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Considering starting a fashion e-commerce store - specific niche

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2legit2quit

Contributor
Dec 9, 2018
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Hi all,

I have been pouring over the threads on here the past few weeks, and have a few ideas I'm working on. My goal for now, is to make some extra cash, so I've been looking at Amazon FBA in the short term...however...

I am a creative person, and in the meantime of making notes everyday from youtube tutorials, these threads, thinking of many different project ideas, I thought about (yet another idea) - a clothing store via Shopify.

I read @Kase forum, so I am well aware of what to watch out for. I've looked at successful clothing stores from Shopify, aside from a good product, a lot seems to be related to marketing, design of the store, aesthetics of the store (almost over the product, which I'm not saying I agree with, but I observed that to an extent).

I have a specific idea which actually came from thinking about my identity, and people around me, and the lack of easily accessible fashion that relates to that identity.

I did a quick google search, and honestly nothing came up related to the target audience I am thinking of. I also came up with a name immediately and I don't see it trademarked, I have a picture of what the brand could be, and how it could appeal to this particular demographic, even a basic logo as well that all ties it in together and the meaning behind the brand, though the logo is very subtle but has a deep meaning behind it.

I ran the idea by a few friends who seemed to like it. There's a few questions I have:

- if I was to go ahead with this, I think I could do the aesthetics of the store myself as I have a keen eye for design, but, I know that I may need to contact a graphic designer? logo-maker? how would such a person be paid (one-off via upwork or something?)

- I have a couple ideas for the clothing, that is specific, and I haven't seen that design/functionality anywhere. In addition to selling 'regular' clothing, I have an idea for 'regular' clothes with 'special' functionality (lol sorry for the vagueness), but i know that having a manufacturer make something custom like that could be very expensive.

Q: would i be better off launching a store with no specialized items (i.e. just basic tees, tops, etc) targeting that demographic and marketing the 'meaning' so they feel identified with the brand -- see if that works, then, if sales are acceptable, go ahead with that custom clothing design? or do that custom pieces from the outset?

Q: what sort of investment would i need if i was to stick to some basic pieces at the beginning (i'm thinking shirts, polos, hats), and could this be done for a 'reasonable' price via domestic manufacturers (i live in canada). i have 5k for sure i could invest, but i am being careful... i haven't contact any manufacturers yet, because im registering my business as we speak, and i though it may be better if i do it once my business site is up so it seems more 'serious'. i thought i'd ask here in the interim to see if anyone else has done something like this.

- i am hesitant on the dropshipping method but i know a friend who does that with Oberlo, but i feel its a cheap way of doing things. unless i private label clothes from a manufacturer in China and get them to hold the inventory? but that seems too long a wait for customers.

i am a total newbie to this, but i feel passionate about it, but i know passion is not always where the money is. i know 'believing' in an idea doesn't mean anything in business (to an extent)

you can criticise if you need, i am here to learn. thanks.
 

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Lucas Lee-Tyson

https://growthcave.com
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 20, 2018
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I would be interested in seeing what you have in mind for the aesthetic/functionality. The fact that you haven't seen it anywhere could be a bad thing (lack of demand) but don't let that stopping you from investigating further.
 
OP
OP
2legit2quit

2legit2quit

Contributor
Dec 9, 2018
21
21
16
I would be interested in seeing what you have in mind for the aesthetic/functionality. The fact that you haven't seen it anywhere could be a bad thing (lack of demand) but don't let that stopping you from investigating further.
great point, that is true. the functionality caters to a certain demographic. the thing is, is that 'value added' of that particular functionality 'enough' to justify people buying my shirts over someone elses? i am not sure. and then if it 'took-off' what would prevent other manufacturers from ripping that idea off?

in addition to the clothing, i actually have an (unrelated idea) simmering in my head for the past couple years which could be sold in the 'accessories' portion of the site, and i think there would be a demand for that as well. i had researching this 'accessory' and didn't find it either, and my cousin though its a great idea, but thats my cousin...as i thought about the store, i thought the accessory could actually be sold in this potential online fashion shop as well. it also ties into the brand's identity..

but again, once something like that is launched, i dont know what would prevent others from copying it. unrelated, i think i know how i can get the marketing done via IG though.

the functionality, i can't give more info than that unfortunately in case if it's a good idea...im still checking about it with a few close friends, to see if they would purchase something like that. it is everyday wear.
 

jpanarra

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Jan 9, 2014
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Hey man, JP here


I’ve grown up around creative people, basically my whole family including myself. I’m probably the most business oriented one in my family but point is I’m driven to help other creatives in this space.


As for your idea, its fine if nobody is selling exactly what you’re thinking of.. But if there is NOTHING similar, that might be dangerous because there might not be an market for it at all. Unless its a hybrid and it will appeal to two different markets.


First avoid shopify if you can a woo commerce theme is the better shot if you can. It might seem a bit expensive to start with but over the long run you’re not subject to the royalty payments shopify slaps on you.

I own a digital marketing agency. I personally have 2 e-commerce stores that i’ve started last year as well. We can do the logo, graphics, and other things with the website you’re thinking of in a one shot cost just shoot me a PM and I’ll be glad to chat help you out..

As for targeting the demographic, get your social media posts going and see the reception. If people are reacting and supporting you.

It's always better to start with an inventory on hand but If you really want to test your designs and stuff before ordering a bulk order. You always can do a Print on Demand type of plugin and have it shipped directly from the manufacturer. People putting up cash is the best indicator that a product will do well. (POD is something similar to dropship but its something you should use as an indicator, not a full out business model like you see all over the place today.)
 
OP
OP
2legit2quit

2legit2quit

Contributor
Dec 9, 2018
21
21
16
Hey man, JP here


I’ve grown up around creative people, basically my whole family including myself. I’m probably the most business oriented one in my family but point is I’m driven to help other creatives in this space.


As for your idea, its fine if nobody is selling exactly what you’re thinking of.. But if there is NOTHING similar, that might be dangerous because there might not be an market for it at all. Unless its a hybrid and it will appeal to two different markets.


First avoid shopify if you can a woo commerce theme is the better shot if you can. It might seem a bit expensive to start with but over the long run you’re not subject to the royalty payments shopify slaps on you.

I own a digital marketing agency. I personally have 2 e-commerce stores that i’ve started last year as well. We can do the logo, graphics, and other things with the website you’re thinking of in a one shot cost just shoot me a PM and I’ll be glad to chat help you out..

As for targeting the demographic, get your social media posts going and see the reception. If people are reacting and supporting you.

It's always better to start with an inventory on hand but If you really want to test your designs and stuff before ordering a bulk order. You always can do a Print on Demand type of plugin and have it shipped directly from the manufacturer. People putting up cash is the best indicator that a product will do well. (POD is something similar to dropship but its something you should use as an indicator, not a full out business model like you see all over the place today.)
hi guys, thanks for this advice. i will check out woocommerce, i heard of print on demand but did not consider that. i think that could fit my idea nicely.

i may shoot you a pm JP, i actually designed the logo, it is extremely simple but it has a deep meaning, a few people i know saw it right away, other people were clueless which is kind of the beauty.

i am registering my business tomorrow anyway, for amazon FBA and i can use it for this as well...i will follow up on next steps...
 

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