How to start your own clothing business? Is this the question you’ve been having on your mind lately? You are probably aware of the fact that this business can and usually is nerve-wracking and takes out plenty of energy, but after you’ve had your first sample run and customer sale goes up, the feeling is amazing! If you want to get there, we recommend reading our 6-step clothing business plan. 

1.      Business Model Ideas

 While all of this is still just an idea, deciding on your business model is a smart move. In general, there are 3 ways you can go with this: 

On-demand/Direct-to-garment printing

If you want to do as less sewing as possible, you can consider focusing on On-Demand type of business. This means that you will order blank clothes and add pre-designed prints on demand. The good thing with this business type is that it’s a low-cost option and setting up this business is quick and allows you to do dropshipping and lower your costs as much as possible.

Wholesale Customization

Similar to On-Demand printing, wholesale customization includes a finished product (more stylish and expensive than a T-shirt) that is customized by you by adding your label, print design. Normally, this business type involves higher-end printing machines, a bigger budget, and more work, but it brings higher margins. 

Starting from Scratch

As the name suggests, you will start from scratch and do the whole process (design, creating, printing, selling and shipping) by yourself. Of course, the budget for this type of business model should be the biggest of all 3 models, but the margins you with this business model are 100% yours! 

2.      Choose Your Niche

 

Once you’ve decided which business model you’re going with, it’s time to choose the niche you want to dive in. Since you wouldn’t have entered this business if you weren’t creative, we aren’t worried that your designs are unique and will rock the market.

However, we just want to you remind you that choosing a specific niche is really important, at least in the beginning. It’s much easier to branch out to more niches than start too big and fail. Therefore, focus on your initial target group and stay at it. Once you see your business is growing and you can expand to other target groups, you will easily do it.  

3.      Build a Business Plan 

First of all, you might not even need a full business plan to start your business if you’re doing a small-scale design test.  However, keep in mind that your idea can quickly turn into a success and that’s where your business quickly scales up. Therefore, having a business plan just in case is never a bad idea. 

4.      Create Designs 

This is definitely the part of the business that excites you the most, right? You need to have at least one design concept for starters. Therefore, start by getting your sketch on paper or computer screen. From there, rough ideas are transformed into nailed down digital sketches thanks to programs such as Adobe Illustrator.

When your sketch is ready, you have to gather the essential information that your manufacturer will use for production. This information includes everything from design and measurements, materials, down to features and accessories you might want to include. Finally, it’s time for pattern creation and grading, of course, before you send everything to your manufacturer. 

5.      Testing the Product 

If you are thinking about using your sample run designs for testing out the market, you are on the right path. This is a great way to test your product without making a full batch and doing the official product run. There are numerous ways of doing this. For example, you can try out social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. This way, you will see if your targeted group is responding as you planned. 

6.      Taking Your Product to market 

Okay, you’ve done the test, it sells just as you predicted, and now you need to officially hit the market. This is where things get serious and there are a few decisions you need to make before fully committing yourself to your new clothing business. Think about how you will:

  • Price products
  • Market the brand 
  • Create an online store
  • Organize promotions and deals
  • Package up your products
  • Ship your products
  • Deal with returns and customer issues because there will be issues for sure
  • Check with your manufacturer for busy periods and new seasons

Sure, this all sounds like a business plan and it is to a certain extent. But it never hurts to work out all the little details ahead so that you save time and money in the long run and avoid unplanned setbacks. 

The fashion industry continues to grow beyond the expectations of experts. It seems that there is no end to consumers’ hunger for new fashion products and the trends keep changing every year. As a result, it’s no wonder that people are turning to the industry in search of employment. 

While a lot of people associate the fashion industry with designers and glamorous models, there’s far more to it than that. A lot of work behind the scenes goes into supporting the giant that is the fashion industry. 

For those looking to make a success of a career as a manager in the fashion industry, these are the skills you need: 

  1. Communication skills

The fashion industry is centered around people. It involves people right from the conception of the product right to the end-user. A manager who cannot communicate well with others will find themselves at a disadvantage in the fashion industry. 

A manager must fulfill a particular function in the organization. People work under the manager, doing different tasks that accomplish this. For example, a financial manager has bookkeepers and accountants working under them. 

A manager must be able to communicate with employees. It goes beyond being able to speak the same language. This can be a challenge alone as most huge fashion companies have bases in countries around the world. However, a manager needs to have the communication skills to tell employees what is expected and give them feedback afterward. 

  1. Planning skills 

The fashion shows we see on TV seem to have been so effortlessly put together. The truth is that they require a lot of planning. Managers are put in charge of various projects, which they must see through from beginning to end. 

For Project Management Professional certification, candidates write a certified exam which demonstrates their project management skills. PMP exam prep provides sample questions they should expect. 

Planning requires a lot of detailed information. This ranges from budgets to timelines and task breakdowns. Milestones are set with deadlines, and they must be adhered to for the project to proceed. 

The manager oversees all these processes to make sure the project is successful. Managers should be able to see the big picture when it comes to project planning and then be able to break it down into manageable chunks. 

  1. Time management and problem-solving skills

The fashion industry is time-sensitive. If there are too many delays, the end-product will go out of fashion. This can mean multi-million-dollar losses for the company. 

The manager will encounter obstacles and challenges that threaten their progress as they work toward meeting their goals. A good manager can identify the problem, define potential solutions, and choose the best one. 

An even better manager can troubleshoot potential problems and solve them before they even occur. This saves time and money, which is essential for the industry’s growth. 

  1. Leading skills

Given the fast-paced environment in the fashion industry, any manager worth their salt needs to have leadership skills. With dozens, or even hundreds, of people working under them, the manager needs to steer the ship. This means inspiring the confidence of others. 

A good manager knows what the task requires and how to get the people working under them to work as a unit. It requires the manager to set goals for employees and monitor their achievement. 

A manager must also be able to mentor and coach employees to help them reach their full potential. Giving feedback is another vital component of leadership. There are times the manager must provide employees with negative feedback. Being able to do so directly yet diplomatically defines a manager as a leader.

Our style influences tend to center around our culture and our geographical location. Your style goes far beyond the clothes you like to wear. It is also about how you wear your clothes and how you use your clothes to express your personality and individuality.

 Our style influences are driven in no small degree by the fashion industry. The latest trends from the catwalk inspire us. Going on a trip to another country can influence your style. Exposure to different cultures and dress codes makes an impact on many travels.

 Here are some of the ways travel can alter our style influences:

 Observing the locals

 One of the most significant advantages of traveling to another country is getting to see its style firsthand. A lot of people might think they know a lot about a country’s style from watching television. However, there’s nothing like being immersed in it to grasp it fully.

 Looking at how the country’s residents dress tells you a lot about the differences between their style and yours. It might be possible to speak to some of them to find out what influences their style. The history behind a certain style could inspire you to want to try it out.

 Exposure to traditional wear

 Western influences primarily dominate the fashion world. However, getting to travel to a country with a unique traditional dress can expose you to style choices you might never have contemplated. An example would be a trip to Japan.

 There are many things to do in Osaka, among which is visiting its various historical sites. Here the traveler can learn about Japanese culture and traditional wear. Buying some authentic Japanese clothing in the city’s shopping district will make some changes to your current style.

 The same applies to many countries around the world. A lot of people buy jewelry made according to local custom on their travels. Wearing the jewelry after the trip is a way to remember the experience.

 Your lifestyle will be influenced by travel

 The way you live your life will also affect your style influences. People who are into sports tend to have a lot of sportswear in their wardrobes. They don’t only wear these clothes for sporting events and often include them in their day-to-day wear.

 Find out about how people in different countries lead their lives can influence your style. You might want to integrate certain parts of that style into yours. Your whole lifestyle can change as a result of travel. A lot of people have changed their fundamental beliefs after travel, and their entire lifestyle changes as well.

 Learning more about yourself

 We all have different tastes. What’s tacky for some is attractive to others. Your upbringing will influence your style. A lot of your tastes are entrenched in you as a child. The adults in your life teach you what is appropriate and attractive and what is not as you tend to follow their example.

 As you grow older, their influence diminishes. At this time, people might start expressing a different style from that favored by their family and community. Travel can influence the way you see style and alter the way you perceive it.

 Your body will also influence your style when it comes to the clothes you wear. Being in tune with your body allows you to distinguish between what looks good on you and what doesn’t.

 Your self-esteem is tied to how you feel about the way you look. If you have low self-esteem, you will lack confidence, and it will be challenging to make style choices outside your comfort zone. 

Your wedding represents a beginning of a new chapter in your life. Since this is such a big deal, it’s only right to make the ceremony as great as possible. Once you start planning the wedding, you may find it shocking how expensive it can be. Keep in mind that even a good cake can be very pricey. If you want to have a great ceremony your family and friends can enjoy, you can do it without breaking the bank. Here are some of the changes you can make to save money on your wedding.

Create a Budget

Before you start deciding how your wedding is going to look, it’s important you discuss your budget with your fiancé. Ask your respective parents whether they could help out and determine how much money you’ll have to spend for the wedding. It’s important you do research on the different wedding expenses as soon as possible. Keep in mind that creating a budget needs to be your first step when it comes to planning your wedding.

Do It Your Way

When you try to imagine a wedding the first thing that crosses your mind is likely a big wedding part with a sit-down dinner and a beautiful venue. However, you shouldn’t let these traditional images in your head have an impact on your wedding. Remember that this is your day, which means you get to decide how it will look. Don’t be afraid to make a few changes to the traditional wedding.

For instance, instead of having the ceremony on a Saturday (which is when the majority of couples get married), you should consider tying the knot on a weekday or Sunday. You can save a lot of money on caterers, florists, bands, DJs, and venues if you get hitched on a day that isn’t Saturday. Similarly, you should consider getting married during the winter, where there are significantly fewer ceremonies.

Use a Fake Wedding Cake

A wedding cake will probably cost you at least $500, which can be an unnecessary expense. The reason why these cakes are so expensive is because a lot of time goes into decoration. Another factor that has an impact on the price is the number of tiers it has. You can save a few hundred dollars simply by serving your guests sheet cake and placing a fake wedding cake on the dessert table. Since the whole point of the wedding cake is to look as marvelous as possible, a fake one can serve as a decoration throughout the whole ceremony. It’s also a good idea to consider serving a nontraditional wedding dessert like ice cream or pie.

Save Money on Your Wedding Dress

A wedding gown is not cheap, especially considering you’re only going to wear it once. With that being said, you should try to save money on it by either buying a pre-owned dress or buying a sample gown from a bridal store. Doing this will help you save at least several hundred dollars. Of course, you should always make sure the dress is in excellent condition before buying it. Your wedding outfit consists of shoes and accessories as well. It’s a good idea to borrow accessories from a friend or family member. In order to save money on your wedding shoes, you should consider shopping online.

There’s a good chance your local bridal stores have very expensive products. Online shopping is a great option for saving money because it allows you to compare prices. On top of that, it provides you with a wider selection of bridal shoes.

Make a Buffet-Style Wedding

One of the best ways to reduce your catering costs is to opt for a buffet-style wedding. Instead of hiring multiple people to serve your guests, everyone would be able to help themselves to food. By doing a buffet-style wedding, you will be able to save at least a thousand dollars.

Levi’s released an update of their WaterLess selvedge jeans, made in the USA, in 501, 505, and 511s. While Levi’s jeans might not be go-to for you, they are worth reconsidering to give the planet some help without making a huge effort. If you’re going to buy jeans anyway, have one pair be from Levi’s WaterLess. Last year, the first WaterLess collection came out, which used 28% less water, and the spring 2018 line is set to save an outstanding 15 million litres of water. In addition to the jeans, there’s also a denim trucker jacket available.

“An average pair of Levi’s® jeans needs 42 liters of water to be dyed, washed, and finished. Once we take them home we use even more water caring for our jeans using 21 liters every time we wash,” Levi’s explains about WaterLess. “That’s 4 times the amount of water someone in a developing country might use for an entire day’s drinking, cleaning, cooking, and washing combined.”

Multiple WaterLess washes are available for the picking, and since there are also skinnies in the mix, I can imagine everyone finding something to flatter. While I don’t have any in my closet at the moment, I think I should be able to invest in a pair and save some water in the process. If you go to the Levi’s website, you can see a full description of WaterLess. [via acquire]

Summer tweed? Don’t mind if we do. While summer’s a delight (especially when you’re bogged down all winter in white stuff), some of us find it hard to look sophisticated when there are few elements in play. Gone are the interest-grabbing layers, the attention-getting coats, the sweaters, and the heavy leather shoes. Things are lighter, and everything counts for much more, style-wise. That’s where this Ts(s) summerweight tweed jacket comes in, to save the day for those of us who want a break from maddeningly-wrinkled linen.

There’s a caveat, however: this stuff is expensive. The Italian Cotton Summer Tweed Two-Button Jacket will run you $792–it’s made in Japan–but perhaps you love it so much that it’ll be one of a few pieces you’ll actually buy this season. The jacket has peaked lapels and a 100% cupra lining, and it looks darn good in all its black-and-white-and-grey-all-over glory. That said, I’m not 100% sold on the content, which is 80% cotton (good), 16% acrylic (what?), and 4% nylon (eh). For nearly $800, original price, I don’t want acrylic in my stuff. Give me silk, give me cotton, but keep the acrylic far away from me. Do you find the acrylic addition off-putting as well? [via selectism]

The Union Street Camera and Laptop Messenger Bag for ONA’s the kind you have to hide from your friend with the huge messenger bag collection, for obvious reasons. It’s a bag you can easily justify; it’s got a simple look to it that’s matchable; it works for both cameras and laptops (together!); it’s grime-resistant and you can fit your DSLR, a 15″ laptop, and up to 3 accessories/lenses inside. Isn’t that convenient–and doesn’t that make it so much easier to work that ONA bag into your budget?

Waxed canvas adds a little water-resistance to your laptop/camera bag without leaving it super-slick and sweaty, and the bag has five customizable dividers inside to fit everything you need. Three cheers for the ousting of the traditional (and ugly) camera bag! Plus, since this one holds your laptop, you’ll be able to find more places to carry it around than just when you need your camera and the goods. At $279, it’s not exactly cheap, but camera bags always hang around forever before biting the dust. I wouldn’t call this an “investment piece,” because that just seems ridiculous, but at the same time, you won’t be wasting your money on something you’ll use a couple of times. [via hypebeast]

Oak finds! Oh, how fun. My weekly Oak stalking resulted in finding two nice “just in” pieces on the site: the Cold Method Navy Pieced Chambray Shirt, and the Electric Moto Jacket. One will be useful just as soon as it arrives at your doorstep (spring showers, unexpected gusty weather), and the chambray shirt can be worn on its own or layered come those cold-in-the-morning summer days that later get scorching. Unlike the nylon, your chambray from Oak is 100% cotton–breathable!–and has great drape. Don’t forget that you can pop that chambray into the dryer with a sheet or two to get it softer, and that it will get smoother and softer with age.

Oak’s Cold Method nylon jacket is a keeper for a long time to come. It’s black, has two front welt pockets, and a pocket on the upper left arm. Totally classic, and something that, just like the chambray shirt from the same designer, should come in handy for future seasons as well. If you’re in a more temperate climate, you’ll be singing this jacket’s praises three seasons out of the year. Cold Method delivers! [chambray is $136 at oak; electric moto jacket is $256]

Nudie Jeans is doing their bit to help the planet, and we’re happy to see what they’ve got in motion. Similar to the Levi’s WaterLess campaign, Nudie is trying to cut down on cotton waste that comes along with the jeans manufacturing process. Many of their jeans have been produced using a small portion of recovered cotton, and Nudie points out that the former waste is now recyclable, thanks to new technologies. Aren’t you glad that more and more companies are finding new ways to reduce their impact?

The new collection is appropriately called “This Blue is Green,” and it will become available in April. Smart earth-savers can market their recycled/reclaimed/sustainable work to the end of the earth and back, and I wouldn’t fault them for it. Anything to get the word out! The jeans also feature organic trims and pocket linings and are made from 78% “conventional cotton” and 20% recycled cotton, plus a touch of 2% elastane. If you’re not in the market for a new pair of jeans, you’ll be happy to know that you can also look for This Blue Is Green pieces that aren’t jeans: they’ll also have men’s separates available. I’m not sure if those pieces will include organic cotton, but I hope so. [more pics at denim geek]

These all-around terrific deadstock belts, long ago standard issue for soldiers in the Swedish army, are not easy to find. But lucky for us the team at Inventory searched high and low and ultimately secured a small collection of the vintage – real vintage! – Swedish Army belts.

The first round of belts sold out pretty damn fast, which you might have assumed, but somehow Inventory’s number one source for belts (apparently) had a couple more stored away in the basement. So lucky for us they are back: the sturdy natural tan leather is the perfect size, combined with simple details, nice hardware and a solid build.

I will gladly pay $75 for my own military-style belt. I’d pay even more this vintage belt. Made with that awesome, natural tan leather with reinforced clasps, the belts scream rugged and hard to destroy, which is what you want in a belt. Sure, it’s great for military battle, but hey, also looks great with your favorote pair of jeans!

These battle-tested Swedish Army Belts can take a licking and keep on looking good and doing their belt thing year after year. And hey, it’s going to work with just about every outfit I can put together. And if you had no clue Sweden even had an army, well they do – and they wear kick-ass belts! [via uncrate & inventorymagazine]