What it takes to launch a clothing brand from scratch
On January 28, 2019, I launched my Christian streetwear brand Son of Man Skate. However, this was after many months of testing and experimenting different products.
In this short blog post, I am going to share with you every step I took to create my own shirts and sell them online.
Step 1: Come up with an idea and a niche
The only advice I can give you for coming up with an idea is that you make it something that you enjoy/ are passionate about. I don't just say that as its a nice thing to say but as you will have to create hundreds of pieces of content and spend hours working on your brand before you will start to see any monetary reward. For this reason I urge you to have a reason bigger than just profit before starting out as I guarantee you will burn out far too quickly if your only motivation is profit.
When coming up with an idea, think of ways that you could create content in this niche that adds value, this will be the key to your success.
Step 2: Build a community for your brand
It took approximately 6 months from when I first got the idea to start a brand until I launched it. One of my biggest regrets is not building up an audience earlier.
This step can begin before you have any products.
Assuming it is a clothing brand you are launching, I would highly recommend building an audience on Instagram. Here you can build a page by creating content everyday and adding value to other peoples posts.
I would recommend you look up Gary Vee's $1.80 strategy (its actually a free strategy).
Step 3: Come up with designs
Assuming you have now come up with your niche, you can now start coming up with designs. I personally created all my designs on Photoshop. I am not a professional designer and I bet there are much better ways of doing it but that just my way.
However, if you really do not want to create the designs yourself, there are a lot of website online with free lance designers that can do it for you. Check out site like Fiverr and UpWork.
Step 4: Get Samples
This is the step where things can start to get expensive. I actually went through multiple companies before I decided to print the shirts my self. It can be expensive going through different companies especially to get shirts that you cannot sell.
I recommend that you look out for companies that offer free samples if you return them afterwards, this can be a great way to get test samples from multiple companies at a low cost.
Step 5: Finalise Logistics
For me this was bit of a grind to get all the nitty-gritty stuff done.
Things like a website, shipping and packaging.
For me it was particularly hard being in New Zealand and not having the support for a small business like there is in the States.
At the moment I created the website and handle all the shipping my self my going down to the post office with my orders and shipping them there.
Step 6: Set a launch date and launch!
This is the part where you will be thankful that you created your audience back in step 2.
You'll want to send out emails and post images on Instagram making sure your audience is fully aware when you are launching.
I would also recommend that you create a launch discount code that your audience can use to further incentivise the purchase.
I hope you found some value in the blog post. I will continue to post here and my clothing brand continues to grow and I learn more tips that can also benefit you!