When people think about starting a brand, their first thoughts are to google “how does it cost to start a clothing brand?”
My approach to it was a little different. I started off by thinking if I’m going to create a clothing brand I want to make the best quality product to give to the customer. I thankfully had two friends who had started their own brand called D-E-S-I-G-N. Check out their store here:
They gave me a lot of insights on how I should talk to suppliers, what questions I should be asking for, and what to look for when they send out their samples.
I had two options to go from either print on demand or working with a manufacturer to create my clothing. Print on demand would ultimately give me no upfront cost because I’d just place my order after a product was purchased, but the downside of that was the quality of the product wouldn’t be that good. So I decided to go with the other option of working with a manufacturer to create my product.
Since I’ve been in the E-commerce space for a while I knew where to go to find the best manufacturer. I’d like to think I got extremely lucky finding the manufacturer that I did after spending about 20 minutes looking. I knew that I wanted two types of leggings/ sets. I ordered samples from the two manufacturers that I had narrowed down. The first manufacturer I ordered 12 samples. 4 different colors with 3 different sizes which ended up costing about $253.90 and the two leggings from the other manufacturer cost $79.90
These are the four colors that I got from the sample:
I ordered many samples because I knew I was going to give them out to people to give me feedback on them and use the rest for all the photoshoots I had planned.
Now creating this brand during a pandemic was hard due to all the limitations with businesses not being able to go into a professional setting to shoot. So I had to get creative with how I was gonna get photos in. I decided to order a professional photo set.
After the photoshoots and I got feedback from everyone that wore the samples I decided to go ahead and place a bulk order for the launch. That ended up costing me about $4,150 just for the samples. Now if you factor in the other additional costs it took to get everything up and running. Like supplies, LLC fees, etc. So, in total, I’ve spent about $9,000 creating everything for the brand.
Truth be told I was hesitant to get into this industry because it is a tough one to break into because it takes a lot of money and upfront investment to really break into it. After the first launch, I will re-invest all the profits back into the business to keep scaling it and ordering more products and different products for the second drop. Overall it was a lot of work put into this first drop and a lot of mistakes were made but all these mistakes I’ll take forward into the second launch and especially when launching the men’s line.