If clothing is your passion and you wish to start your own business by starting your own clothing line, you will first need to get all your ducks in a row.
The clothing and fashion design industry is highly competitive; it is full of individuals competing to get their clothing line noticed and even picked up by a major retail outlet for resale purposes.
One option you have is to get someone to invest in your clothing line. With an investor’s money behind you, you can promote your clothing line until it becomes profitable.
Establishing a business plan is essential to getting someone to invest in your clothing line. A business plan will consist of market research to determine the potential profitability of your product, the market for your clothes and the types of partners and investments you will need to get your clothing line up and running. One of the most important reasons to have an established business plan is to ensure that you know how to speak intelligently about your line and its place in the market when you finally line up some potential investors. Investors may like your clothes, but they will be more interested in how much money your clothes will make them.
One of the most effective ways that you can go about getting someone to invest in your clothing line is to advertise it in as many venues as possible. By taking this proactive approach, you will be setting yourself up for future success by placing information and examples of your clothing line out there where investors can find them. Creating your own website and blog are natural starting points for this, but you should also consider free advertising venues, like websites to get your line noticed. Fashion industry information and message boards are likely to yield positive results as well.
When you have your business plan and other advertising venues in place, you should begin to network with like-minded individuals in thefield of fashion design and clothing retailing. Go to local retail stores and ask to speak to the owner or manager. If possible, learn who does the retail buying for that particular store and contact the buyer or the buying manager. For large retail chains, you may have to go through several people to go up the chain of command, but keep calling on them until you are given an opportunity to pitch your clothing line.
Dos and Don’ts
When you are trying to pitch your line of clothing, ensure that you have an adequate number of sketches and photographs of existing clothing. A fully developed portfolio, along with a well-articulated business plan, will likely gain you a more enthusiastic and responsive audience than will going in with a few product samples and saying, “Look at my clothes.” Your pitch needs to be professional and business-like. Also, avoid over pitching your product with your website or any other type of Internet advertising. A low-key approach that displays a confidence in your clothes will go further than an over-the-top or in-your-face type of approach.
A business plan does not serve to define the unique parameters of manufacturing; this is not like a restaurant or a service business. For one thing, any kinds of sales projections for stylized consumer products are unmitigated fiction. Sales projections are a fiction because you can’t know what or how much you’re going to sell. Consumers are fickle. Those of us in the business can tell you endless stories of companies we’ve known who produced really cute stuff -that nobody bought! Perhaps worse, the styles that none of us liked became hot sellers. While you can occasionally get lucky, it’s just not predictable and there’s no reason to assume you’d be the exception to the rule (sorry). I really do not like telling you these things but I think I just have too… Hope you find that good luck!