i want to forget about doing anything and i know just thinking about all the brands that are outhere you doubt yourself. DONT!!! all i have to say is that " YOU STAND UNDER YOUR OWN LIGHT, SO MAKE IT SHINE"

you want to open a dog stand .. go and do it!

you want to make a clothing like just go for it..
AMEN!! :D
This topic is awesome, it's helpfull and even quite motivating! I'm also glad to be registered to this forum!

Let's ROCK The World With Our Shirts, Peeps! :D
 

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Great idea about the pen tablet. You can also go to Istockphoto and purchase different design components that you can modify yourself if you have Adobe Photoshop or AI.
Just wanted to add to this that if you are planning to use art purchased from istockphoto or other stock art sites for use on items you will sell (like tees, posters, etc.) make sure you purchase the right license. . . istockphoto currently charges around 100 credits, which works out to around $150, for an extended license that permits resale of the image on up to 2000 items total. So every time you sell through 2000 of the item, you will need to renew your license. Still a very reasonable price if you find some art that you think you can work wonders with, but I want to make sure nobody tries to sell an item with an image that they just purchased a $4 or $5 dollar standard license for.
 

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Thanks a lot. This was a great read. Will print and post on wall. Happy New Year. UBNICE


Here are some tips that may help some of you starting a clothing brand.

1. Do research. Tons of it! Figure out your target market and your competitors, and read everything you can and soak all of the information you can. You'll probably only remember 25% of what you read, but that is 25% more then you knew before. Now with the internet, free information is in front of your finger-tips.

2. If you're not a designer, but have ideas, try looking for a freelancer designer. A skilled freelance designer should be able to take your sketch or idea and create your vision. Although hourly/project rates are important to look at, one major aspect that is commonly missed is the designers communication skills.

3. Focus on branding. Longevity of a brand consists of customer loyalty. Believe it or not, it's not all about how cool your design is. Choose a theme or style for your brand and stick with it.

4. When looking for a manufacturer or screen printer, be honest and realistic. (before you contact a printer, make sure you have a good idea of what you want & what you need).

5. Although freshly starting brands are afraid to print more than 1-2 designs to start with, if you have the capital, try to print at least 5 different designs. Imagine this from a customers stand point...A customer may "enter" your store whether it is your website or a physical retail, and there they see 1 single design stacked on a table.
This doesn't show much confidence and may turn the buyer off. I see this happening a lot with newer brands that launch a website with only a couple of designs. Remember, visitors take a glance at your website for about 5 seconds before they decide if they want to stay longer.

6. Re-invest your profits into more designs and more shirts. This part should be placed into your business plan. This simple part of business is over-looked by start ups.

7. Patience is key when starting a clothing brand.

8. Figure out a marketing plan. Don't figure since you have great designs that customers will seek you out. It's Vice Versa! You need to keep plugging away and reach the consumer. Put it in front of their face day in and day out. Once again, be patient, it could take awhile. One important thing: Talk, Talk & Talk. Simply talking about your brand can stir up interest.

This is not a complete list, and there is much more to this industry. Some can be explained, some just have to be experienced. I will add more things as they come along. If you have more tips to add to this list, please do so! :)
 

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U R a wealth of information. Tanks again. UBNICE


Very true, but I am seeing every clothing brand trying to be the next millionaire overnight. They naturally begin to focus all of their energy on money which can also lead to business failure.

Money is always great, but spread your energy evenly.

1. Attend tradeshows. To name a few of the largest would be MAGIC, POOL, & PROJECT. These shows feature major retail lines as well as independent lines. It also allows you to view future trends that might take place. If you cannot afford to attend all three, I at least suggest visiting Magic Marketplace which will be the most "general" fashion trade show. Magic Marketplace also features a Sourcing section, which allows you to connect with fabric sources, embellishment sources which are located in the U.S. or overseas.

2. The toughest part of a clothing line is probably being recognized by major retailers (if this is your goal). Remember, the decision maker of products that fill retails stores are the BUYERS. Having experience with buyers, the major thing they are looking for when doing their job is looking for things that will obviously SELL! But if you land a major retailer, and they order 1,000 pieces per store, just think about it!

3. Buyers.........Buyers are great people. But that is not to say all of them are the most honest. When pitching your line to buyers, be aware that they may "take" your idea and have a line they already carry copy your idea. And guess what? The next season you might see a similar idea you had, end up on store shelves. Fair? NO. Does it happen? YES.

4. This one continues from #3 about buyers. Although you should keep in mind about the risks of showing your line, you cannot sell your line if you don't show it! Don't be too paranoid about your designs being stolen. Take steps that will help you, such as copyrighting your designs, perhaps trademarking your brand. But do not place "COPYRIGHT COPYRIGHT COPYRIGHT" all over your line sheet! Maybe one small "copyright" disclaimer on the bottom right corner will do.

5. Getting big too fast may not be as great as you think. I've seen brands growing too fast where they cannot fufill their orders on time. Retailers are a major pain when it comes to deadlines. When they say they need it by 12.4.08, they want it earlier or at 11:59pm on 12.3.08! If you don't get it to them on time, they can return it!

6. Always think ahead. If you are just starting out, don't design for this season. Look ahead and design for next season, or the season after. Retailers buy according to the following season.

7. Approach retailers or boutiques early. Buyers have specific budgets, and if you come too late, they won't have any money left for you!

Also check out the above members link to howtostartaclothingcompany.com, great information and a lot of start up brands in there to check out.
 

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One thing you can use to your advantage that goes along with "being nice" is selling yourself. When you are selling something you are essentially selling you. If you work entirely behind the scenes this may not be as relevant, but I know my buddies line is directly related to him and what he does, so in essence when someone recognizes the brand, they are associating it with him. This can be positive or negative, but can really work to your advantage if you work it correctly.
 

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One thing you can use to your advantage that goes along with "being nice" is selling yourself. When you are selling something you are essentially selling you. If you work entirely behind the scenes this may not be as relevant, but I know my buddies line is directly related to him and what he does, so in essence when someone recognizes the brand, they are associating it with him. This can be positive or negative, but can really work to your advantage if you work it correctly.
yes this is true. make an impression of urself. ppl will be drawn 2 u.
 
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