Ever since we started Nation19.com I have received a ton of request from some really cool people needing help on starting a clothing line. Below is A step-by-step booklet for you to get
Your game on track, if your line aint wack. (In my Biggie voice) lol, jk
The Clothing Line Commandments.
A good name is better than Gold
Think of a unique name for your company and register the company, domain and Trademark.
Once you have that perfect name you need to determine the legal structure of your line. Decide which form of ownership is best for you: sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), corporation, S corporation, nonprofit or cooperative. As you can see there are many types of business structures so do a little research on what works best for you. For Nation19, the umbrella of a LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) worked best for us.
Protect your Neck.
Registering a trademark is a complex legal process that may be overwhelming. If you are not familiar with this process you should consider hiring an attorney. The filing fee for a trademark is $325 in the US. Attorney’s will charge an additional fee for the TEAS search and the registration. For the trademark plan on spending $750 – $1500 depending on the attorney fees. Our Creative director started in fashion by working with The Godfather of Urban fashion, Karl Kani. One of the first things Karl Kani had him do is research on all the bootleggers using his name illegally.
Domain Name (wwww.yourcompanyname.com)
A domain name is the unique name that identifies your website. Stay away from names that are hard to spell, like www.2irnup.net (that’s really a terrible name anyway…lol). Many 4-5 letter names have already been taken years ago so just because you think www.turnup.com is a great name, someone else has probably grabbed that name a long time ago (Actually it’s available for $10,000). Domain names usually cost about $10 a year. Go Daddy is a good place to get a domain name.
Do your research and find good manufactures.
Whatever you do stay away from Zazzle, or Cafe Press.
Design, design, design
If you are NOT a designer hire a quality designer to create your designs.
A good designer and great design can be the difference between celebrities buying your Tee Shirts and wearing it on MTV or just your favorite Uncle wearing your T-Shirts walking around Home Depot only because he just loves you.
Be Original. Inspiration from Nike’s new colors for winter is ok, but making shirts that say Just Do It® will get you in trouble and possibly in jail.
IMPORTANT: You can’t use photos or artwork that is not yours on T-shirts. You must obtain a license from the copyright owner in order to print and sell t-shirts.
Set up a real website.
Try and avoid the free websites like http://www.wix.com. This is your window to the world use it wisely.
It’s not all about the Benjamin’s Baby!
Remember It’s a business, so treat it like a business. Most businesses DON’T make a profit for a few years. So don’t quit your day job or drop out of school just yet. This is a marathon…NOT a sprint. Be creative, network, build real relationships and get out to the public.
Don’t be a sellout. Buy something™
To see what Im talking about in action go to www.nation19.com/shop and buy a shirt or snap back. All our store items are all on sale until they’re gone with free shipping.
Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon.
About the writer:
Queen Muhammad Ali is a Seamstress, Designer, Model, Hip Hop Head and the Co-Founder of Nation19 Magazine / APDTA.
Check her out on Facebook