Advice for Promotion: Don't
be afraid to advertise. Create buttons, stickers, give them out
and be sure people remember you. Tell people about it, you'd
be surprised how many people would be willing to help you out.
Advice for Designing: When designing
A T-Shirt, there are many points to keep in mind, but the following
factors are some technical stuff overlooked by companies starting
off: The Number of colors used and what material will be used.
Most screen printers charge in the $10-$40 range for every different
color you use. It can get really expensive for someone (Example:
music bands) to get several T-Shirts printed. They then have
to sell the fans $36 dollar T-Shirts just to cover the costs
and make some profit.
The Material used: Usually each
material/brand/size comes with a set of colors that they're printed
on. There isn't one that provides you with every single color
in existence. It would be a great idea to ask the client what
material they can afford and then research it, or familiarize
yourself with the more popular brands that are being printed
on (Examples: American Apparel, Fruit Of the Loom and Hanes).
I've had several problems with this when I began, so don't just
go creating something that only looks good on a red background
that you can't easily fix, or something that looks good on a
T-Shirt color that's almost impossible to find. This will save
you so much time and trouble.
Lastly, but most importantly,
just be original. Keep the designs more personalized, deeper
and more meaningful.
1. Vision. You need to know
who you are, what you're doing, why, etc. This will define how
you market your product, how it looks over all, and all the little
details within that you need to do. Yep, so figure that out and
then go nuts because you can't go wrong with a big idea, as long
as you know what the big idea is.
2. Marketing. It's essential
in today's design world. You might have a good product but if
its weak on branding, labeling, packaging, shelf appeal, matching
coat hangers, etc., it'll look bad. Consistency also needs to
be achieved across the spectrum including same font, same style,
etc. Designing is totally open to new creations and ideas, so
anything goes, but there are some boundaries that you don't want
to cross, while others you need to break through.
3. E-commerce. Yes, it's fully
possible! It will take some setting up though, but I've recently
realized how I can just pick up the phone and order a set of
hoodies, wait four days until they're on the doorstep, pay for
them a month later online, etc. Also, I can call up the fabric
company down the road, or one in wellington, get them to send
me samples of denim, call them back and order a set amount of
denim to be sent to my garment manufacturer, and then call him
and tell him how many of what I want right from my rocking chair
4. Online selling. Totally possible
if you use ebay or know how to set up an E-commerce website yourself,
but getting the credit card system sorted out is a major cost.
Lots of girls shop online now, you just need to know how to market
it right and get your products noticed.
5. Promo. Get it out there!
Make sure your friends buy your products or you could give out
freebies. Put stickers, advertising your shop, wherever you can.
Be shameless because designers are really admired (as opposed
to being a 'salesperson'), especially if your product is favorable.
6. Don't waste your time on
silly details. I'll let you figure out what those are.
7. Get your accounts sorted
out now. Segregate your personal and business spending, so you
can claim back GST with no problems. Make sure every transaction
(sales, purchasing, spending, etc.) goes through your account,
so you can see how well you're doing by looking at your bank
statement. Use the ATM machine for petty cash; your accountant
will love you one day for this.
8. Have fun! It's not the end
of the world if it doesn't work out. I was just thinking how
involved my life is at the moment with my T-Shirt business. My
life revolves around it, which is crazy, but if it all fell apart
and closed down tomorrow I'd be the same person and I'd find
something else to do! I make sure I take one day off during the
week to do what I love that doesn't involve my work. I love doing
my work, so I'm very lucky in that aspect, but sometimes it gets
boring or tedious so I make sure I stay fresh and focused.
9. Work hard. I still do after
three years. I work my butt off and hardly make any money off
it, but I know it's worth it in the long run and the things you
learn along the way are invaluable.
10. Give away free stuff! People
love free T-Shirts and sponsorship goes a long way. It's also
your duty, being in business and generating wealth, to share
that with society in some way (Example: Old stock goes in recycle
clothing bins, etc.).