When I started making t-shirts it was only to put messages I wanted on the shirt for myself. Once I created a new shirt I would proudly wear it. The sense of accomplishment felt great, especially if people would comment on my shirts. What is peculiar is people watch you from a distance without you being aware of it the slightest bit.
What I mean by this, people start noticing you are wearing a new and different saying shirt often. After a while they may come up to you and ask do you make your own shirts or do you know someone. That is them opening the door of communication and provides you with a chance to share with them your excitement, passion, and dedication to your new craft.
Sharing Your Excitement
I remember going to the waffle house to pickup breakfast for my wife and I while wearing a hoodie that said; I Choose My Own Destiny” that grabbed several people’s attention. One couple came up to me and express their appreciation for the message and said they liked my hoodie and the message. Then, they asked; “do you create shirts for sale, or did I purchase them?” As I share with them my excitement for the message and what it represents to me, they and several other people that was there at the time were able to identify with the message I shared. Several people asked for my card and or phone number.
The funny thing happened to me. I only purchased my machine to create my own shirts I wanted to wear for my insurance business. I never thought of creating a side business at first until many people started asking If I could create something for them. When people asked for my number I wasn’t prepared and did not have a business card for creating garments. I only had my insurance business card and kindly handed them one. The point here is be ready for business from anyone.
If you want to start a t-shirt business I believe it is important to always be ready. Even if you have only one product. Create one dedicated page where prospectus customers can purchase your shirt or garments. That is where I made my mistake until this very day. I didn’t want to create a page for my products, but eventually I went with a company called Teespring; https://teespring.com/stores/evans-4 and posted some of my creations. Below you can find a small list of some of the companies you can choose to use if you so desire.
- Shopify.com: With shopify you will be able to create an ecommerce website with tools to assist you with customer driven engagements, sales and daily management.
- Spreadshop.com: Is another website you will be able to sell designs you create right from their website and will also handle the fulfillment as well. Create your own store and link it to all your social media accounts to help you build customers fast.
- Teespring.com: Is a company where you can sell your items and or create a store to have your customers purchase your creations. With Teespring you can create a design and download it just like in spreadshop and they will do the printing and they will handle the fulfillment.
However, I would be remised in not mentioning this amazing platform word press that allows you to use your imagination and scale until your heart is content. You can build your brand, blog, and open your store using this amazing platform WordPress.com
Different Messages, Different Markets
I have young adults in my home, we have a very large family. When I create something I want to wear to help me stay on track losing weight, I would create a shirt for working out. The younger generation always let me know If I have a shirt worth marketing. For instance I created a shirt the other day you can see it in the picture below.
My grandson indicated this was hot and wanted a shirt just like it.
I let my grandson have the shirt and just made another one and through that one gesture I have several orders for this one shirt to fill. That shirt appeals to many people working out and getting in shape or staying in shape.
Then you have the shirt below I created three days ago that appeals to some faith base customers. I have learn customers ages forty and up may be interested in faith base t-shirts. This will also lead to some large church orders as well. Marketing to churches are a great way to get started in the t-shirt business. However, make sure you have reliable equipment to fulfil your orders including a backup heat press just in case the heat press stops working you will be able to complete the order with a backup press.
You know one day last year I was fooling around and develop a saying “All Vegan Baby”. I showed it to my family and they couldn’t care less. I put a picture on Instagram and then facebook and immediately got a response and sold 75 hoodies in my first two weeks. I went on to sell well over two hundred of those hoodies. I was just fooling around and that happened. The point here is you will never know it something will sell until you put it online.
Test Your Idea
If you have a t-shirt idea move forward with the idea and then create one of the shirt and post it online to see if anyone besides yourself will comment on it. Comment is one thing and a paying customer is another. I had many shirts I thought would sell and never sold one of them. In fact, I created a design I just knew would be a hot seller, purchased one hundred transfers and in fact it was a complete dud. Yep, a complete dud! The moral of that example is to test the waters no matter how great you think your idea is before you invest heavenly.
Always seek to improve your designs or have someone create a design for you where you could have complete ownership over the rights of the design. A great website to acquire the help and free lancers to create a design is Upwork.com. You can find some great talent and wonderful ideas to get you started. I hope this was a little enlightening and information you can use.
Thanks for taking time out to read this post.