Find out more about my experience starting a clothing brand
As a 23-year-old Londoner with an interest in business, my social feeds have always been full of young entrepreneurs starting up cool businesses and showing their audience just how great their lives were. I bought into this facade.
Because of this constant exposure to entrepreneurs, I recently decided to start my own clothing brand (If Only They Knew) as a great way to expand my brand (I previously had a small media group dedicated to informing & inspiring young entrepreneurs) as well as being a way to give back to charity as I plan to give 25% of my profit to local charities & fundraisers.
However, instead of being faced with instant success, I was hit by a huge metaphorical brick wall that was paved with failure and mishaps!
Some of these mistakes came directly from pure mistakes on my part, but some came from obstacles that I set out for myself…for example, I decided that I wanted to hand-stitch every cap — a process that takes around 20 minutes with each cap — despite not having any experience with stitching whatsoever.
The Issue As well as having issues actually making the caps, I also had issues with the supplying process as the first batch of sample caps I bought did not have some of the main colours that I needed when I attempted to place a bulk order after they passed the quality check. Thinking on my feet, I had to search the internet to find similar caps and fortunately found what I thought was a like-for-like product from another brand. I thought wrong.
Instead of waiting on the initial sample package of these new caps to arrive, I got way too excited (and ahead of myself) and ordered a bulk package of these caps worth £150 — a mistake that I’m still living with today.
As soon as the packages arrived, I just knew I had messed up. The quality was definitely not what I hoped for as the caps were way too soft and malleable, making them look more like a skull cap rather than the modern style I was looking for.
Back to the drawing board yet again.
If you have to keep going back to the drawing board, make sure you come back with a new masterpiece every time.
I went back to my supplier’s website and found a cap brand that I had previous success with many years ago when I ordered caps for a different reason. I ordered 2 sample caps from this brand as I was playing cautiously in an attempt to avoid making the same mistake twice.
This all happened a week ago and I’m currently waiting for the THIRD sample pack to arrive which SHOULD be great, I’ll then have to wait another week or 2 for the bulk order to arrive if I’m happy with the samples.
In the meantime, I’ve also been trialing different t-shirts and I will give an update on my experience with this soon.
The Summary So far, this journey has taught me that you absolutely cannot cut corners in business, especially a business that relies on quality and perfection like a clothing brand does. I’ll be back very soon once I can provide an update on this matter and I will continue to share my experience as a sole owner of a newly formed clothing brand.
If you’d like to support my brand, ‘If Only They Knew’, then please follow my Instagram page @ifonlytheyknewyou.