How To Start A Clothing Business As A Teenager in 2021
Welcome to how to start a clothing business as a teenager!
Why Should You Start A Clothing Business?
If you have already decided to start a clothing business, good for you! But, just in case you’re not convinced yet, here’s some reasoning behind choosing to start a clothing business as a teenager.
You are Stylish and Influential
In order to start a successful clothing business, you are going to need to have a good sense of style. No one will want to buy your clothes if they don’t fit in with the fashion trends.
Along with this, it helps if you are influential with your sense of style. If people look at you as a stylish person, they are much more likely to purchase your clothing.
You are Creative and Unique
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you are going to need to offer something unique. There are millions of clothing businesses out there, and therefore, some pretty steep completion.
But don’t worry, if you have a creative ability, you’ll have no problem selling your clothing to others.
You have Business Knowledge
The last thing you need to start a clothing business is a good knowledge of business. This includes things like operations and marketing.
You can have the best clothing in the world, but if you don’t know how to market it, you won’t make a dime.
Here are some Teenager Entrepreneur Success Stories!
How To Start A Clothing Business As A Teenager
The first thing you should do to start your clothing business is research. Good news is, you’re already doing it by reading this post!
But obviously, you should still conduct further research on each part of this step by step guide.
Competition is a big part of the clothing industry, so make sure you know who your competitors are and their strengths and weaknesses.
You need to know you target market in order to tailor you product and your marketing to them.
You should research the different manufacturing processes and business models.
When you are in the research phase, you should keep your options open. Research each and every option and don’t decide on anything just yet, that comes in the next phase.
Now that you have some research gathered, it’s time to start making some decisions.
How To Start A Clothing Brand As A Teenager
What will your brand be about?
The first thing you should decide on is what your brand will be about. This includes your clothing’s style, design, and message.
For style, you should pick the main types of clothing that you will be designing, whether its t-shirts, jeans, shoes, etc.
Although your designs may differ from piece to piece, you should have some identifying characteristics that make your brand unique.
Finally, you need to decide on a message that your brand embodies. This should include your mission statement, your target market, and your goals.
Once you have come up with some key principles for your brand, you need to make sure to incorporate those principles into each and every piece of clothing that you design.
How To Start A Clothing Line As A Teenager
What will you name your business?
As mentioned earlier, a key to a successful clothing business is setting yourself apart from the crowd. A huge part of this comes from creating a unique brand.
To do this, you need to come up with a name for your brand. Whatever you decide, your message should be built into your name.
You can pick something that means something to you, or just a word that you like. A lot of companies use Latin translations of English words to decide on their name.
Here’s a name generator for clothing businesses.
Who will do the screen printing?
In order to get your design on a piece of clothing, you have to do screen printing. Basically, the design is printed with ink onto the blank piece of clothing.
When choosing who will do the screen printing, you can do it yourself, have someone else do it, or have another company do it.
Yourself: If you do the screen printing yourself, you have 100% control over everything you produce. This will ensure that the quality is up to your standards. However, doing screen printing yourself is also extremely time consuming and hard to mass-produce.
Someone Else: If you hire someone else to do your screen printing, you can still maintain some control over the quality of your clothing and it will be a lot more time efficient. But, it won’t be cost effective as you will have to pay the person quite a bit.
Company: If you let a company do your screen printing, you will have the ability to mass-produce at a low cost. However, you will have no control over the quality of clothing produced.
What business model will you choose?
It’s time to choose a business model, and you got a couple of options to pick from.
Print On Demand
The first option is print on demand, and the name says it all. Your clothing will print when the demand is created.
So when a customer orders a piece of clothing, the order will be created, and then that one piece of clothing will be printed and shipped to the customer.
Print on demand is a great choice to avoid inventory all together. You don’t have to risk printing too much or too little because you only print when you need to.
However, this is not the most cost effective model because you aren’t able to mass-produce.
Wholesale is probably the best option for you clothing business, but it is a bit more risky.
With wholesale, you produce a large number of items at a time to be more cost efficient, and then you keep them on hand as inventory.
Once you receive an order, you ship the item out individually.
As mentioned, wholesale is most cost effective model, but the risk is that you produce a large number of clothing items and have a chance of never selling any of them.
To make wholesale less risky, start with small amounts produced, and gradually build your way up to larger amounts when the demand is there.
Custom cut is a model that creates custom clothing items for each customer.
The customer is able to create their own piece of clothing with their style, size, and own design.
Custom cut opens the door for large markets, as almost everyone wants to be able to customize their clothing, but it is a lot more work to operate this business model.
Each and every piece of clothing will be unique, which means you won’t be able to mass-produce at all.
This makes this model a lot more time consuming, and a lot less cost effective. However, you are able to price your clothing higher, which may make better profit margins.
How much will your start-up costs be?
Starting a clothing business isn’t cheap at all. You are going to have high start up costs, but they will very depending on your business model.
If you are looking to spend a little less, here are 12 business ideas for students with little investment.
If you are doing the screen printing yourself, you are going to need a lot of equipment to get started.
You can see all the equipment you need to buy do to screen printing here.
It might be better to outsource your screen printing until you are generating an income from your business and can afford the equipment you will need.
You’ll want a website for your business if you really want to make things easier.
A website allows you to display all of your products and allows you to automate your ordering process.
You’ll need to purchase a hosting service and a domain in order to create a website.
In order to get the word out there, you’ll want to spend money on advertisements on social media platforms.
You know that saying, “you have to spend money to make money”? Well it’s necessary for a successful clothing business.
Once you have your designs, you are going to have to purchase some product if you are wholesaling. This will seem like a risky purchase, but you have to remember that it is an investment.
In the end you want to lower your cost per item as much as possible, and the best way to do that is by ordering higher volumes of items.
This may mean that you have to spend more to order more items, but this means that your profit margins will be better once you sell all of it.
If you are hiring someone else to help you with design work, printing, advertising, or shipping, you’re going to have to pay them.
I’d recommend trying to do as much as possible by yourself first before you start paying other people.
This way you can start generating an income before you start giving it away.
Shipping expenses will add up depending on how much you charge the customer. You’ll have to pay for boxes, tape, and the shipping labels.
This is just one of those expenses that is necessary to this business.
How will you get the word out there?
Influence: As a teenager you actually have a great advantage over adults when it comes to marketing. Teenagers are very stylish and are always to impress others. If you hold influence over your peers you may be able to convince them to buy your clothing.
Word of Mouth: By telling your friend and family about your clothing business, they will likely purchase something to support you. The great part about this is, every time someone wears your clothing, they are a walking billboard. People will ask them where they got their clothing from which may turn into more customers for your business.
Social Media: A huge part about marketing is social media. You should aim to create accounts on every major platform and post regularly with links to your store. Purchase advertisements here and there, and you’ll be receiving loads of traffic in no time.
Now that you have all of the planning done, it’s time to execute.
First you should create some social media accounts and start posting some pictures of your designs.
Start building a following and grow excitement toward the launch of your brand.
Next, establish connections and figure out who will do the screen printing, advertising, and shipping for your business.
Then, build your website with pictures of your clothing and set up an ordering system.
Then, launch your business! Blow it up on social media, purchase your first set of inventory, and spread the word!
In no time you’ll find yourself struggling to fulfil all of your orders with limited time.
This is great news! It means your business is doing well!
But, you may have to make a few changes in order to keep up with the demand.
You might have to change your business model, from print on demand to wholesale.
You’ll have to outsource your screen printing process with someone you trust and probably find someone to handle advertising and shipping as well.
Continue to expand and watch your money roll in!
I also recommend you check out the book: Apparel Entrepreneurship: How to Start & Run a Successful Apparel Brand.
Starting a clothing business as a teenager is no easy feat to accomplish. But, with the right research, planning, execution, and expansion, you will have a successful business in no time! Best of luck!
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