|image credit: Lovlytocu|
To all my fellow fashion enthusiasts who are dreaming and planning to own a clothing label. Look no further for information on how to take the first few bold steps to realizing your dreams. I am one of such people who dream to own a clothing label soon being that i have always loved fashion; now is time to put some work into achieving this dream.
See some few key steps on how to begin and market your clothing line after the jump.
Culled from www.smallbusiness.chron.com
Many people dream of becoming a famous fashion designer and seeing their clothing showcased on the most prominent and prestigious runways in the world. While fame and fortune may not come to most designers, it is very possible to launch a clothing line that is commercially successful. Starting and marketing a clothing line takes a great amount of time and effort, but it may be the perfect venture for someone passionate about fashion.
Write a business plan. In it, analyze your competitors, start-up costs, costs for the first three years of the business, and how you plan to grow and expand your business. For help writing a business plan, contact your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office.
Specialize in a certain type of clothing; this will determine your niche and target market. For instance, you can make toddler, plus size, teen, formal men's or maternity clothing. Assess your market's demand for your niche to ensure it's feasible. For example, a line of organic cotton, custom Hawaiian shirts may not be in demand in Minnesota, but they could do well in Florida.
Define your target market after choosing a niche. Consider how the people who purchase your clothes think, their buying habits, demographics and what media they pay attention to. For example, if you decide to launch a line of humorous teeshirts for toddler boys, your target market may be young mothers, likely age 18 to 30, who pay attention to pop culture media outlets, are likely to read parenting magazines and who have disposable income.
Obtain the training and educational background needed to design your line. This will depend on your talents and current knowledge. Many designers are self-taught but can benefit from a few business courses, while others have no design, textile or fashion industry knowledge at all. If this is the case for you, enroll in a college or university that offers fashion design courses.
Pick a business model for your clothing line. You can either sell it yourself, sell it wholesale-only to retailers, or be a retailer and wholesaler of your clothing line. If you plan to sell your own line, you have the option of opening a brick-and-mortar store or an online storefront.
Secure the permits and licenses needed in your area to start your clothing line. For instance, if you launched your line in Houston, Texas, you would need a sales and use tax permit, assumed name certificate from Harris county, and an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Contact your local Small Business Administration (SBA) office or small business development center to find out what is required in your area.
Compile a contact list of fashion buyers, media editors, merchandisers, boutique owners and clothing distributors in your area. These will be the people to whom you send invitations for your shows, as well as your line sheets, look-book and press releases.
Make prototypes of each piece from your first collection, or have a seamstress sew the clothes for you. Take photos of each piece on a mannequin or a model; this will be your portfolio, and the images will also be used for other marketing purposes.
Develop a look-book and line sheets for your collection. A look-book is a physical or online portfolio of each piece from your current collection. A line sheet should contain photos of each piece from your collection, as well as wholesale pricing, fabric content and sizing information.
Produce a fashion show, and invite the people on your contact list, as well as local college and university students, local media outlets and the public. If you plan to charge admission to your show, offer an incentive for people to attend, such as a live performance from a local music artist or dance troupe, free appetizers or an after-party.
Send press releases to the fashion editors, buyers and boutique owners on your contact list, as well as online, radio, print and television media outlets that cover up-and-coming fashion designers. If you do not know how to properly write and format a press release, hire a freelance publicist or writer to develop one for you.
Promote your clothing line by launching a website or blog, which can also serve as an e-commerce platform, holding trunk shows.