There are hundreds of mistakes people make when they open a t-shirt store. But there’s one that is huge and almost always fatal.
This mistake could be avoided if one question was made before opening a store.
And the question is: What is a t-shirt business? Is it a graphic design business? Or a fashion clothing business?
My answer: It’s definitely a fashion clothing business.
I’m not saying the design you put in the t-shirt is not important, because it is. And probably the most important thing.
But there is also much more involved. You have keep in mind people are going to wear the t-shirts. It means they have to fit. It also means people will buy them for fashion purposes.
Do you know what colors are fashionable right now? Most of designers who open a t-shirt store don’t know that. But they should.
If you visit a new t-shirt store, you’ll find that most owners bet on white t-shirts. And this is because graphic designers when making a design, they start with a white blank page. So it looks like a white t-shirt is the best choice for a good design.
White t-shirts provide some amazing prints. The problem is that the large majority of t-shirts sold are not white. The most sold color depends on fashion trends.
If you think of yourself as a graphic designer, the t-shirt color, or model is not important. But if you think as a fashion retailer, it is very important.
But there are also another problem when you think yourself as being in the graphic design business.
You forget that a retail business lives from, not only the products they sell, but also from the environment.
The store’s decoration, the merchandise display, and the window display are very important in a brick and mortar store.
And in an online store, the website design, the banners and the pictures are very important.
Now you are starting to see the mistake: don’t be only a graphic designer.
But there’s more….
A good graphic design can be very important, but you must think of other aspects of business.
Finally, thinking as being in the graphic design business, makes you forget your biggest competitors.
You are not only competing against other graphic designers. Your biggest competitors are the big chains of fashion stores and everyone selling t-shirts. And the first choice for most of consumers wanting to buy a t-shirt is stores like Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Amazon, and many other.
I know the first choice for graphic designers is to put some designs on those huge t-shirt websites. You know, the ones you only make the design and then the website makes all the work for you? They sell the t-shirt, they print the t-shirt and they send to the customer. Then, they pay you a commission.
It looks like a great business, doesn’t it? Too great, indeed. Yes, great business for the website, not for designers.
If you don’t believe me, just search online, for designers experiences in selling on those sites. Or if you want, try to sell on those websites. It doesn’t cost you a thing. Then, a few months later, come back to this website, and learn how to do it the right way.
I’m not being sarcastic. I’m just trying to save you from wasting a few months of your life.
So, please don’t make this mistake.