How to Start a Clothing Line — Making Clothing, Designing and Sales


So you have an idea for a business and
this is one of the questions that I continue getting asked. How do you
actually make product? More importantly how you actually start a brand with
little to no money? So watch this duffel bag here represents the ideas of the world! I’m just kidding its just a duffel bag
with some products in it. But essentially what’s gonna boil down to is focusing
on the products that you want to make. Creating a brand around it and more
importantly selling it through. Alright so for instance so you have an idea for
a crochet bikini bottom’s. Perfect idea to start a business around you’re gonna
want to figure out what the cost is gonna be. And more importantly the
logistics to actually getting a nice quality yarn and since this is handmade.
How do you keep it consistent? Say you wanted to start a yoga bag line right.
You’re gonna figure out how the cut n’ sew gonna work
sourcing and dyeing labeling. Cut n’ sew pants, you want stretchy pants you want a
certain fabric all of that’s gonna require your thought process. Water
bottles same thing! Nice blouses again hats a little bit easier same concept!
Maybe you want to make some backpacks? A little bit beefier so that is
essentially how you come up with product ideas and actually make them! Alright so
I’ll catch you guys on the next video! No just kidding anyways no but I really
want to discuss is what goes into actually making the product. How you can
design and use different resources to create your graphic design or even your
apparel designs your tech packs and all the things that you’re going to need to
go to manufacturing. And then more importantly how you can start selling
and shipping your products as soon as they’re sold online.
Alright so let’s jump into the first part which is actually making products. Making products and knowing how products
are created is going to be crucial to you guys to be able to understand the
cut n’ sew process. Now the cut n sew sew process is a little bit more
complicated than it is say just buying a wholesale blank. Alright so for instance
BELLA+CANVAS has some great apparel for anybody that’s looking to just buy
wholesale garments re-label and brand as their own and for example some
of the stuff back here are some of the products that they have in their arsenal
of offering. This is more of like a hooded sweatshirt you can find the
bomber jackets. A bunch of different sweats and garments that you guys can
use to actually produce your brand. So more specifically you’re able to simply
take the label rip it of. Simple as that and then attach your own labels to here.
Right so you’ll design your label and then you’ll stitch it onto here and
you’ll screen print your design or whatnot. And this looks like it’s yours
it’s your own branded product right. So there’s no other labels on the inside
other than the one right there and you guys are good to go and you’re
good to start selling as your own brand. Now that’s the easiest way but if you’d
like to make your own designs and products what I’m gonna want to show you
guys is a very quick recap right here. As in terms of what it takes to
actually cut and sew a t-shirt but it’s gonna be the similar process to creating
whether you want to do a sweatshirt or whether you want to do a duffel bag.
Everything plays the same role it’s the same process the same thought process
and the same processes are involved with creating a shirt that it is to creating
a bag. The first thing that you’re gonna want to really think about is the
pattern and the design that comes into it. Alright so that’s the first thing you
got to think about is how how does this shirt or how does this product look
different than it is on the market from there you put it into a drawing from the
drawing you take it over to the CAD program which actually creates the
pattern. And in this CAD program the whole thing is designed
the shapes and the elements and all the math that goes into making sure it’s
all stitched up and it’s not going to be crooked it’s all created in that CAD
design. And a designer involved with they have some knowledge with how those
things work. From there they take it over to the plotter printer the plotter
printer prints out this big sheet of paper and that big sheet of paper is
what its gonna be used to actually cut the design. Once the design is printed on
that big piece of paper they take it over to the to the sample materials.
Which is the materials that you’re gonna ideally use for your production. It’s
gonna be something that’s gonna be very similar if not the same thing. And you
cut it up and then right after you cut it up you’ll go stitch it once they
stitch it up and make sure that everything is aligned. If there’s any
adjustments based on the sewer’s those adjustments will be made and now you
have a finished product. And with that finished product essentially what you’re
gonna do is you’re gonna make sure that it if it’s gonna shrink or if it’s gonna
fit differently after you’re actually wearing it. You’ll make those adjustments
based on how somebody uses it and somebody looks in it and then you go
back to the process and restart again. So as you can see it’s a very back and
forth method from drawing to cutting to stitching to fitting to resizing and
from there you have your entire line. Now when it comes to apparel you’re also
gonna have to grade up and grade down. Then when it comes to different products
such as bags or anything that’s one size fits all type of things. You don’t have
to necessarily grade patterns unless you’re gonna make like small kids
versions and that’s a different. Then you take a similar approach but nonetheless
that’s how you make products. And essentially what I tell people when
they’re when they’re wanting to create their own products is that you really
want to budget out at least a thousand to four thousand to create your products.
I just condensed the entire process into something that’s very easy for you guys
to understand now it’s even more important to understand that to start a
line it’s even easier to just take a blank garment attach your labels and
your branding and start creating the marketing message around your brand. Now
if you’re a graphic artist watching this video you you’ve already designed all
kinds of stuff and you have such genius ideas that I know a lot of people
do and a lot of people watching that I speak to you guys are amazing with your
artwork and you just have to believe in it.
All right that’s that’s the biggest thing that I see from a lot of artists
is that they don’t believe in themselves. So if you’re a graphic artist wanting to
start a clothing line actually go through the production process go
through the sales process and you’ll be on the right foot. If you’re not sure
where to find graphic artists there are some great resources such as design
crowd and Fiverr and Upwork and all kinds of other ones where you can
connect to hundreds of thousands of freelance designers across the entire
world. All right so this is a challenge that I always bring out to everybody
that I meet with. Is start working on actually building this line in your
brand. All right because that’s the only way that you guys are gonna learn
obviously you’re gonna want to make sure that you’re not spending thousands of
dollars in order to create designs you’re gonna want to take the minimum
viable product approach. Which is what I just discussed right now making sure
that if you can use a wholesale blank. Using a wholesale blank to build your
brand your marketing your website what the vision and mission is. And then
moving into creating different collections with minimal investment in
each product. Getting some pre-sales and pre-orders and from there you can start
building along. Investing in the right places where you know it’s going to pay
off. One of the fastest ways to figure out where you fit in the market is to
attend events that are filled with your demographic. So say for instance you want
to start a t-shirt brand the sells directly to the sneaker heads. Right
because maybe you’re a sneaker head and you love it and you think that you can
make some money and actually selling designs that are interesting to the
people that collect sneakers. The fastest way to figure out if your designs are
actually going to match that market is to attend an event. Events are gonna be
one of the biggest tell-alls of who’s actually going to adapt your product.
What it’s going to do for you is enormous it’s going to create a better
understanding of that market. And then you’ll be able to use that too in order
to create that same message on your website on your social media and
everything else. You’ll know what people are looking for what messages resonate
with them and you’ll be able to build your online marketing campaign around
all the information that you learned in a real life event. All right and more
importantly you get to network with people influencers that are there people
that you’re gonna want to meet that are gonna help promote the brand online. Are
all gonna be at the events that you’re attending. All right so now the last and
final tip in this video and I want to say one of the most important is in
figuring out the delivery method of your brand and products.
All right so essentially is how are you gonna get the product that you created
to the person that ordered it online or the person that bought it at the event?
All right so this is gonna be important for you to figure out before you launch
the brand if you’re selling bags or other weirdly shaped different products
one of the things that you’re gonna run into is the cost of shipping. It’s not
gonna be as cheap as folding up a shirt into a very nice size and shipping it
for a flat rate through USPS. Different bags such as is this a little bit bulkier
you might have to fold it a little bit and put it into a bigger poly bag type
of material. That’s a Centon it’s a lot of the times that’s the cheapest method.
Because you don’t want customers having to pay 30 bucks for shipping right? So
you always want to look into how are you going to package up your product in
order for it to be shipped easily and least expensively. That way you could
even offer free shipping on some products because you know that you’re
paying a very whether it’s two or three bucks or five bucks. You’re willing to
eat the cost because it’s something that’s more expensive it’s all the
decision that you’re gonna have to make. But it’s gonna be a crucial one that you
need to start looking into as you’re actually wrapping up the manufacturing
portion of your of your process. Or creating the products before you attend
those events you’re going to want to think about how everything is going to
be shipped. All right so more importantly don’t overthink it too much don’t try to
like create the best packaging. I mean you could you could create the best
packaging for like shipping like really cool boxes. Those are all things that are
really gonna come in handy and are gonna kind of elevate your brand and it’s
things that you definitely should consider. But to start off make sure that
you just get the product there safely. All right make sure that your process of
actually shipping products is sound and it’s not
be losing products in the process. Or you’re not gonna get ripped off by
people that are using scam accounts. Alright so essentially what you’re gonna
want to do is you’re gonna want to make sure that you find a good payment
provider and then you hook it up to like stamps.com if you’re selling online and
more importantly is finding a fulfillment center if you don’t have the
time to ship things out yourself. All right and fulfillment centers are
essentially areas that allow you to stock your product and they ship it out for you
and they they actually have a team of people that go in pull the product from
their shelf. Put a label on it ship it to the customer. They also handle returns
for fulfillment centers just look up online just literally go through a
google search it’s very easy if you find one that’s in your area that’s
definitely the best way to take it. That way you know if I ever need to go down
there or do an inspection. Or hey if I ever want to just add more inventory I
can communicate with the owners a lot better.
Alright so essentially these four things that we discussed today which was in
actually making products, designing products selling that those events, and
then fulfilling those orders are gonna be the four things that you guys really
need to consider when you’re starting your brand. And I don’t think enough
people really discuss that so I want to make sure if you guys enjoyed this video
make sure you share with a friend family member or somebody in your community
that will benefit from this information. As you guys know I have a whole channel
full of different content so I’ll continue to make more content as long as
you guys continue requesting it and continue needing answers to it.
Be on the lookout for new types of videos as well. As well as the newest
playlist on my channel which is going to be linked right here. And make sure you
head on over to the johnxsantos.com website which is gonna be linked right
down below as well. Where I have free downloads, guides, PDF’s newsletters and
giveaways offers and invite to events that are coming up. So if you guys ever
want to connect. Join that newsletter it’s the best way for you guys to get in
the know where I’m gonna be what events I’m inviting you guys out to. And what
opportunities are out in the market I send it out there first and I appreciate
every single one of you guys that are on that
list and more importantly as a signal of your gratitude
I always just ask that you use the links in my description for any of the
resources I discussed throughout my entire channel.
It helps fund a little bit of the production cost that goes into creating
the videos and and all the stuff that I need in order to help you guys get the
content that you need which is all free. Alright so I appreciate it thank you
guys for everything if I don’t see you at a next event
I’ll see you on the next video! Talk soon bye! WAKE UP AND WIN.

46 Comments

  • 👊🏽 you’ve gotta take the challenge!

  • Great video ! 👏

  • I'm still doing all those steps by myself.. can't afford sewing factories yet .. sewing and designing everything myself.. 🤧… Best summary I've ever heard, super detailed.. thanks dude 😎

  • Do you suggest starting an apparel brand (hoodies and t shirts ) with screen printing at local print shop and then when you start getting traffic / customers start doing cut and sew and getting a manufacturer .

  • Hello where did you purchase the clothing rack in the background? Please let me know. I really like it. Great video 👍

  • thanks for all the great info bro! Will be watching your channel for sure

  • Another great informative video, Thank you again!

  • Awesome my brother thanks

  • Hey bro…I set up my line and tried to get connected with Bella Canvas and was told I had to be a distributor/screen printing company. What’s up with that? Can you advise please? I have all my legal documents and went through your step by step process but this is the first snag in my garment. Kind of bummed out right now.

  • Thank yo Igor the insight! Great content! 🙏

  • Thank you for the video! Is there an email I can send you a question I would really like to ask a few question off the web if possible. Thank you again for sharing.

  • Bella canvas doesn’t let you use their clothes for your own brand. I asked them.

  • Hey do you have an email? I have questions about logo design and start up

  • Love this

  • I have a brand name and I wanna sell merch so now do I create a different name for the merch company part? Also, what do I first? Create a logo? Figure out designs. The Bella canvas seems nice but do you suggest buying wholesale in your own state if and when possible

  • The white short sleeve hoodie is a Bella canvas

  • Do you have an email.

  • I want to start marketing my brand n would like to know if i upload my brand little by little to shopify or big commerce do i have dropship myself

  • Should i start with pod or myself since i have a freind in embroidery sewing n screnprint.

  • MASSIVE RESPECT BRA! Industry knowledge for free!

    Bless up!!

  • This is great information. I literally just went through this process and John Santos is bang on! Thank you John, for always coming with the best information! Just hit subscribe!

  • Thanks for the Great information. Straight to the point. I passed this on already bcuz my partner would really appreciate this video. Stay Blessed.

  • Anyway I can get in Connection with you

  • when i have made my design in cad, how do i order a sample of it on a hoodie? and where?

  • great video but what if someone wants to do a underwear clothing line? Do you start with wholesale?

  • Awesome Video!

  • where is a good place to get sampling materials?

  • Love this guy so knowledgeable

  • This is the best info I found on the internet.

  • Thank you so much for Awesome Information

  • Yea it seems that Bella canvas only wants big distributors or big companies. I’m a 19 year old who makes custom apparel in a work shop. I don’t have a website or any of that other stuff they want. Kinda sucks because I wanted to order from them

  • WOW! I am Shocked by how concise, informative and helpful you are! This is Amazing!!! Thank you!

  • great great great!

  • Good stuff. Thanks.

  • Early morning self-development… Thanks a bunch!!

  • Your amazing

  • When you're not concentrating for one second you miss out so much xd

  • you blink a lot

  • Subbed obviously

  • So very helpful! Thank you 😌

  • You got me as soon as you start throwing things out,and explaining while doing so👍🏾it was helpful thank u

  • I thought you where for real

  • Very helpful

  • If anyone wants an artist message me for my Instagram.

  • Bella Canvas is expensive.

  • Its my deam jat gota get stared

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