How to Start Your Own Clothing Business

how to start a clothing business

People across the globe are ready to start their own businesses and work on something that they’re truly invested in.

In fact, it’s a dream for many – people want to work for themselves.

They want to set their own working hours. They want to earn their own money. They want to be entrepreneurs.

And trust me, creating a business that you’re proud of is an amazing feeling.

But, if we’re being honest, getting started with a business is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur.

I know that you’ve already got a ton of great business ideas, but it can be tough to implement them, especially if it’s your first time doing this.

That’s why I’ve put together this guide that’ll show you how to start your own clothing business today.

In this guide I’m going to create a brand new women’s clothing business, and document every step of the way so you can follow along.

At the end of this guide you’ll know everything that you need to turn those dreams of becoming an entrepreneur into a reality.

Okay, there’s a lot to cover, so let’s jump into it!

Deciding What Clothing to Sell

When you’re starting your own clothing business, deciding what products you’re going to sell is a crucial moment in your journey.

And it’s not one that should be rushed.

It’s important that you do some research before you make a decision on the type of products that you’re going to sell.

Thankfully, there are free resources out there that you can use to check how popular your ideas are, like Google Trends.

Now, I went into this research process knowing that I wanted to start a women’s clothing business.

This made it a little easier for me, as I’d already narrowed down the selection quite a bit.

But, there were still a ton of products to choose from. Adult clothing, kids clothing, plus size clothing. Would I opt for dresses, accessories, skirts, a boutique clothing range, or something else?

It’s also important to note here that, while trendy products can be great, they aren’t the only option.

Sure, it’s amazing if you can ride a wave of popularity while you’re launching your business, but you don’t always need to find the next big product.

With that in mind, I was looking for products that people were searching for consistently.

After quite a bit of research, I found my winner – crop tops.

People were searching for them consistently, and they’re a summer product, so it was perfect timing!

Now that I’d found my main product idea, it was time to think about how I’d actually source those products, and the business model that I’d be using.

Choosing a Business Model

Another important choice that you’ll need to make when you’re getting started with your own clothing store is the business model that you’ll use.

In this guide I’ll be using the dropshipping business model to run my clothing brand because:

  • Dropshipping is a fairly low-risk business model. If I want to change any of the products in my store I won’t lose any money, and I can do so with just a few clicks
  • It’s a relatively easy way to start your own business. If I’m running a dropshipping business, I don’t need to worry about designing my products, or working with a clothing manufacturer – there’s a ready-made catalogue of products that I can use to find products and start selling right away.
  • Dropshipping businesses require little maintenance. I don’t need to worry about packaging, fulfilling, or shipping my products, as my suppliers will take care of that for me. Instead, I can focus my time on what really matters to me: marketing my business and making sales.

Dropshipping business makes the most sense for me and my situation, and if any of the points that I listed above resonate with you, I highly recommend you to use this business model too.

Choosing an Ecommerce Platform

At this point in the journey I knew what I wanted to sell, and how I was going to sell it.

The next thing I needed was an ecommerce platform that I could use to run my business.

The choice was clear here: Shopify is the best platform that I could use for my clothing business.

Why?

Shopify is a commerce platform that is already trusted by more than half a million merchants across the globe.

Honestly, this was the easiest decision that I’d had to make so far.

(Phew)

Next thing to do? Set up my Shopify account.

Setting Up A Shopify Store

Luckily, it’s fairly simple to set up your own clothing business with Shopify.

First things first, you’ll need to create an account.

Head to the Shopify homepage and you’ll see a box in the middle of the page where you can enter your email address.

Click on the ‘Get started’ button and you’ll be asked to fill out some information for your Shopify account.

Come up with a password, a store name (more on this in the next section), and fill out some information about your experience with entrepreneurship.

After you’ve done that, you’ll see this screen:

Once you’re on this screen, you’ve got a Shopify account, and that means that you’re officially on the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Next step? Let’s coming up with a name for the clothing business.

Naming Your Clothing Business

Naming your brand is a big decision – for many people it’ll be their first point of contact with your clothing business, so it’s important that you leave a lasting impression.

Plus, some of the biggest brands in the world have very clever meanings behind their businesses names.

Take Nike for example, which is named after the Greek goddess of victory (she’s also called Nike).

But, did you know that Nike was originally named “Blue Ribbon Sports”?

The business owners came up with the name “Blue Ribbon Sports” first, and decided to rebrand later on when they had a clear image about what they wanted their brand to embody.

This is a strategy that I recommend doing, unless you already have a clear idea about what you want your brand to be.

When you’re coming up with a name for your clothing business try to pick something which relates to your target audience, your products, or something that’s just plain funny.

As I was selling crop tops primarily, and I wanted to come up with a funny name for my business, I decided to go with “Cream of the Crop” which stems from ‘‘la crème de la crème” or “the best of the best”.

Hilarious, huh?

BONUS: You can also try out our free Business Name Generator.

Buying a Domain Name

Once you’ve come up with a name for your brand, it’s a great idea to purchase a domain name for your clothing business.

When you’re setting up a store with Shopify, your default URL will look like this:

“Your-store-name.myshopify.com”

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with this URL, but we’re trying to build a trustworthy, professional clothing business here.

And the statistics speak for themselves: shoppers trust professional URLs more.

Another great thing about Shopify is that you can purchase a custom URL directly through their platform.

On your Shopify admin page click on “Online Store” on the left-hand side of your page and then select “Domains”.

From here you can select the “Buy new domain” option and browse through various custom domains for your clothing business.

We recommend going with a “.com” domain name, simply because it’s something that shoppers are familiar with, and going against the grain isn’t always a great idea when it comes to this stuff.

Setting up a Payment Method

An important part of launching your own clothing business is making sure that you’ve set up your payment method/s.

From your Shopify admin click on ‘Settings’ in the bottom left corner. When you’ve clicked on that you’ll see the following page:

As shown in the image above, you’ll need to access the ‘Payment providers’ page, and set up your payment method.

I recommend using Paypal – it only takes a few minutes to set up and, like Shopify, it’s already trusted by many people around the world.

If you need to create a Paypal account just click here.

Generating Policies For Your Store

It’s important that you have certain policies for your clothing business, like your return policy, privacy policy, and the terms of service for your store.

With Shopify you can automatically generate standard policies for your store with just a few clicks.

Head to your settings page again and select ‘Checkout’. Scroll down and you’ll see this page:

Simply click on the corresponding button for each policy, and Shopify will generate a sample policy for you.

Remember to check through these and amend how you see fit. Once you’ve happy with them click save and you’re good to go.

Designing Your Store: Choosing a Shopify Theme

Okay, now that we’ve taken care of the essentials, it’s time to jump into the fun stuff – designing the online store for your clothing business.

One of the best things about Shopify is that you don’t really need to know how to code.

Instead of coding your own online store, you can simply select a theme for your store from a variety of free and paid options, and it’ll work as a skeleton for you.

To access this feature on Shopify just click on ‘Online Store’ in the admin and then select ‘Themes’.

When you’re on the “Themes” page, you’ll see that you’re currently using the default theme.

Feel free to use the default theme, but I do recommend taking a look through all the available options and checking which one suits your store best.  

When you’re getting started I recommend using a free theme. Just click on the “Explore free themes” button and take a look.

I really liked the look of the “Pop” theme, so I decided to go with this one.

All I needed to do was click on it, and then select “Add Pop”.

It’s as simple as that. Now I had a theme for my clothing business!

Next up? Customizing that Shopify theme.

Designing Your Store: Customizing Your Theme

It’s important that you make your store your own, especially if you’re using a free Shopify theme for your clothing business.

After all, if over half a million people are using Shopify to run their stores, you can guarantee that you’re not the only one using that theme.

Thankfully, there’s a lot of room for customization when you’re using Shopify, and you can guarantee that nobody will know that you’re using a free theme once you’ve built your store.

So, let’s get started.

First things first, you’ll need to head to the “Themes” page again in your Shopify settings.

From here, you’ll see this:

Then you’ll need to click on the “Customize” button.

From here, you’ll see a ton of options. And it might be a little bit confusing at first with what you need to do next.

I always like to start off at the top of the page, with the logo.

Designing Your Store: Logo Creation

Let me be clear here – I’m no design expert.

I like to play around with photo editing software, but I’m certainly not good at graphic design.

But, honestly, you don’t have to be.

There are tools out there, like Hatchful or Canva, which make graphic design accessible to beginners like me.

The best part? It’s free to use.

So when I was creating the logo for my clothing business I just jumped over to Canva, signed up, and started messing around.

There are some preset templates, and after a few minutes of work came up with this:

Looked cool, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.

So, I spent another five minutes trying out a different approach. I wanted to have some sleek, cursive text on a white background.

After another five minutes I came up with this:

Perfect. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

(By the way, Canva isn’t the only tool that you can use. Check out our list of the top logo makers here.)

Designing Your Store: Header Image

Now that I had sorted out the logo for my clothing business it was time to find a header image.

A header image is so important – it’ll dominate your store’s homepage, so it’s crucial that you find one which reflects your brand and the products which you’re selling.

But, there’s just one thing. I’m not a photographer. I can’t take professional photos for my store.

Well, it turns out this isn’t actually a problem. There’s a ton of free stock image websites, like Burst, or Pexels, which you can use to source high-quality stock images for your clothing business.

As I was going to sell crop tops, I simply entered “crop tops” into Burst, and I found hundreds of images that I could use for my header image.

After a couple of minutes scrolling through Burst I eventually decided that this one would fit my brand best:

The woman in this shot fit the market of people who I wanted to target with my clothing business, and the clothing that she was wearing fit my logo, so this image was perfect!

Next, I wanted to customize the image a little bit. Remember, it’s important that we do everything we can to stand out from the crowd.

I hopped back onto Canva, and was playing around with some text overlays on this image.

I decided that it was best to use the same font type as I used for my logo – this would help me to keep the style of the store aligned.

Here’s what I came up with:

It didn’t take much effort, but the text overlay really added a lot to the image.

Okay, so now I had my logo and my header image – it was time to put all these pieces together and check what the store currently looked like.

Considering this whole process took around 1 hour to complete, I was really happy with the results.

For now the design was done, so the skeleton of the store was complete.

Next up? Finding products for my clothing business.

Finding Products to Sell: Installing Oberlo

Now that we’ve built a decent looking store, it’s time to find products to sell.

This is something that many entrepreneurs struggle with, no matter how much experience they have.

But, honestly, it doesn’t need to be difficult.

And I’m about to show you exactly how simple it can be to find products for your clothing business.

First step? We’ll need to install Oberlo to our Shopify store.

Once again, head to your Shopify admin screen. From here you’ll see the ‘Apps’ option on the left-hand side.

From here you’ll be redirected to Shopify’s App Store, and you’ll be prompted to install some featured apps.

Oberlo is one of them.

Click on the Oberlo tab, and you’ll be sent to the listing on the Shopify App Store.

From there, all you’ll need to do is click on the green “Get” button on the App Store, and install Oberlo.

Finding Products to Sell: Searching With Oberlo

Once you’ve installed Oberlo, you’re going to need to create an account – don’t worry though, it only takes a minute.

After that, you’ve got everything you need to find and sell products using the dropshipping business model.

At this point I needed to find some products for Cream of the Crop.

I went over to the Oberlo admin, and I selected the option to “Search Products”.

From here all I needed to do was enter the keyword that was relevant to the products that I was searching for. In this case it was “crop tops”.

Now I had access to dozens of pages of products that fit my search term.

After a little bit of searching I found some products that seemed perfect for my clothing business.

Just like this one:

This one was perfect – a versatile crop top that could end up being my star product.

All I needed to do when I found a product that I wanted to sell was click on the green “Add to Import List” button.

When I had finished finding products to sell on Oberlo I needed to access my “Import List” and make sure that I clicked the “Push All Products to Shop” button.

Finding Products to Sell: The Finishing Touches

So, at this point I had all the essential policies, a payment method, a good looking online store, and some great products to sell.

I only needed to add some finishing touches, and my store was done.

When I had imported the products from Oberlo to Shopify I also imported the default product images and description.

The images were great, but the description needed a little tinkering, just to add my personal touch.

Also, I wanted the products that I had added to my store to be featured on the front page of my website.

To do this, I had to add these products to a collection on Shopify named “Home page”.

This option is on the right-hand side of each product page, and the “Home page” collection is set up as a default, so it’s fairly simple.

Here’s how the products looked on my main page:

And that was it – my clothing business was set up.

Not as tough as you thought, huh?

Starting Your Own Clothing Business

So, now you know exactly how you can start your own clothing business – congratulations!

Now it’s about taking those steps towards making your dreams of being an entrepreneur into a reality.

If you’re interested in starting your own clothing business like I did in this post, your first step is to create your own Shopify account.

Like we mentioned earlier in this article, it’s the most popular ecommerce platform in the world – it’s already trusted by entrepreneurs from every corner of the globe.

Once you’ve setup your Shopify account, install Oberlo from Shopify’s app store, and you’ll be able to start dropshipping today.

We can’t wait to see you succeed.

If you’ve got any questions about starting your own clothing business, or ecommerce in general, feel free to ask me in the comments section – I read them all!

Want to Learn More?

Start using Oberlo today

All accounts have access to the forever free Starter Plan

Sign Up Free

Oberlo uses cookies to provide necessary site functionality and improve your experience. By using our website, you agree to our privacy policy.