So you want to start a fashion brand? But you have a limited budget.
Most fashion start ups cost around 2 - 3 million to get off the ground, money is usually spent on production costs, staff, advertisement, legal fees, taxes, website design and office space rent. Fashion is such a expensive industry to start in, so it can be hard for small designers to start. However it is possible to start your own brand with just $5,000 - $10,000 it's very important to save up or fund raise the money to start up your brand so that you don't get into debt with a small loan this could put added pressure on the company in its initial start up phase.
Lets break down everything you need
So assuming that you already have an idea for your collection the first step would be to get a professional fashion designer to help you with your design this will insure that the designs you are producing will be suitable for your target market whilst also trendy. A good fashion designer will understand how clothes are constructed and should be able to design garments that are viable designs that can be sewn by a dressmaker or factory. The problem with not using a fashion designer for your collection can be that the garments are technically incorrect and unable to be made which is why getting professional advise relating to this is so important! This service can generally cost anywhere between $350 - $500 for a 10 piece collection.
Next you need to get your garments developed by a pattern cutter, you can work closely with them to insure you get the perfect fit and style of the garments your looking to create. Working with a pattern cutter could cost you $600 - $1000 for a 10 piece collection. Once the patterns are final you can start getting them manufactured.
You then need to get your designs translated into technical drawings, this is a flat digital sketch of your garment, also called flat drawings, technical flats, or just “flats” in the fashion industry, they are a black and white fashion technical drawing that shows a garment as if it were laid flat to display all seams, topstitching, hardware, and any other design details. So that when you send your technical flat to a factory or a seamstress they are able to make the garments exactly how you would like them to be. Getting technical flats are so important for your design to be understood by the person making the garments. A collection of 10 can cost between $200 - $500 to get flats done by a professional CAD drawer. Also manufacturing Is the most expensive part and can cost between $1000 - $6000 depending on how many pieces you are getting made and if you get it done by a factory or a seamstress. Usually if you are getting just a few pieces of each style done you should use a seamstress because most factories only make a bulk of each style like 100 of 1 garment, but it usually has cheaper cost per unit. Where as using a seamstress is higher cost per unit but you can get a small number of each style made if your just testing your clothing range.
The easiest way to deliver your product to the public once it has been completed is directly business to consumer. This route can be harder but this usually cuts costs down by half. When you sell directly to the customer from your own website you have complete control over the retail price and how much profit you can earn. Getting a well designed website can cost between $1000- $3000 to have it done professionally on a budget.
The most important part is promoting your product on blogs, Instgram, Twitter, Facebook and social media influencers. If no one knows about your brand you wont sell and your profits will dip. Promotion of your brand can cost between $1000-$5000 it's very important to promote your brand or you won't make sales.
Offer to design a package, clients will love your work more if you offer them a package or a collection for designs it will make them want to use you again and again. Surprise them with over delivery.
Have two separate spaces for work don’t try to sleep and work in the same place. Yeah I know your probably rolling your eyes right now I did the exact same thing when I was told this. Trust me having a separate work area really helps to have your creative juices flow.
Offer to guest blog for articles or magazines that you think may reach your audience. Magazines and other blogs can increase your exposure and potentially create new clients for your freelance services.
Build your client base! Aim to network or cold email at least one new company per month. I know it sounds scary! It helps you to get out of your comfort zone and get your work out there into the world.
Set a goal for how much you want to earn this month. Working towards a goal each month makes your progress measurable and it motivates you to push harder to secure the clients you need.