How I sold over 1000+ t-shirts - Issue #52
🤔 A student DM me on telegram from Paris, France asking on “Building a clothing brand” so here goes my write-up based on the questions he asks.
💜 My history background
I was 19 years old and it was the beginning stage as an entrepreneur. I don’t want to be a business person, all I wanted was to make something & sell. So I learn graphic design in 2005 using MSPaint then adobe photoshop 3.0. I started designing by taking a photo and edit them into a digital graphic. Later on, I made a few t-shirts design sold them for $25 to 5 people in the myspace.com community discussion. My audience loves music + t-shirts because they like fashion. This was my humble beginning as a freelance graphic designer selling t-shirts.
✍️ How I started selling t-shirt merchandise
“Euphorya Clothing” - https://myspace.com/euphoryaclothing (closed)
In the year 2005:
1. Skills: Design (Inspiration comes from a photo I took & myspace.com band’s merch
2. Stack: MSpaint or Adobe Photoshop (Self-Taught)
3. Printing shop: print 5 t-shirt, and sell them to 5 people from the community. This was my first beginning sales as a start
4. Delivery: shipping postage or meet up with the customer on location
5. Services: I also sell t-shirt design from $15-$25 per t-shirt design gig for my customer I gave them a .psd file and jpg a preview.
Later on, a music band comes to me looking for a “merch-designer" who can design + print their band merchandise for their fans. So I remembered close to 15 bands who ordered from me, each of the orders between 5-50 pieces. I have at least 1-3 orders monthly at that point. So I make animated banners in gif using photoshop my own ads to embed them on my myspace.com profile. The whole entire thing is just about me learning the “do-it-yourself” D.I.Y way.
✍️ My first startup clothing brand
“Dement Clothing” - https://dementclothing.com
Also you can see my other social media:
Build a strong purpose with vision & mission. If you have an idea, probably someone else has done it. What should you start first?
Here is my experience building my clothing brand startup to a profitable business.
Create an audience base on your interest that has an idea to bring people together. Community + Interest = Your Product ?
It goes well, creates a community first + creates an activity that people will get involve and engage in.
Then take pre-order group purchasing = example: 20 people in community + so you order 30 T-shirts. Extra 10 tees you can save cost on expenses and you use it for the next 10 members who are joining the community or sell it to the public by sharing on your social page. Price should be affordable between $12-$15
How I started, as a designer + a yo-yo player who likes to exchange videos, then I started to build multiple micro-interest of activities people who will get involved.
Activities need culture. Culture must be fun + engaging = consistent
For designing: just use photoshop or Figma, look for the latest trend design inspiration on marketplaces. Then create your own concept ideas.
Printing: method is the silkscreen, good quality ink, and good quality t-shirt. Partner as an agent to get a cheap price.
Some challenges after making it, I struggle between growing the audience by having our weekly community activities “Dement Go Social” every Friday, Saturday & Sunday as most people lost their interest but some still remain around in the community.
And for the business itself, we are out of funds to produce the printing t-shirts. So we are working on a new business model to work with B2B suppliers currently. In the future with the dropshipping model and build community online around it. There’s plenty solution nowadays with https://teespring.com, https://printify.com, and https://www.printful.com for On-Demand Print Merchandise. So currently i’m trying to do more research and trying it out on my side project https://makersmerch.xyz in 2020. The design + model was very simple for MVP but I still need to consider which on-demand print service has better fees, better quality, and fast delivery. Also easy to set up with a custom domain that I can build a blog around it and also other things like events for the community updates.
I will create more awesome simple vintage + streetwear t-shirts for lifestyle and also the sportswear industry in the year 2021 as I’m incorporating from the previous sole-proprietorship to private limited all in one bigger company and getting more people involved in the business side hopefully by 2021 ends. Below are the past works I’ve sold t-shirts and build a local community & internationally.