When you click one of the links below, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.
Are you thinking about starting your very own small clothing business right from the comfort of your own home? Well, we’ve got some exciting news for you!
With the rise of e-commerce platforms and the increasing trend of online shopping, there has never been a better time to take that leap of faith.
In this post, we’ll guide you through the steps you need to take in order to start your small clothing business from home – and the best part is, you won’t even need to hold your own inventory!
So, let’s dive in and get started on this exciting journey!
Step 1: Determine Your Niche
Before starting any business, it’s important to determine your niche. In the case of a clothing business, you need to decide what kind of clothes you will be selling.
Will you focus on a specific gender, age group, or style? By determining your niche, you’ll be able to narrow down your target market and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.
Here are some examples of successful brands in different niches to give you some inspiration:
- Sustainable/ Ethical Clothing:
- Amour Vert
- Vintage Clothing:
- ASOS Marketplace
- Beyond Retro
- The RealReal
- Plus-Size Clothing:
- Lane Bryant
- ASOS Curve
- Maternity Clothing:
- Motherhood Maternity
- Isabella Oliver
- Solid and Striped
- Andie Swim
- Alo Yoga
- Luxury Fashion:
- Moda Operandi
- Modest Clothing:
- The Modist
- Verona Collection
- Haute Hijab
- Veiled Collection
- Indie/Boho Clothing:
- Free People
- Urban Outfitters
- Nasty Gal
- Spell & The Gypsy Collective
Step 2: Choose a Business Model for Your Clothing Store
Once you’ve determined your niche, you need to choose a business model. In this case, we’ll be discussing a business model that doesn’t require holding inventory.
There are a few different options for this, including print-on-demand, dropshipping, and affiliate marketing.
Print-on-demand (POD) clothing stores allow individuals or businesses to design and create custom apparel without the need to invest in inventory or manufacturing. Here are some of the most popular print-on-demand clothing store opportunities:
- Teespring: Offers a wide variety of products to customize including t-shirts, hoodies, hats, and more.
- Printful: Offers a variety of clothing options including t-shirts, sweatshirts, leggings, and more.
- Redbubble: Allows artists to sell their designs on a wide range of products, including clothing, home decor, and stickers.
- Society6: Offers unique designs from independent artists on clothing, home decor, and accessories.
- Zazzle: Offers a wide range of products to customize, including clothing, home decor, and electronics.
- Spreadshirt: Offers a variety of customizable clothing options, including t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets.
- Custom Ink: Allows you to create custom t-shirts and apparel for groups or events.
- SunFrog: Offers customizable clothing for a variety of niches, including sports, hobbies, and more.
- Teepublic: Allows artists to upload their designs and sell them on clothing, home decor, and accessories.
- Merch by Amazon: Allows sellers to create and sell custom t-shirts and apparel through Amazon’s marketplace.
Dropshipping allows you to sell products without the need for inventory or shipping. Here are some of the most popular dropshipping companies for running a clothing store from home:
- Oberlo: Offers a variety of clothing options, including t-shirts, hoodies, and dresses, and integrates with Shopify to simplify the dropshipping process.
- Modalyst: Offers a wide variety of clothing products from various suppliers, including designer brands, and integrates with Shopify and other eCommerce platforms.
- AliExpress: Offers a wide range of clothing options at low prices, and is popular with new eCommerce entrepreneurs.
- Spocket: Offers a variety of clothing options, including athletic wear and activewear, and connects you with suppliers who ship from the US and EU.
- SaleHoo: Offers a directory of suppliers for a variety of products, including clothing, and provides research tools to help you find profitable products.
- Doba: Offers a variety of clothing products from various suppliers, and provides a platform to manage orders and shipments.
- Wholesale2b: Offers a variety of clothing products, including branded items, and integrates with popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify and eBay.
- Dropship Clothes: Offers a wide range of affordable clothing options, and provides a platform to manage orders and shipments.
There are many popular affiliate programs for clothing that offer commissions for promoting products on your website, social media, or email list.
Here are some popular affiliate programs for clothing that offer commissions for promoting products on your website, social media, or email list, along with their commission rates and payouts:
Amazon Associates offers a wide range of clothing products to promote, including popular brands like Calvin Klein, Levi’s, and Adidas. Commission rates vary based on the product category, but can range from 1% to 10%, with a payout threshold of $10.
ShareASale offers access to a variety of clothing retailers, including ModCloth, ASOS, and Boohoo. Commission rates vary based on the retailer, but can range from 4% to 15%, with a payout threshold of $50.
This offers access to brands like Forever 21, Macy’s, and H&M. Commission rates vary based on the retailer, but can range from 2% to 10%, with a payout threshold of $50.
Awin offers access to a variety of clothing brands, including Adidas, Levi’s, and PUMA. Commission rates vary based on the retailer, but can range from 1% to 15%, with a payout threshold of $20.
CJ offers access to a variety of clothing brands, including Nordstrom, Zappos, and Nike. Commission rates vary based on the retailer, but can range from 2% to 20%, with a payout threshold of $50.
ShopStyle is a heavy hitter and offers access to over 1,400 retailers, including clothing brands like Madewell, Anthropologie, and Reformation. Commission rates vary based on the retailer, but can range from 2% to 20%, with a payout threshold of $100.
This offers access to a variety of clothing brands, including Everlane, AllSaints, and Free People. Commission rates vary based on the retailer, but can range from 2% to 20%, with a payout threshold of $65.
RewardStyle offers access to a variety of clothing brands, including Revolve, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Net-a-Porter. Commission rates vary based on the retailer, but can range from 5% to 20%, with a payout threshold of $100.
FlexOffers offers access to a variety of clothing brands, including Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, and PacSun. Commission rates vary based on the retailer, but can range from 2% to 20%, with a payout threshold of $100.
VigLink offers access to a variety of clothing brands, including Bloomingdale’s, Uniqlo, and Barneys New York. Commission rates vary based on the retailer, but can range from 2% to 20%, with a payout threshold of $10.
Remember that commission rates and payouts can vary based on the retailer and the terms of the program, so be sure to read the terms and conditions before signing up. Additionally, consider the brands and products offered by each program to ensure they align with your audience and niche.
Step 3: Do Competitor Research on Other Small Clothing Stores
Before you start your clothing store, it’s important to do some research on your competitors. Look for other businesses that sell similar clothing items and study their pricing, marketing strategies, and customer base.
This can help you identify areas where you can differentiate yourself and find your own unique selling proposition.
Step 4: Nail Down Your Brand (Legally)
Before you move to building your website, think of a good name for your store that resonates with your niche, and make sure it’s not taken! Search this Trademark database before you pick one to avoid getting a cease-and-disist letter (I’ve been there *eye roll*).
And speaking of cease-and-disist, once you verify your name hasn’t been taken, lock it down legally by setting up an LLC.
Step 5: Build Your E-Commerce Website
No matter which business model you choose, a website is a must when building a small clothing store from home. Here are some high-level steps to building your e-commerce website:
- Choose a platform: There are many ecommerce platforms available, such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, and BigCommerce. Choose a platform that fits your budget and needs.
- Choose a domain name and hosting: Choose a domain name that reflects your brand and is easy to remember. You will also need to choose a hosting provider to store your website.
- Design your website: Choose a theme or design that fits your brand and appeals to your target audience. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and showcases your products well.
- Upload your products: Load em up into the site! Thoughtfully think of how to visually curate an experience for the user that matches the vibe of your niche.
- Set up payment and shipping: Choose a payment processor and set up shipping options for your customers. Make sure to include shipping costs in your product prices or offer free shipping.
Step 5: Market Your Clothing Store
Once your website is up and running, you need to start marketing your clothing store.
This includes promoting your website on social media, running ads, and reaching out to influencers in your niche. It’s important to focus on building your brand and establishing trust with your customers.
With print-on-demand, you can leverage your unique designs to promote your business.
Share images of your designs on social media and use hashtags to reach a wider audience. You can also collaborate with influencers in your niche to promote your products.
With dropshipping, you’ll need to focus on building a strong brand and showcasing your products. Share high-quality images and videos of your products on social media and use targeted ads to reach your ideal customer.
With affiliate marketing, you can promote other companies’ products on your website or social media channels.
Focus on building your audience and establishing yourself as a trusted authority in your niche. Share honest reviews of the products you promote, and make sure to disclose your affiliate relationship with your audience.
Step 6: Monitor and Adjust
As your business grows, it’s important to monitor your sales and adjust your marketing strategies as needed. Pay attention to what’s working and what’s not, and make changes accordingly. Keep an eye on your competitors and stay up-to-date with industry trends.
To sum it all up, starting a small clothing business from home has never been more accessible or achievable.
With the rise of e-commerce platforms and the growing trend of online shopping, you can create a successful business without ever having to leave your home.
By utilizing various business models like dropshipping or affiliate marketing, conducting thorough research on your competition, and focusing on your niche and marketing strategies, you can build a profitable and fulfilling clothing business that reflects your passion for fashion.
So, don’t let anything hold you back – get started on your clothing business journey today!