Over the course of the few years of running IAMTHETREND I have done my fair share of interviews with some great indie clothing companies such as Ugmonk, Miles To Go and Fur Face Boy to name a few. In each one of these interviews I always ask them to offer up a piece of advice for running a clothing line. To make things easy on you I have comprised seven pieces of advice from our Interview section to help get your clothing line running and growing! I also highly recommend you check out each of these brands as they truly have their stuff together. You can click each name to visit each site individually.
Enjoy and please Retweet and/or Like by clicking the links above!
1. Focus on creating a great product. People will talk about it if it is unique and high quality.
2. Create a consistent brand identity. Everything from your logo, website, etc should all be unified and well thought-out. Don’t rush this part.
3. Find a niche market. Many people try to market to everyone instead of a specific target audience.
4. Start small and learn as you grow. Mistakes are easier to fix if you start on a small scale. Don’t try to carry too much inventory at the beginning, because it only makes things harder to change.
As most people that have been in this field for a while(2 yrs with shirts, 7 with belts) you really have to figure out what will set you apart and spend a lot of time before you go dropping money. your friends stop buying tees after the 1st or 2nd shirt and you need good products. i decided that miles to go is a passion project and as long as im having fun and not losing money i will keep doing it. i love commissioning artwork and never fight the cost. im helping support a fellow artist and i feel like a patron of the arts and own something amazing, created for me. some companies want to be in stores like pyknic from the get go and thats fine too. theyve done a great job but their goals were and are much different then mine. i flirted with retail for a bit and did a trade show which went well, but i liked the idea of bein more exclusive. maybe johnny cupcakes rubbed off on me a bit over the years.
Don’t start off with intentions of making assloads of money or becoming the next big thing. Do it because you simply love what you’re doing and that you believe your work is good. It’s gonna take a tremendous amount of hard work, but if you seriously enjoy what you’re doing, then the hard work is really just fun and games. Also…use common sense!! WORK HARD. HAVE FUN. USE COMMON SENSE. Those are the 3 main keys!
The market is near saturated at the moment but there is always space for new entrepreneurs in my opinion. Try to think of something different. Create a concept you believe in that will make you stand out of the crowd. I think that conceptual lines tend to live longer and are easier to manage on the long run.
Start saving and planning. And come up with a theme. I feel like brands with a solid and cohesive theme will always stand out from brands who just seem to randomly choose their designs. And don’t expect to get rich quick. In fact don’t expect your brand to even start generating profits in the beginning. Most start up businesses will lose money for their first year. If not longer. The tee biz can be a tough nut to crack. But it’s also very rewarding.
For us it would be to keep trying different things until something works. Especially if you enjoy it. I rather like that we are known as those guys that do the iconic tees versus those guys that make tshirts. It helps the brand to be associated with a “thing” that you do even if it is not 100% of your work. Of course, finding that thing that can be more than a one-off item is the hard part.
Just know that pursuing something you genuinely care about takes time and dedication. There’s always going to be challenges and walls you have to overcome. But, if it’s something you really believe in, keep pressing on and you’ll get there. That goes, really, for anything in life.