How To Start A Fashion Business From Home – To help your independent clients launch a clothing line, or launch your own clothing line, you need to understand the big picture. It will help you navigate every step of the journey. If you’re looking for a factory but haven’t decided to make sleepwear, you’re working against yourself!
The process of starting a clothing line can seem overwhelming, but once you break it down into steps, everything becomes much easier.
How To Start A Fashion Business From Home
But how can you build a catalog if you haven’t started a clothing line yet? You can even get into it without any fashion experience.
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So after interviewing over 100 successful designers and clothing startups on the Successful Fashionista podcast, I came up with this list of 10 steps you can use to help your clients start a freelance business (or start your own brand).
We’ll go through a checklist for starting a clothing line at each step, and I’ll link you to Success podcast episodes to learn more. (Because the best way to learn about starting a clothing line is to get advice from someone who’s been there!)
In today’s retail market, it is difficult to sell clothes based on appearance alone. Good design is not enough! Your product must fill a market need.
If your dream is to have the next big clothing brand, don’t be discouraged from starting small with one product that meets a need! Diane von Furstenberg started with wrap dresses. The space started with high performance socks. Spanx started with high control tights. These clothing brands are now huge, but they all started with a unique product that filled a need.
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For more ideas on how to fill market needs to ensure your clothes sell, listen to these SFF podcast episodes:
When you think you have a great idea for a clothing line, you need to test it to make sure it will sell. This is where market research will save you a lot of time and money – so you don’t create a product that no one wants to buy!
Market research isn’t the best, but it’s the best way to test and refine your idea before spending tons of money on your clothing line. This is an ongoing process where you will talk to your potential customer to get feedback on your idea and ultimately your samples.
Read our comprehensive guide to customer research here! And for more ideas on how to conduct customer research and make sure people want to buy your clothes, listen to these SFF podcast episodes:
Step Checklist For Starting A Clothing Line
You’ve got a great idea and you’ve done your initial research, now it’s time to get down to business! This step may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually not that difficult.
Remember, if you are an independent startup brand, you don’t need to worry about the business side of things. Just focus on your freelance work and do amazing work for your clients!
For more tips on starting your clothing business to make sure it’s legit, listen to these SFF podcast episodes:
With the idea approved and the business established, you are ready for the first stage of production: technological drawings and technology packages. These are like drawings of your clothes. Just like you need a pattern set to build a house, you need it for clothes!
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Tech Sketches and Tech Packs are also two great features you can offer if you are a new free mod.
When you approach manufacturers and suppliers with professional technology lines and technology packages, they will take you seriously! The factory receives many requests from people who want to make clothes. If your questions are no longer answered, this is probably why.
To learn more about what a tech stack is and why you should create your own clothing line, listen to this SFF podcast episode:
Now that you know what you’re making, it’s time to lay out the fabric and clothes. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make in their clothing line is buying fabric at Mood or the Garment District (or JoAnn’s!). These are retail stores, which means you pay retail prices!
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To start a good clothing line, you will need to find fabrics and general clothing. But maybe you don’t need to buy 100 meters!
There are many places where you can find cheap fabrics, and The Ultimate Guide to Buying Wholesale Fabrics for Your Clothing Line will show you exactly where to find them.
For more information on how to buy fabric for your clothing or freelance clients, listen to the SFF podcast episodes:
Now that your clothes are tied, you are ready to prepare your clothesline. Which means it’s time to look for a factory.
Virtual Business Tour
Listen to these SFF podcasts with factory owners to see if they fit your wardrobe:
And for more tips on the garment manufacturing process and tips for working with other factories and suppliers, listen to these SFF podcast episodes:
With a factory selected, it’s time to order a sample. Depending on how you plan to sell your clothes, your needs may vary. For example, a pre-sale on Kickstarter has different development requirements than a pop-up store.
Arrange samples with your factory according to your launch plan. Also talk to them about possible mass production times, so you can let your customers know when the designs will be ready. Factories are busy and need to schedule you, so it’s important to keep your place on the production line.
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To learn more about how sampling and production work to ensure your clothes launch on time, listen to these SFF podcast episodes:
When things go wrong in the factory, the best thing you can do is sell and connect with your audience before your clothes are available for sale! Creating hype in advance helps people and creates expectations around your designs.
If you plan to sell your clothes online, there are many different ways to do it. Kickstarter, social media marketing, building an email list or hosting events are great ways to increase momentum.
If you plan to sell wholesale, make an appointment with a supplier or attend a trade show to get pricing.
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For ideas and inspiration on how to sell your clothes before you start, listen to these SFF podcast episodes:
After you get pre-orders, through stores or online from customers, you are ready to order in bulk. It’s a very exciting time, but it’s also a decision you’ll want to correct!
Many products are ordering more. Although your clothing line is amazing, selling it is harder than you think. Do yourself a favor and start small. It is better to create a shortage by getting rid of it than to be left with a surplus product that cannot be sold.
In addition to getting the word out about your launch, there are supplies you need to have a place to deliver your clothes to your customers. How will you pack and ship your orders? What is your return policy? Make sure this information is taken care of!
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It’s also important to keep promoting your clothes after your list arrives! If you want to sell online, what is your social media or email marketing strategy? If you are going to advertise on Facebook (easy to burn and burn a lot of money!), make sure you have a solid plan.
Starting a clothing line is a big deal! Now that you have the big picture steps and checklist, listen to any of the SFF podcasts linked above. The knowledge you will gain from fashion entrepreneurs who have been there is priceless. Learn from their mistakes to find your clothes faster and more efficiently.
Bonus tip: Not ready to launch your own label? You can still see your designs come to life, and get a risk-free experience with branding, customer research and more by becoming a freelance fashion designer!
Fashion Clothing Business Ideas In India At Home For Beginners
The first thing you need to do when starting a clothing business is to decide on its design. You have several options, including sole proprietorship, limited liability partnership and limited liability company. Whatever business model you choose, you will need to register with HMRC as soon as possible. This is so you can pay any taxes you owe. Remember that you must register your clothing business even if you plan to work only part-time. If you don’t, you could be fined by HMRC, possibly heavily.
The next step in starting a home clothing business is to prepare your creative space. It means choosing a room
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