How to Start a Clothing Brand (and Make 7 Figures a Year)

  • Brandon Boushy by Brandon Boushy
  • 2 months ago
  • Blog
  • 1
Young man arranging clothing and accessories on a boutique table with the words "$120K/month clothing business" hovering overhead

Have you ever wondered how to start a clothing brand? Starting a clothing line business only requires a little investment and some technical skills. You can start a clothing business and make a great living. We’ll show you how.

Case Study: Portland Gear

Marcus Harvey turned his love for Portland, Oregon, into a hometown clothing brand called Portland Gear. He started screen printing in college to make some extra money but stopped to take on his first job.

On Thanksgiving of 2014, he designed two shirts, posted them on Instagram, and sold $5K worth on the first day. Six years later, Portland Gear is making over $100K a month.

Marcus took the time to explain how to start a clothing brand. He gave us a ton of great advice about how to start your own clothing brand that we’ll include while providing a step-by-step guide to start a clothing brand.

How to Start a Clothing Brand

Man sitting in a boutique holding two shirts hung on hangers

Starting a clothing brand is part art and part business. You’ll want to follow this 11-step process to start a clothing line.

  1. Learn design skills.
  2. Create a clothing brand business plan.
  3. Pay attention to fashion trends.
  4. Create a brand identity.
  5. Market your brand.
  6. Source materials.
  7. Develop your collection.
  8. Package and distribute your collection.
  9. Promote your collection.
  10. Sell your clothing brand.
  11. Keep growing your clothing brand.

Get ready to learn how to make your own clothing brand.

Learn Design Skills

You don’t have to attend school to succeed in the fashion business. You can learn almost everything you need to about fashion brands online. While you can start a clothing brand without a formal education, many people find they benefit from the structured learning environment that comes with enrolling in some official courses.

Attending live in-person courses comes with access to networking opportunities, insights from an experienced fashion designer, and specialized resources and tools.

Educational institutions around the country and the world provide fashion design and small business programs that teach their students how to start successful clothing lines. Renowned schools like Parsons in New York and Central Saint Martins in the UK are globally recognized for their exceptional fashion education.

For those with more determination than resources or time, there are online courses from successful clothing line professionals including Marc Jacobs’ MasterClass and Maker’s Row Academy.

You can even use Udemy for accessible and flexible learning opportunities.

A clothing brand business owner may need skills in the following:

  • Design
  • Technology
  • Production and printing
  • Business

Let’s dig deeper into each of these to see how they impact a clothing brand.

Clothing Design Skills

Every fashion brand needs a designer. This is the person who takes the idea and makes it a reality.

A fashion designer will typically include several steps in the design process. The steps to design your own clothing brand include:

  1. Draw design using paper or digital software, like Tailornova.
  2. Have a pattern maker cut the patterns for the design.
  3. Build a prototype.
  4. Make alterations.
  5. Create a tech pack (design specifications you give to a clothing manufacturer).
  6. Source the materials and begin manufacturing.

This process is called product development and is used consistently in the fashion business. Managing product development is one of the keys to a successful clothing company. Without a controlled design and development process, a company may fail or tarnish its brand identity.

I’m not going to go into all the details of each as these are highly technical fields, but there are a ton of great resources on how to design clothes. Here are some useful resources to consider:

Pro Tip: I have a client who is in the process of starting their own clothing brand and have personally used Printful to help clients meet their print-on-demand needs. Their software helps you with all steps involved in creating clothing designs, making it easier to start building your fashion brand company and selling your designs to potential customers through an online store.

Technology

The next skill you need to develop is familiarity with the technology aspect of the industry. Paying a developer to help start your eCommerce store can be expensive. I’ve seen people spend $25K and not get what they want. It’s important to understand the technology aspect before you start.

Technology that will need to be used includes:

Decisions around what tech you’ll use are crucial when trying to figure out how to start a clothing brand because the costs are much lower to run an eCommerce store with production from a print-on-demand company that handles the printing and shipping of the items you design than sourcing our own designs from a manufacturer.

Most tech companies offer free or low-cost tutorials on how to use their software. Make sure to use them. They were built to help you make the most of their offerings.

Production and Printing Skills

Screen printing with orange ink on a white t-shirt

Your clothing business will need production, which can be done through a manufacturing partner, or you can print your own t-shirts and other apparel products. If you are going to take on the production, you’ll need to learn how to use the different types of machines.

Some techniques you might need to learn include:

The best way to learn these techniques is hands-on, which means purchasing your own machines or finding a manufacturing partner who will teach you. I’d like to remind you that drop-shipping companies reduce much of this workload. Once you’ve built the business up, learning to do it can save you some money, but production costs quickly increase the upfront costs to start a clothing brand.

Business Skills

Business skills encompass a wide range of essential tasks including accounting, pricing, shipping, and managing inventory. To educate yourself on all of these would require a lifetime of learning. We’ve provided a list of useful resources for leveling up your fashion business skills.

Pro Tip: You can also use YouTube videos to learn almost anything these days.

Create a Clothing Brand Business Plan

Designer sitting in her office space

Starting a clothing brand has many of the same considerations as any new small business, including establishing how much money you’ll need, when to get financing, and planning for legal, financial, marketing, production, and distribution of the clothing—all of which we recommend including in your business plan.

Marcus told us,

We started by setting up at Portland events in our old Volkswagen van and expanded from there.

Meanwhile, the owner of Urbanity started his successful clothing boutique by writing a 100-page business plan and getting a small business loan at 22.

Fashion Brand Business Models

The most important consideration when you start a clothing brand is how you’ll produce your clothes brand. These are the main ways that designer brands produce their clothing:

  1. Hand-produced clothing: You can create your entire clothing line by hand. This is usually something that designers will do when they are designing prototypes or one-off pieces. It’s time-consuming and only suitable for extremely small batches, but great for creating the first piece of custom-tailored clothing.
  2. Bulk manufacturing: Bulk manufacturing is a necessity if you are selling your clothing in major retailers. Minimum order quantities apply for bulk orders. The equipment is costly, so you’ll likely work with a manufacturing partner. This is one of the least costly per item but highest upfront cost business models for clothing production.
  3. Print-on-demand: You can avoid handmaking many products and having to manage inventory with print-on-demand. You won’t get as good of deals as you will with bulk manufacturing (and may have less design control and fewer options), but you’ll be able to produce more pieces than you would by handmaking products. Production doesn’t start until the product is ordered.
  4. Dropshipping: With dropshipping, you don’t have to worry about managing inventory or printing. You simply list the item on your website and when someone places an order, it is sent directly from the manufacturer to the customer.

Now that you know different clothing brand business models, let’s discuss how much creating a clothing brand costs.

How Much Does It Cost to Start a Clothing Brand?

Pay Attention to Fashion Trends

The Modest Man history of plaid article on a laptop

If you’re wondering how to start your own brand of clothing, you need to pay attention to trends in the fashion industry. At the same time, you have to maintain a consistent brand identity.

Understanding the seasonal and annual trends in clothing design will help you stay relevant. Depending on the time it takes to create a line, manufacture it, and promote it, you may need to think one to three seasons ahead to stay on track with seasonal changes. There are tools to help you predict trends, too.

Alternatively, you can try to find evergreen designs that people are always buying, like plaid, which can be traced back to as far as the eighth century B.C.

Next, we’ll discuss how to create a clothing brand identity.

Create a Brand Identity

Making a clothing brand is more than a logo and your name. It’s about something bigger than a collection of clothing items. It’s about your values, how you’ll make lives better, your standards, your lifestyle, the colors, fonts, and fabrics you use, and more.

Once you’ve defined what makes your clothing brand unique, create a brand guide that will help you make decisions as you launch and grow the brand.

Pro Tip: Need some inspiration as you make clothing brand decisions? Check out our handpicked boutique name ideas for 2024.

Clothing Brand Name Ideas

Your business name is often the first thing your target market will see. It will communicate what the brand is all about and you’ll use it to make your logo, too. There are a ton of ways to name a clothing business. Some fashion designers use names that:

  • Pay Homage to the Founder: Think Ralph Lauren or Louis Vuitton.
  • Describe Clothing Items: CryptoLids creates hats for crypto and web3 communities.
  • Show a Passion: Portland Gear celebrates the culture of Portland in its fashion line.

Your business name should be one that makes it easy to convey your brand story. Unless you’re already an established brand, you’ll want every advantage you can get when communicating with your target audience.

Try out our clothing brand name generator to find inspiration. Once you find a clothing brand name you like, just click on it to find out if the domain name is available. Learn more about naming a clothing brand.

Financial Management

A crucial portion of successfully starting a fashion business is managing its financial aspects. Marcus emphasized the benefits of starting small:

You get quantity discounts the more of the same item you buy, so it’s better to start small than have 100 different products.

He typically aims for a 65% margin on the apparel.

You may need some extra funds to start your clothing brand. To find banks that work with small businesses, use this resource.

Let’s look at some tricks you can use to help your clothing brand become profitable.

Get a Business Bank Account

Almost every bank offers business checking and savings accounts. Which one will work best for you depends on how you do business.

If all business is by card and you don’t need a branch nearby, online banks typically pay better interest, but going with the big players like Chase or Wells Fargo means you get a ton of support. Here are some of the most highly recommended business banking accounts:

  • Chase Business Complete Banking – Great new account bonuses.
  • U.S. Bank Silver Banking Checking – Excellent for use with eCommerce and PayPal transactions because you can send weekly deposits to avoid some of their fees.
  • Axos Interest Checking – My personal favorite! Offers higher interest payments for lower balances. I love that they hook up the little guy!
  • Wells Fargo – I was with Wells Fargo for the better part of 15 years, but when I had some problems a few years back, it caused me a real headache because the nearest branch was two hours away and I couldn’t handle it by phone. Despite that, they normally have great customer service and seem to have gotten past all that.

Pro Tip: Investopedia gives a more thorough review of each of these accounts. Ultimately, the interest offered by online banks tends to be significant and the absence of a bank building won’t be a problem unless you need to deposit cash.

Payment Processors

The last time I took the time to review payment processors, they all seem to be basically the same unless you are doing hundreds of thousands of transactions. That being said, there are some new players on the market due to the changes in the financial markets brought on by cryptocurrency. The primary players in this field are:

  1. PayPal – We all know the company and use it frequently, but if you’ve never used it for business, be careful. They show a ton of love for customers, but not as much toward businesses. When I started my first business, they thought we were making money too quickly and placed a 30-day hold on withdrawals. It was a pain. Once I got past that, it’s all good. They offer third-party financing, too.
  2. Square and Cashapp – Square has a ton of useful features and is constantly expanding its ecosystem. It’s a reasonable competitor to PayPal. I recommend you consider offering both.
  3. Authorize.Net – Visa-owned payment gateway. If you go through a bank for your payment processor, this is typically who they use. The banks tend to charge a higher fee than going directly to them.
  4. Crypto.Com – Lower fees than traditional processors, but still hasn’t perfected the UI or UX experience. If you work with a bunch of cryptocurrency holders, you might want to have it available. I’ve personally added my own on my site. This may be the future of tech, but it’s still in its infancy.

Budget, Budget, Budget!

Hand holding a fan of hundred dollar bills in the foreground and clothing retail space in the background

A budget is the most important tool you can use in business. Without it, your clothing brand might not make it through the first few years.

Marcus encourages you to “know your margins, reinvest in your business, and grow responsibly.”

Consider Your Many Funding Options

Starting a clothing brand doesn’t cost a fortune. The initial investment in owning a clothing brand can be less than $1,000.

Marcus suggests beginners use:

  • Shopify
  • A print-on-demand company
  • A social media marketing budget of less than $500 a month

Common funding paths include:

  • Personal funds
  • Loans from family or friends
  • Business partner(s)
  • Government programs

The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers free courses on funding programs. For info on using personal funds to start a business, check out this article from The Hartford.

Alternative sources of funding include:

Click on the link to find a list of the best offerings in each group.

Develop a Pricing Structure

How you price your clothing brand will impact how people view it. If your prices are too high, they’ll go elsewhere. Too low, and you’ll lose money. Based on the rules of thumb presented by Marcus in his interview,

Use a 65% markup, or half that if wholesale. T-shirts are typically $28, hats $35, and hoodies just under $70.

Pricing Communicates Value

Shops will often sell their products or services for a lower price to bring in new customers. Be careful doing this. If you sell your clothing for a discount and they tell others, you might have to sell more clothing for the same price. People love a good deal! Just make sure it is sustainable for your clothing brand, or the “expiration date” is clear.

Marcus told us,

You can go buy bargain basement t-shirts for $10, but I’m selling a brand, not clothing. I feel like $25 is really where people have to think about buying a t-shirt. If they have to think about buying it, they are more likely to wear it.

Increase Prices Every Year

Inflation occurs every year. To keep your business running, raise your prices 5% per year. It gives you room to increase wages and to make some extra money. Makes sense, right?

Sales Taxes

All but five states and some cities (or counties) require sales tax. You can find a guide on applying for sales tax on TaxJar. After you register to pay sales taxes, you will need to keep track of the sales to pay them according to state laws.

Pro Tip: I highly recommend speaking with an accountant who specializes in taxes to help you comply with your business’s unique needs.

Insurance

NOLO state unemployment agencies webpage on a laptop

You’ll need some insurance depending on what kind of a business you are running. For example, you’ll need unemployment insurance and workers compensation if you have employees.

You may also want a general liability policy and cybersecurity insurance to protect against unforeseen events that could cause your clothing brand business substantial losses.

  • Unemployment Insurance: Unemployment insurance (UI) protects employees from entirely losing income when they lose their jobs. It is paid for on both the federal and state level. The federal unemployment insurance is driven by a 6% tax on the first $7,000 of each employee’s income, a total of $420 per year per employee. Your state taxes can reduce the federal portion down to $42 per year per employee, but each state has different requirements. You can find a full list of agencies that deal with UI on nolo.com.
  • Workers Compensation: Workers compensation is for when people are injured on the job. There are both federal and state requirements, which you can review on this Department of Labor webpage. The policies protect against excessive costs when an employee is injured through acceptable business practices.
  • General Liability Policy: A general liability policy is not required, but it is highly advised if people other than employees will be at your physical location. It protects against lawsuits and other occurrences that may occur. Contact an insurance agent to get a quote.
  • Cybersecurity Insurance: Cybersecurity insurance will protect your clothing brand against online store hacks. Given the average data breach is millions of dollars, this is highly recommended if participating in any kind of eCommerce.

Market Your Brand

You’re ready to start a clothing brand. You have clothes to sell, but no clients! How are you going to let people know about your clothing items?

Marketing is crucial for clothing businesses.

From a marketing standpoint, Marcus uses several strategies that he would suggest.

  • Only sell what you love. Owning a business is hard work. If you don’t believe in it, it will wear you out.
  • Be active within your community. Do popup shops where your target market is.
  • Keep your advertising budget low—typically less than $500 a month.
  • Have certain dates when you have sales and be prepared for them.
  • Invest in photography!

Marketing

Concept of a designer in her workspace with social media and eCommerce icons including Instagram, Facebook, Amazon, and Google hovering over her laptop

Marketing is about going where your target audience is to help them become aware of your clothing brand and turning awareness into purchasing. Marketing can be done both online and through other channels.

You’ll need to be familiar with the largest three places where you can reach your clothing brand’s customers:

Each of these has a ton of resources to educate people on how to reach your target market with their products for businesses. Make sure to familiarize yourself with them; otherwise, you’ll be operating in the dark and wasting a lot of money.

Pro Tip: Portland Gear only spends about $500 a month on advertising because they already had a built-in following from their Portland Instagram page. They also use a super cool 1973 VW Westfalia to do pop-up shops around Portland, which we’ll discuss in a bit…

Source Materials

When you start a clothing company, how you source materials for your fashion brand will create different challenges based on the business model you choose.

With a print-on-demand model, you’ll be constrained by the materials and manufacturing capabilities of each of the providers. Meanwhile, with handmade clothing and limited runs, you probably want to focus on ordering materials from online stores located in the U.S. or local craft shops where you can see and feel the materials before you buy them.

When your business model involves creating larger batches, it gets far more complicated because the materials have shipping costs that are incurred when they are shipped to the clothing manufacturer facility, then the manufactured product has to be shipped to you (or your clients). Every time you have shipping during the manufacturing process, there is a potential for the business model to experience additional costs in the form of tariffs and mileage charges.

True Story: I knew a clothing business owner who ordered a single roll of fabric from China as an expedited order. The shipping ended up costing almost 20 times the fabric cost and guaranteed that the batch he was designing would be a loss. It was a tough mistake to make, especially before the company made any revenue. Sign up for our UpFlip Mentorship program to get advice and avoid costly mistakes.

Curate a Small Clothing Line

Starting a clothing brand is a lot of work.

I reached out to the friend of mine who owns Cryptolids.com, which has helped 26 web3 companies launch their clothing business this year. He told us:

I spend about 40 to 60 hours on a full store build including all front end and back end creation as well as mocking up merch for up to 50 t-shirts, hats, and other products.

He does this every day, so he is super fast at designing a t-shirt or hat design and adding it to an online store. My takeaway: Expect to spend at least two to three hours per product until you get used to all the design work for your own clothing brand.

Custom designs that don’t use standardized t-shirts and hats could take even longer. Project Runway contestants, for example, normally spend one to two days creating each piece on the reality TV show, while a discussion about fashion industry design times reflects varying inputs and revealed that:

This whole process takes about 4 months. 4 weeks for research and sourcing. 4 weeks for cutting and toiles. 8 weeks for finalising, material creation, accessories et cetera

Package & Distribute Your Collection

Once you’ve created your own clothing line, you’ll need to decide how to package each clothing item. Like designing clothes, private label packaging contributes to how your clothing brand idea will be received.

If you’re selling in an online store, you might want a box that showcases your brand and offers coupons to encourage customer loyalty, while a retail store in the clothing industry might want paper or plastic bags. Make sure to use recycled materials if you’re trying to be eco-friendly. On the other hand, wholesale clothing suppliers might go for a plain box with a packing slip inside.

Promote Your Collection

Woman with long brown hair standing in a boutique with a bullhorn

There are a number of ways to promote your collection when starting a clothing brand.

  • Consignment
  • Wholesale
  • Create an Online Store
  • Retail Locations

We’ll discuss how each of these can help you turn your clothing company into a successful fashion brand.

Consignment

Many retailers allow a new business to sell their products in their retail store if you offer consignment. Unfortunately, consignment means you have to provide your clothing line to the retailer and only get paid when they sell the item.

When you start a clothing brand, consignment makes it easier to get your entire clothing line into a store. This business model can be really beneficial in the fashion world because of the risk-free nature to the retailer.

Wholesale

When you wholesale your clothing brand, retailers will buy your clothing designs in bulk. Retailers normally won’t want to do this when you start a clothing brand because it’s more costly. Start with consignment and work your way up to wholesaling.

Pro Tip: When you’re approaching a store, make a point to be respectful of their time. A good sales strategy for clothing brands is to provide a card or catalog and ask to schedule a meeting in the future to give the business owner or manager time to review what you do and prepare for a conversation.

Create an Online Store

Your clothing business needs to be capable of working as an online business idea before you launch your own online store. Your business plan should also include information about handling shipping and fulfillment. You’ll need to consider aspects like online customer service, the impact on your production model or clothing manufacturer, and your packaging.

As long as you know how your clothing line will handle these things, your existing clothing brand can use your website as online marketing and a way to sell your products directly to customers. That means you’ll be able to get the full retail price for your clothing brand without having to share the profits with other retailers or eCommerce platforms like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay.

There are plenty of web builders that you can explore if you’re wondering how to start a clothing brand online. When you are choosing which ones to use you’ll want to consider which web templates work best for your style of ecommerce and which will convey your brand messaging best. Learn how to build a website here.

Pro Tip: I personally prefer Shopify. You can start with a free clothing brand template like Boundless. You might also want an app that makes it easier for people to understand how your clothing line fits. You can use other online marketplaces directly from Shopify, too, which can magnify your clothing brand results.

Important Website Pages

Some of the most important web pages for the fashion industry include your home page, collections, product pages, about page, contact page, and FAQ. Make sure to use your brand guide when creating these pages to keep your website in line with your clothing line branding.

Great Photos

A clothing line benefits tremendously from great pictures. Have you ever seen a picture of a product and then when you receive it, the color is completely different? Your target customers probably won’t be happy, which means they might return the product. They might even tell potential customers not to buy from you. 

Finding a professional photographer who captures true-to-color lifestyle images with clothing brand models can really convey a brand image better than using stock photos or cell phone pictures. It may seem costly, but it can pay off over the long run.

Marketing

Every business model struggles to market its services until it cracks the code of what works for them, but some strategies work if you take the time to get good at them. Some of the marketing strategies you should consider for your clothing brand include:

  • Content marketing: Sharing photos, optimized video, and blog posts helps drive traffic to your brand.
  • Email marketing: Start building an email list as soon as you start working on your clothing business. You can share updates about working on the collection to help people get excited about the clothing line and do giveaways to incentivize emails.
  • Lend clothing: Beauty businesses use clothes during photo shoots and will pin your clothing brand when they share the pics if they use your clothes.
  • Influencer marketing: Working with TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram influencers can help get your clothing line in front of lots of people.
  • Loyalty program: Reward loyal customers and encourage them to refer potential customers.
  • Collaborations: Find other brands with similar values to collaborate with for crossbranding opportunities.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO): Optimize your high-performing website pages with SEO to increase traffic to your fashion brand store.
  • Social media advertising: Use paid ads, promoted posts, and organic content.

Sell Your Clothing Brand

Clothing brands can be sold through a variety of sales channels. Some of the most common for a new business include:

  • Online marketplaces
  • Your own retail store
  • Other retailers
  • Popup shops
  • Partner brands

Online Marketplaces

Selling clothes can be done through various sites. The top places to list your clothing brand include:

Pro Tip: Shopify connects to most of these sales channels easily, which makes it so clothing companies can sell their wear on multiple sites at once. Make sure to look at the percentage of sales that each one takes to make sure you set the retail price of your clothing line to cover any commissions that they collect.

Your Own Retail Store

Creating clothing brand stores is a great way to make your brand more accessible, but it is expensive. You should probably assume you’ll need at least $100,000 to open a clothing store, and there are a lot of considerations.

Marcus told us,

One of the things we’ve done to keep the symmetry of the business is we keep the warehouse, office, and store real close together so everyone can be on the same page.

Marcus discussed his experiences with opening his first shop in the interview about how to make a clothing brand below.

YouTube player

To find spaces to rent in your area, contact a local commercial real estate agent. You can search for them by your area here.

Other Retail Stores

As we discussed earlier, there are a few ways to get your fashion brand into other clothing stores, including consignment and wholesaling. Consignment pays when the clothing is sold, while wholesaling pays before the clothing is sold or on a Net-30, net-60 or Net-90 schedule.

Popup Shops

Popup shops are fun marketing tools to meet your customers where they gather. These are great for brand identity because they help associate the business with another place people already like.

Common places where popup shops are allowed include:

  • Music festivals
  • Art shows
  • Flea markets
  • Sporting events
  • Coffee shops

You’ll have to talk to the owner or manager of the location you have your eye on to get their permission and sort out details, but most are normally agreeable if you meet their conditions. Your municipality may also have laws governing pop-up shops.

With popup shops, spaces are typically limited to no more than 10’x10’ or 20’x20’, and the location will normally want to be able to see what your setup will look like beforehand.

Pro Tip: This SBA guide on business laws is a good reference that you can skim now and dig into as sales opportunities unfold.

Partner Brands

Providing your clothing line to partner brands is a great strategy. You can make it even more meaningful by offering combined deals where the customer gets a discount if they buy from both brands together. This can be done both in-store and online.

Keep Growing Your Clothing Business

Man in a clothing shop checking on inventory

As you achieve milestones in your business plan, you’ll want to look for new ways to grow your own brand and provide valuable services for your target audience. You might open another store, take control of the manufacturing process from your existing clothing manufacturer, wholesale clothing, or provide consulting services to other prospective designers.

There are so many ways how to make your own brand of clothing successful. Read on to learn more about common strategies.

Keep Inventory

Carrying inventory is both a blessing and a curse for a fashion startup. You’ll have to pay more to create clothing brand inventory, but the per-unit pricing usually is less than using print-on-demand. That means when you sell your private label products to customers at a higher price point, your cost of goods sold leaves you with more gross profit.

A strictly online store can get away with using print-on-demand or dropshipping, but fashion brands will need at least some materials and clothing items when they sell in person. That means you’ll need product displays, registers, and mannequins.

Marcus started Portland Gear with just two designs and 1,000 shirts, which made it easy to sell out the first day.

Startingaclothingbrand.com offers a list of manufacturers by location and type of clothing. It’s a great place to start when looking for clothing manufacturers.

Take Over From the Manufacturing Facility

You can get used printing machines and product displays at huge discounts if you buy them used. You can find printers and product displays through most on-brand markets, pawnshops, going-out-of-business sales, and other places. Consider buying an existing business with the printers included in the purchase price.

Pro Tip: Learn more about valuing an existing business in our guide to buying businesses.

Taking over manufacturing may cost more upfront, but a business model in which you produce your existing or new clothing brand yourself can increase your margins and mean a successful business that’s that much more in your control. 

Hire Employees

Marcus emphasized the importance of hiring the right people when starting a clothing brand.

You need to hire people that fit the brand story.

A clothing store that’s open to the public might need employees. Depending on your financial position when starting, you can work all the hours yourself or hire right away.

Even if you run a completely online clothing store, you might scale to a point where you need help with fulfilling orders, marketing efforts, sales strategy, and managing social media accounts so you can go from making your new business work to really taking on the fashion world.

Go Start Your Own Clothing Brand

Now that you know how to start a brand of clothing, take the next step. Start your own!

The truth is, all it takes is a great idea, some skills in design, and a good marketing strategy to get started. As Marcus told us:

If you like it, there are other people who will like it. You just have to find them.

Have you started a clothing brand online, consigned your designs, or opened a retail shop? Or do you know someone who has? We’d love to hear about your brand in the comments below!

Join The Discussion

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1 thoughts on “How to Start a Clothing Brand (and Make 7 Figures a Year)”

  • Chloe

    In Covid-19 situation now the main challenge is how can I gather the capital for my business. As if I collect the capital, but what if I loss in business that time what I’ll be done in peradonimic situation.

    Reply

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