Tips for Starting Your Own Fashion Brand
The clothes you wear should represent all shades of your personal style (classic, trendy, vintage, bohemian, chic, or anywhere in-between), your attention to detail, and the boldest notes of your one-in-a-million personality, so finding high-quality, fashion-forward clothing is a must. As the world’s population skyrockets, the market for clothing follows shortly behind Because people around the globe have more disposable income than ever, it’s a great time to enter the fashion industry.
However, without proper guidance and know-how, you may unknowingly waste precious time and money as you pursue your career as a fashion brand owner. Don’t let your brand get lost in the clearance section clothing racks. To maximize your investment as an up-and-coming business in the fashion market, here are seven useful tips for starting your own fashion brand, successfully.
Narrow your focus
You may want to dip your toes in every fleeting trend, every marketing strategy, and every social media campaign angle. Doing it all doesn’t always mean having it all. Don’t be swarmed by the buzz of trends that may distract you from your primary brand goals. No matter where you are in your career, you’ll want to devote your attention to how you, as a fashion brand owner, can stand out from the crowd. Remember, when you’re the Jack of all Trades, you’re the master of none.
Your customers have thousands of options out there in the world of fast-fashion, and it’s unlikely that your customer base will stick to one brand for every single one of their clothing needs. It’s far more reasonable to assume that your customer will choose the best that any brand has to offer. Any fashionista will have a designated scarf supplier that sells top-of-the-line silk scarves, but will they buy shoes and jeans from the home of their favorite scarf? Likely, the answer will be no.
To be successful in the fashion industry, you’ll need to perfect a narrow range of items and themes. You can try branching out after you’ve seen consistent success and have the resources to spare, but you’ll only be able to truly distinguish yourself from your competitors by focusing your energy and carving out a well-defined niche for your brand. You don’t have unlimited time or money, so it’s very important to focus your efforts and optimize your production.
Buy in bulk to save money
When you buy large quantities of any product, you’ll usually end up spending less per unit. The more you buy, the more money you save. While saving money is great, just make sure that you purchase a quantity that your business’ budget can handle.
Even if you save a lot of money per unit, buying a warehouse full of fabric when you only have one sewing machine is not an optimal business strategy. Before placing a bulk order, be sure to account for space, time, and reasonable labor expectations.
Direct communication with manufacturers
Like any product, you can make a profit by selling your wares at a higher price than the sum of their inputs. Your raw materials will be one of your biggest costs, so you stand to gain a higher profit by diminishing that expenditure.
To do that, you have two options. You can either opt for cheaper material of a lower quality, or you can connect directly with a manufacturer, buy in bulk, and end up spending a lot less on raw materials. Obviously, you want to provide your customer with a better product, so opting for lower quality materials is out of the question.
Reaching out to a manufacturer like ShirtSpace is a quick and easy way to get affordable materials while cutting out the middleman.
Understand your customer
Your product is not going to appeal to every potential customer’s personal style, and that’s perfectly ok. Part of finding your niche is understanding your customer base. Who do you think will enjoy your product? How much money is your target market willing to spend on clothing?
Does your target demographic chase new trends every day and demand constant change, or do they like consistency and regularity in a product? What activities do your customers usually engage in? How old are they? If you’re making casual clothing for an older demographic, then you may want to account for arthritis and limited mobility in the design process. Your customers should find your product, safe, comfortable, fashionable, and useful, so always try to judge your designs from their point of view.
Legal compliance is a necessity in any industry, and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of local regulations. For example, many countries and commercial regions have very strict manufacturing guidelines for children’s clothing, so it’s very important to read up on the local laws in your area to ensure that your business complies. Failure to follow relevant laws, ordinances, and regulations could end up costing you a lot of money in legal bills.
Test the market before making big moves
With the advent of e-commerce, marketing and selling your clothing is easier than ever. Before investing in a pricey brick-and-mortar location, try selling your designs on online marketplaces. It’s also easier and often less expensive to source your materials from an online marketplace too. You can easily see what’s in stock and compare prices, without having to go too far out of your way.
With an online marketplace, you can reach a larger audience, and you won’t have to worry about all of the overhead costs that you’d otherwise have to pay at a storefront. You can easily tweak your designs to account for the quick customer feedback you can receive on an online platform. While a storefront may be a good business move sometime down the line, you should wait until your brand is more established and your income is reliable before making any huge investments in a physical location.
Education and professional development
You don’t need to go to a top fashion school to learn useful skills. Many fashion moguls offer online classes at reasonable prices, and they condense a lot of their training and tidbits of wisdom into easily digestible chunks that you can access at your own convenience—whether it’s after your nine-to-five, before you drop your kids off at school, or even on your days off.
Even simple research on modern and historical fashion trends can yield insights that will benefit your brand. If you have the time and resources to improve your craft, then is definitely worthwhile. Little bits of fashion knowledge add up over time, and the skills that you develop will bolster your brand and make your product shine.