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Discussion Starter #1
I am a 17 year old high-school student, and I have ambitions to break into the clothing industry.


I have been contemplating starting a clothing company, and the truth is, after all the research I have done on this site, I am still relatively clueless on where to start.



The only thing I have is a logo/starter design, and a primitive business model.


I have very little money to start up, so I come to you, t-shirtforums gurus, which direction should I head?
 

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Hey Scott.

What's the rush? At 17, focus on finishing school and going to college. There is no substitute for education. Continue to learn about design and the clothing industry. It's great to have ambitions, but in your own words, you're relatively clueless, have very little money and a primitive business model. It seems you would be doing yourself a disservice by starting up so soon without the proper knowledge and resources.

Ok, I'm done preaching. What aspect of the clothing industry interests you the most? My advice would be to start very small and very slow. Find what you're good at and what you enjoy doing and offer that service. For instance, if you like designing t-shirts, start doing some freelance design work. This will help you gain experience, make a few bucks, but not take on the risk and responsibility of running a company and marketing and selling a startup clothing brand.
 

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I don't whether you are interested in doing business or design, or even both.

maybe you should take some classes about business and design, and on the other hand, try to get a part time job in apparel industry, the real world will teach you a lot valuable.

don't get into any business in a hurry.

try to sell your tee in freak market or sunday market, customers' feedback will help a lot.

cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I would like to sell t-shirts, not design them. I have no artistic ability.


School is not for me, and I do not intend on pursuing a college education. If I find it is imperative to my success as a business, I will not hesitate, but I would much rather test the waters myself. (stubborn teenage angst at its finest)

The reason I would like to start so early, is to get the learning curve of it all out of the way early, so I can be productive in the future.


Seeing as I don't have much money, I am considering having shirts printed for resale, is this a cost efficient manor to go about selling t-shirts?

My price range is around $12 per shirt, and I do not know if that is reasonable for that method of sale.


My main trouble is starting up, if I get underway, I have many ideas that I would like to explore in an attempt to expand business.
 

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nice to hear that you got a direction, it is a good idea to resale printed tee, that sure will cost you less.

well, there are 2 problems ahead-where to get the t shirt and where to sell them.

I had been in australia for several years and found that some people start their business in sunday market coz they got a full time job in week days.

check your local yellow pages and keep asking people and figure out wholesalers around, that wil be your first step.

btw, keep on going to tee shops and touch the t shirt by your hand, later you will know what make a good tee, that will take some time indeed ...

cheers!
 

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If you don't have artistic ability, where are you getting the artwork to have shirts printed for resale? Is the $12 your cost to produce? If so, that's a bit high. Since you want to focus on selling shirts, try to limit your risk by selling known brands. Rather then get something printed, buy wholesale licensed shirts. Or be an independent sales rep where you don't buy shirts at all. You would rep brands instead. You would cover your own expenses and get a percentage of your sales. When you say you have ideas, what kind of ideas do you have in mind?
 

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I have a design made for me that I will be working with. I am also planning to give artists commission on their artwork.

My ideas are fairly primitive like I said, but I would like to get to the point where I can pay artists for their artwork, and donate proceeds from every shirt to a non-profit or charity, along with maintaining enough profit to keep a company running.

One of my main goals is to go on tours with bands, and music festivals to use that as a method to spread the word about my company. That is the target demographic, music fans between the ages of 13 to early 20's.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also I was hoping 12 to be retail cost. I am considering a fulfillment service to get the company off of the ground, and to save money for equipment. Does anyone have any experience in that field?
 

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For a $12 retail price point, you need to get your shirts done for under $6. That's definitely possible, but it depends on what you want and what volume you are doing.

Fulfillment services are the most valuable for on demand printing. They also drop ship your shirts to your customers for online orders. But since your focus is point of purchase sales, a fulfillment service is probably not your best bet. Especially considering your price point. I would recommend finding a local screen print shop.
 

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I like your ideas, especially the one on selling established brands, do you have any information on this? It seems like a good way to make some extra cash while getting mine out there.


Also, could you elaborate on what you and your company does with branding? It has also sparked my interest.
 

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I like your ideas, especially the one on selling established brands, do you have any information on this? It seems like a good way to make some extra cash while getting mine out there.
You can either be an independent rep or a reseller.

If you are interested in being a rep, do a search on forums about 'independent sales reps.' This is a good industry to get into if you are a good salesperson. But it's all based on developing relationships with retailers and buyers. So it's not easy and will take time to gain knowledge and experience.

To be a reseller, you can contact independent brands and ask about carrying their product. You will need to purchase wholesale. Bigger indy brands, like Ed Hardy, will be too expensive. Their initial buy-in is about $35,000. But there are plenty of indy brands that you can purchase from that will be affordable. The key will be to find ones that fit the target market you are going after.

Another option as a reseller is to purchase wholesale licensed shirts. You can find all sorts of shirts, from Family Guy to Aerosmith to Twilight. Search the forums for 'wholesale licensed shirts,' and you should find some sites you can purchase from.

Also, could you elaborate on what you and your company does with branding? It has also sparked my interest.
Branding is an extremely important aspect of starting a clothing company. Your branding is how the consumer market will perceive your company and products.

For instance, Hollister is known for it's SoCal lifestyle. For consumers that like that style, they like the product before they walk into the store. They know they are going to buy something before they ever walk into the store. That's the power of branding.

Now, that doesn't mean you have to be the next Hollister. But there are things you can do to create an image and personality for your brand. It all starts with your creative. Your logo, t-shirt designs, website, linesheets, lookbooks, hangtags, etc, should all follow a consistent and comprehensive theme. If you need help with any of this, feel free to contact me through PM or e-mail.
 
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