Hello everyone! It’s Jenn here, founder of JLD-Studios. The following are some tips on how to start an activewear brand so you can design and sell your own products. Creating an apparel brand or any form of business is not an easy task (trust me, I am still learning as I go).
1. Identify a customer & what they want: Selling everything to everyone is rarely successful from the onset. A few key products to a specific demographic builds a loyal following that will become your own army of brand influencers.
Ask yourself; Who is your customer? Be Specific! What kind of leggings will they wear? How much will they spend on a sports bra? Do they care about supporting the US economy and workers? Why will they shop with you? Do they prefer cats or dogs? A specific customer will help you create more targeted marketing and a dedicated following. Don’t be afraid to be narrow here. Pictures of dogs wont prevent cat lovers from shopping your brand – trust me!
2. Create a Plan: We're not staunch business plan enthusiasts, but you still need a plan. Outline the customer you've identified, where they will buy your activewear and for what price, how you will market to them, and how much you'll set aside financially to make all this happen.
Just put something together. It doesn't need to be perfect. It will likely have more questions than answers in the beginning and I guarantee it will change! Starting with a plan will give you road map to endeavor this journey and laying out goals help keep you on track.
3. Design a Product: Thought we'd never get here, right!?! I'm sure you already had a product in mind before starting this journey. Now is the time to make sure it aligns with the plan and flush out the details you want to give your customer. Most importantly, have fun creating your first activewear collection.
4. Hire a Team: There are a lot of things you can do on your own while building a business ( I built this website) But, not everything. Call us bias, but we believe in having a strong development team in your corner. So much more goes into creating a product than you think. Read more about why this is so important; Why you need a development partner!
5. Set-up Manufacturing: When you start an activewear brand, finding the right manufacturer for your product is extremely important. Decide on whether you would like to manufacture locally or internationally. At JLD-Studios, we strongly support local manufacturing and creating jobs right here in the USA. That’s why we’re in business.
Before you reach out, make sure to have your ducks in a row. How many units do you plan to make? This isn't based on the manufacturers MOQ, this is based on your plan. Then look for a production that aligns with your brand needs.
We also love this tip from one of our clients. Connect with partners whose values align with yours/your brands. -Saturday Swimwear
6. Get Creative with Marketing: Don't rely on friends, family, and Instagram to launch your brand. Go where your customers are. Build and SEO rich website. Stay excited about your brand and share it with your ideal customer. Remember it takes an average of 9 touch points to encourage a customer to buy in. So keep promoting, sharing, and building an audience to shop your new activewear brand.
7. Most Importantly- Have fun! A business is like a rollercoaster. As long as your strapped in you can ride through the ups and downs and find the joy in the adventure.