The Vital Steps to Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business

Have you always dreamed of setting up your t-shirt line but are unsure where to start? Well, that is an understandable way of thinking – you might have a great idea that will appeal to consumers, but turning that idea into a reality is tricky.

Starting your t-shirt line involves much more than printing and distributing your designs. If you want to achieve sustained success, there are various points to consider before you enter owning a clothing line. That said, below are vital steps to start a t-subject matter of your t-shirts. You’re not only going to have to pick something that will appeal to a sizeable portion of customers but also something that hasn’t been overdone and saturated the market.

Take, for example, designs that revolve around cats or pugs. Countless companies, including major corporations, cover these topics. With many others to compete against, you will be undercut by those selling at highly competitive prices.

However, this doesn’t mean you cannot cover popular subjects – you need to be creative and add a different angle to the proceedings. For example, you could combine the cats’ primary idea with a twist on a famous movie poster. Remember to stand out from the crowd and not just join an ever-growing pile.


Of course, on the other side, you also have to try not to be too niche in your market selection. Do so, and you will have a stack of t-shirts you cannot shift.

Outsource or in-house design.

When crafting a design, you must decide whether you will do this yourself via an in-house worker or outsourcing. These choices have various plus and minus points, and it is down to your situation as to which route to take.

If you are already a talented graphic designer and have done digital designs before, that’s great. You can skip this section and move on to the rest of the article. However, a learning curve is involved if you are a gifted artist and don’t know how to translate this to digital media. Thankfully, plenty of tools are available to see if you can adapt to digital design life. For example, try a Photoshop online free trial and see how you go.

Outsourcing is arguably the second-best option if you are hopeless at translating your ideas into an eye-catching design or can’t come to terms with Photoshop. Admittedly, you will be paying a sizeable chunk of cash if you’re working with the best freelancers or design firms, but that will result in a professional design ready-made for printing.

Make sure to look into copyright laws if you will be utilizing licensed trademarks in any way.

Decide on the quality.

If you are starting a t-shirt company, you will no doubt want to produce products of real quality. However, when looking into those all-important margins, the temptation to go ‘cheap’ will always rear its head.

While cheap doesn’t necessarily mean bad, you must avoid making it noticeable. For instance, you could get a design done on a budget platform like Fiverr. Still, the quality of said design will have a strong possibility of being amateurish and weak – i.e., not exactly how you wanhowbrand to be represented.

Therefore, work out the figures and not emphasize the potential profit per t-shirt – a professional product will deliver a larger reward in the long run.

How will you print your T-shirts?

One of the biggest dilemmas for aspiring t-shirt business owners is how they will print and distribute their designs. Thanks to the Internet’s and technology’s growth, plenty of picks are available to print your tees.

First of all, you have the choice of doing it all yourself. That means purchasing blank shirts, getting all the color inks needed, a printing device, etc. Now while this provides an abundance of freedom and more scope for larger profit margins per t-shirt, it also involves a hefty initial outlay to get started. Plus, maintaining quality control and producing a professional product can be tricky.

If you don’t fancy the production side of things, enlisting the help of a t-shirt printing firm is a safe bet. You give them your design; they will print it onto a set number of agreed-upon tees, add any garment extras such as tagging and bagging, and send you the finished results. While this will generate a high-quality product and give you various printing options, you have to gamble with getting plenty of t-shirts printed at once (and the higher the number, the more that needs to be produced).

Another option is to use an online platform like Teespring. You can upload your design and leave all printing and production to an external firm here. This is the risk-free pick as you don’t have to pay a single penny to print t-shirts. Although a safe bet, it typically gives you less profit-per-tee and limited scope for producing exactly what you want.

Market your creations

It would help if you got the word out about your designs at the end of it all. After all, even the best t-shirt designs won’t leave the store if people don’t know about them!

Therefore, post your work on design-based websites and promote it on social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram. If the plans are particularly striking, the designs could build a considerable following on DeviantArt, Behance, and Reddit.

About author

I work for WideInfo and I love writing on my blog every day with huge new information to help my readers. Fashion is my hobby and eating food is my life. Social Media is my blood to connect my family and friends.
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