Whether you’re looking to sell a custom clothing line in your store or want to sell garments in stores across the country — or the world — wholesale can be a lucrative business.
It’s an exciting endeavor to launch your own brand — but before you get ordering and put styles up for sale on your site and in-store, there are a few considerations to weigh. Here’s what you need to know to start your own kids’ clothing line using wholesale.
Determine What Clothes You’ll Sell
When selling kids’ clothing, there are a few different categories you can consider:
- Babies: Preemie/Newborn to 24 months
- Toddlers: 2T to 5T
- Youth: 5/6X to 16/18
Sizes will vary from brand to brand and manufacturer to manufacturer, but these will generally be the categories of choice. You may sell one or all of these categories to appeal to parents and kids of all ages.
After determining what age and size range you’ll appeal to, you must decide what clothes you’ll sell within that category.
Will you sell:
- Fun, bold colors with lots of shapes, words, and graphics?
- Basic blank clothing that you can customize with your embroidery or designs?
- A limited select few styles from a sustainable manufacturer?
- Whimsical and imaginative styles with textures geared toward playtime?
It helps to create a profile of your ideal customer. For example, when selling kids’ clothing, this means identifying the parent who likely buys it and the child who wears it.
Write a Business Plan
A business plan is essential to starting a kids’ clothing line — and any other business. It will give you a thorough idea of any startup and operating costs. It will also help you calculate the markup on your clothes to make a profit.
Thinking three to five years ahead may seem like a stretch for a business that’s currently no more than an idea. However, it makes it significantly easier to work around any issues if you’ve spent the time thinking realistically about what to expect and the total costs.
Plus, if you need any loans or investments in your kids’ clothing brand upfront, this makes lenders or investors much more likely to give you the funds upfront, as it shows you’ve taken the time to create a solid plan for your brand.
Overall, there are only upsides to writing a business plan, which helps you start strong.
Ensure You Have the Proper Certifications and Forms
When launching your kids’ clothing line using wholesale, you’ll need to ensure that you have all the proper forms and certifications to do so legally.
Certifications and forms may include:
- Registering as an LLC
- Getting a seller’s permit
- Filing quarterly taxes
- Any building or other permits if you have a brick-and-mortar business
It can help you speak with an accountant, lawyer, local SBA office, or consultant to ensure you have all the necessary certifications and forms to launch your business. It’s much easier to have everything set up ahead of time than to find out you missed something and get fined later on — or worse, run into severe legal troubles!
Find a Manufacturer or Supplier That Meets Your Kids’ Clothing Needs
Once you’ve set your branding and decided on the kinds of clothing you want to sell, you’re ready to find a supplier or manufacturer to source the garments.
If you have a particular vision for what you want to sell, you can find a custom-made manufacturer to create your clothes. However, this can get expensive, and many manufacturers have significant minimums for orders.
Instead, many smaller kids’ clothing businesses find working with a wholesale supplier efficient. For example, if you’re looking to sell wholesale kids’ hoodies like Bella Canvas, you can work with no shortage of suppliers. Then, depending on location, you may need a resale license or other certifications, and you’re ready to go.
When working with a wholesale supplier, you can choose from pre-designed items to sell in your store. Many brands will even let you do private label orders, where you can customize elements like stitching and the tag inside the clothing.
This option can be significantly cheaper than working directly with a manufacturing factory — and you still have near limitless possibilities of designs you can sell in your store. You can hold a physical inventory, or some wholesale brands will offer a dropshipping option, where they send the product directly to the customer upon an order — a hands-free approach for you!
Start Marketing and See the Sales Start!
Whether you’re selling your clothes directly to consumers (DTC) or other retail businesses selling your garments in their stores, you want to start marketing to them.
Some of the many marketing channels to consider include:
- Social Media (Free): From marketing to end consumers to other businesses, social media is one of the easiest, low-cost ways to connect with your target customers. Leverage hashtags and SEO for free connection.
- Social Media (Paid): Some businesses find it worthwhile to appeal directly to their target customers with paid social media ads, putting your posts in front of the eyes of your ideal customers.
- Trade shows: If other businesses are your primary customer, trade shows can be a precious opportunity to connect with retailers.
- Google Ads: While they’re a bit of an investment, they can help boost your website’s traffic.
- Influencers: Whether they have 1 million followers or 5,000, influencers can greatly encourage customers to shop from your clothing line.
These are just a few of the many ways you can market your clothing line to customers. Ensure consistent branding and appeal across your channels to make sure consumers understand.
The sales will start rolling in as you get eyes on your products.