So you want to start your own snowboard clothing brand. You are going to have fantastic fun but at the same time, it’s going to be a lot of hard work. First and foremost you are going to need drive. If you have enough drive to really get your clothing brand off the ground and you are willing to go through the highs, the lows and the setbacks, (there will be plenty) then you are going to make it!
But first you are going to have to consider these 5 tips to set yourself up for success:
1. Choose Your Market!
Obviously, the snow industry is your market but you also need to think about your target market. What age group are you targeting? What cost level? What gender? What clothing styles will you include, hoodies, tall hoodies, pants, spray jackets, coaches jackets, tall tees etc? Would you also target skiers, skaters and mountain bikers or just snowboarding.
You need to be specific with your target market so that your design, styles and label can reflect the people you are trying to represent.
2. Choose The Right Wholesaler!
Choosing a wholesaler is a very important step in your clothing label. After all, they are the company who are going to be producing your clothes, so the production process needs to be perfect.
The first thing you need to look for in a wholesaler is quality. Snowboarders obviously spend a lot of time in the snow, which obviously is very cold. Your shoppers also spend a lot of time on the slopes shredding it up. So the quality of your clothing needs to be warm enough and durable enough to hand the temperature and the type of activity. What material do they use? What kind of stitching do they use? What temperature is it made for? How many inlayers are used? Etc.
Some other things to look for in a wholesaler are minimum order numbers, cost, shipping time, refund and returns policy, quality control, communication level and lead times. Also do they have a range of clothing including wholesale hoodies, custom hoodies, custom t-shirts etc. Are the products customizable or do you have to stick with their cut and styles.
3. Think About Designs, Style, Cut, Colours, Logo’s, Labels etc!
Now it’s time for the fun part! The design is always fun. You have to think of the brand name, garment design, style, cut, prints, colours and logo.
Your first step will be to create your logo. Your logo will a symbol that people will be able to recognise easily and it will go on all of your custom clothing, either on the fabric or the tag. Is it gender specific or gender neutral? Finding a brand name that fits your style can be difficult. Asking family and friends helps. They know you well and will often come up with amazing ideas.
Do you require your own label on the tag? Re-labelling with your brand allows your brand to establish a name. Can your wholesaler offer a relabeling?
You now need to create your first line. This is your first release of clothing. How many pieces do you want to design and which clothes do you want to include? Hot tip – Start with one or two styles. This way you get to concentrate all of your effort on your first run of apparel. If you nail your first release then look at adding another line or style. Once you have decided on your first release, you need to create some mockups.
Do you have a point of difference? Why would your customer purchase your Hoodies over an established brand? Is it the unique designs? Maybe it’s the extra features like hidden media or stash pocket. Could it be thumb holes in the cuff that sways your next customer to buy your brand. All of these small features can make a difference when it comes to choosing which brand you are going to buy. We recommend steering away from cheap custom Hoodies and apparel as you will have trouble when it comes time to sell them. It is much harder to sell a cheap hoodie than a well made custom hoodie.
4. Create some ‘Mock-ups’ And Get Feedback!
Now it’s time to test the waters and see if all your decisions will have you sinking or swimming. Order your mock-up apparel from your wholesaler, complete the design work and see people’s reactions. Don’t be afraid to hit the snow or mountain bike trails and test out the durability and warmth of your apparel. Share a few Hoodies or jackets amongst your friends and ask for honest feedback. Take the feedback and your thoughts back to your design team and make changes or move forward your first order.
Selling and making money is all about marketing. You could have the best quality hoodies on the market, but if you don’t market them correctly then no one is going to know about it. You can either do the marketing yourself or hire a marketing team. You will need an engaging website, social media accounts, promotions, ads etc. Also be prepared to give away a few free outfits to gain more exposure. Competitions plus giveaways are a great way to get coverage – that’s just how the world of fashion works.
So work hard! Maintain your drive! Consider these 5 steps and you should be on your way to a successful new snowboard clothing brand. Good luck!