Years ago, when my children were small, I considered starting a children’s clothing line
I thoroughly enjoyed designing and making my son and daughter’s clothing. I already had a name for the business. I was confident that the market for which the clothing would be designed, wealthy grandmothers, would be delighted with my line of children’s clothing.
I had worked in the industry as a production pattern maker and grader. I had learned sample making from my sample makers. I didn’t need income for personal expenses. I was familiar with production and costs,
So why didn’t I do it?
Yesterday (January 14, 2021) I attended the virtual TexWorld Trade Show. The last seminar of the day was the TexWorld Happy Hour for Networking. The group, experienced with production and marketing, discussed the issues involved with producing a fashion line.
One of the commentators was Christine Daal, who heads up Fashion Angel Warrior, a fashion & marketing consulting agency that works with both startup and established brands, helping them grow profitable businesses.
I attended her seminar several years ago at another TexWorld Trade Show. I continue to be very impressed with her knowledge, sincerity, and honesty.
Christine said yesterday, You need to know your weaknesses and strengths. You need to be able to make samples and patterns. You need to know digital marketing. You need to determine how much time you will have to do this. Things that seem simple can be complex. She pointed out that the primary reason most businesses fail is because they run out of money.
The group emphasized that one needs to be able to do a lot of things in house – or be able to work with other people, that professionals are worth the money.
- Note: Good production pattern makers earn over $100,000 a year. Sample makers are almost impossible to find, and are reluctant to work with patterns made by novices. If the graded patterns aren’t top quality and digitized, a factory will probably refuse to take the order. Laurel
The group emphasized that one should do a business plan before spending any time on one’s product. They said enormous numbers of people don’t do this.
One needs to know one’s target market and one’s marketing goals.
A product done from scratch, which is what developing a line is, involves developing, producing, and marketing.
Copyrighting is very important and can be expensive.
Hire the pros. Put it into the business plan.
The group did say that there are factories here in the USA that will manufacture small orders.
Budgeting is extremely important. Calculate the expenses for the first two years to understand how much and when you will need money. Whatever amount you think you will need, it will be more.
Pay attention to the financial before starting. There is a long gap between starting the business and realizing a profit. This is where most small businesses fail.
One must financially prepare to launch a brand. Some have started a brand on as little as $5000. I was told years ago by another advisor that one needs to have $10,000 that one can afford to lose. The current estimate is $35,000 to $40,000.
The group warned that one needs to have a professional marketer to successfully advertise on Facebook. The group agreed that one needs $500 a month plus a management team if one is to do Facebook ads. They seemed to think Google shopping ads were better.
Calculate how much time you have. You will need a lot of time if you decide to to this. Everything takes longer than expected. Expect delays. One can be held up waiting for such items as zippers.
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