how to start a clothing line from scratch

Your Step-By-Step Guide on How to Start a Clothing Line from Scratch

If you have a passion for fashion, you may have thought about starting up your own clothing line at some point. It sounds like it might be a lot of work when you look at the big idea of it. However, when you break things down into a step-by-step process, it’s suddenly not all that difficult anymore.

Once you get the method down for creating the clothing line, you want to make sure that you aren’t just wasting your time. So many have followed all the specific details, and they only came up short in the end because their brand wasn’t successful.  All that hard work went right down the drain.

With a few simple steps, you will have a better understanding of how to develop your idea, make samples, market, manufacture, and sell. Your dream job will be off and running, and you’ll be spending your days doing what you love.

Step 1: Choose a Category

Without a doubt, if you’re considering a clothing line, you have a big imagination. You might have all kinds of ideas when it comes to creating your business. However, you aren’t going to be successful if you’re all over the map. You have to narrow it down to one specific niche, and one that consumers are going to want to buy.

Think about the areas in your own wardrobe where you have issues. There’s a good chance that there are other people out there having the same problems. Make something that people need, and they’re going to buy it.

Step 2: Start Designing

Now that you know what you’re making, it’s time to get to work. If you haven’t taken any classes on fashion design yet, there are several options out there ranging from watching YouTube videos to online courses. Depending on how serious you are, you might want to get enrolled in a University.

When you get the proper training, you can start making sketches and samples surrounding your designs. You can turn your sketches into a manufacturing company and have them make the samples, or you can do it yourself. When doing it at home, you can have a little more control over fabrics and making adjustments before reaching the final product.


If you don’t want to go any further in the guide without some professional help, there are companies out there like FashionEdits that can turn your designs into collections for you. They will take care of all the remaining steps including pricing structure, positioning you in the market, determining your customer base and choosing what stores you will do well in, creating brand awareness, and making you visible.

Step 3: Making Your Products

When your samples are done, it’s similar to a prototype or a mold for other business. Take it to a manufacturer that you want to work with. When deciding on your manufacturer, keep these things in mind:

  • Can they give you what you want when you want it?
  • Is made in the USA important?
  • Are they close?
  • What’s their experience?
  • Is the price right?

You may switch manufacturers after starting but begin with at least these fundamental questions.

Step 4: Get Your Story Out

Now comes the time to let people know what you’ve created. Talk with friends, family, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, wherever you can to spread the word. People can’t buy your products if they don’t know that you have them. Make sure to include lots of images so people can see what you’re talking about as well.

Step 5: Making Sales

Here is when the fun really begins. It’s time to start selling your products and turning some revenue. Head out to fashion tradeshows and marketplaces. The bigger the event, the more likely you are to be noticed. You can sell directly to people walking around, do research on the competition and where the marketplace is at, and network with other people in the industry.

You can also make sales by marketing your brand online. There are three main platforms that get the most visitors. It opens you up to a plethora of customers looking for what you’re selling.

  • Etsy
  • Amazon
  • eBay

Navigating the retail shakeup and getting into wholesaling is a little bit more difficult, so unless you know somebody that knows somebody, that’s something you will have to wait for until you have your name out there.

Get your virtual boutique set up, do your marketing and research, and blast your social media with your products. It may take some time for things to get rolling in the right direction. Don’t get discouraged. As long as you follow the guidelines, you’ll be there in no time.

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