Starting an independent clothing line may seem overwhelming if you’re working with a limited budget, especially because there is a wide breadth of costs that must be taken into consideration before. With a large portion of your budget going towards things like materials, manufacturing, in-person and online storefronts, marketing, packaging, shipping, and transaction processing services, the process may seem expensive, but it doesn’t have to be! That’s why we’ve outlined three key steps to successfully creating a high-end, high-value fashion line using a limited budget.
Keep reading to learn our strategies for succeeding in the fashion world without having to sacrifice design originality, product quality, or customer satisfaction.
Pick a Single Product… Not a Broad Inventory
Anyone who has launched their own business can tell you that it is better to start small and scale up rather than offer a variety of services in your early stages. The same idea applies to emerging designers starting a fashion line. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by starting your line with one type of product in select size and color options. You may even prefer to start with a category that is one-size-fits-all, as this can help grow your reputation quickly by focusing on using excellent materials and quality cut and sew. Purses and general size t-shirts are the perfect product category for this.
Create a Fashion Line Marketing and Investment Plan
Before deciding on fabrics and patterns, take your budget into consideration. A good way to crunch the numbers and plan accordingly is to create an organized fashion line plan with a section devoted to investment costs. Be sure to do your research and then decide on how much you are willing to spend on must-haves like fabric, pattern making, samples and fitting, photographs, trims and packaging, manufacturing, references for patterns, and in miscellaneous areas.
After determining your investment plan for your fashion line, create another section in your fashion line plan devoted to marketing and sales. Decide which platforms and strategies you will use to gain more exposure and land your line in stores. Social media is a key tool for building an audience and engagement rates, so it’s important to create a plan for platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Along with this, it can be helpful to create a section in your fashion line plan that is devoted to evaluating how you will price your clothing. This will be easier to do after you have determined your fabric materials, your manufacturer, and your marketing and sales tools. You will also need to take your type of garment, quality of garment, shipping costs, and the location where your garments are produced into consideration. By having your garments produced in luxury countries like Italy that produce high-quality apparel, you often have an opportunity to set higher prices on your line of garments than if you were to produce lower quality garments in countries like Cuba and China.
Bring your Designs to Life
Taking your investment plan into consideration, decide on a manufacturer that is both within your spending limit and produces high-quality apparel. The quality of produced garments are a significant factor in determining the reputation and asking price of a line, which can have both positive and negative long-term impacts for designers. Hence, it is better to go for manufacturers that produce high-quality garments to boost a line’s initial reputation.
Making your designs a reality does not need to be a difficult process, and it doesn’t need to require a large budget. By creating a well-researched plan, using online manufacturer resources, your connections in the fashion industry, and joining Facebook groups, emerging designers can find success selling their independent apparel or accessories line.
Amulya Agrawal is a student from Missouri who is passionate about writing and creating creative content. She is currently a Content Marketing Intern for MakersValley and hopes to inspire designers with her content. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and advocating in her community.