How To Start A Children's Clothing Business

If you ask any entrepreneur, starting a business comes with its fair share of challenges.

Starting your own children's clothing business requires a great deal of effort, dedication and most importantly passion.

If you're willing to put in the effort to build your own children's clothing business, you're going to want to follow the critical steps to creating a successful brand.

We've created a guide that covers each step of the process - from making key financial decisions, to launching and marketing your business the right way, and tips/strategies on how to grow your children's clothing business effectively.

💡 Idea

Is The Children's Clothing Business For You?

Let's look at the pros and cons of starting your own children's clothing business

Pros:

  • Flexibility: One of the biggest advantages of starting a children's clothing business is that you can put as much time into the business as you'd like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.
  • Ability to start your business from home: It's not necessary to have a physical storefront or office space to get your business started. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home, at least in the beginning!
  • Little startup costs required: The cost to start a children's clothing business costs significantly less money than most businesses, ranging anywhere from 2,050 to 34,800.
  • Rewarding work: Starting a children's clothing business can be really rewarding and fun work. After all, you're bringing joy and excitement into peoples lives.

Cons:

  • Crowded space: Competition is high when it comes to your children's clothing business, so it's important that you spend a good amount of time analyzing the market and understanding where the demand lies.
  • Finding the right supplier: Most businesses in this space go the supplier/manufacturer route, which isn't a bad thing! However, finding the right supplier can take a lot of time, energy and trial/error. If done properly, this process can save you months (if not years) of time and energy. More on this below in the "finding a supplier" section.

Creating a successful children's clothing business means that you will have the ability to sell, provide stellar customer service, communicate with vendors and motivate your team (even if it's down the road)!

Which Business Model Should You Choose?

When deciding whether or not to start a children's clothing business, it's important to first decide if you want to operate a physical or online store (or both).

Physical Location

If you do plan to open a physical store, it's important that you find a spot in a high-traffic area. This is a great way to gain exposure for your business and also get new customers.

It's also important to consider the higher costs associated with operating a physical store (ie - employees, rent, utilities, etc) and the long days/hours associated with running a store.

The main benefit, however, is that customers love being able to see products in person. It's important to recognize that although some people enjoy shopping online, there will always be the shopper persona that likes to touch, feel and see the product they're buying.

Online Business

One of the main benefits of operating online is that you are exposed to the entire world, versus just one local area. Rather than depending on foot traffic, you have all the tools at your disposal to create exposure for your store online.

Additionally, there are much lower costs to operate an online store - fewer employees, you can operate from your home, and you get to create your own schedules (yes, holidays included!)

Although you are operating online and have the ability to connect with people all over the world, it's important to consider that you will need to invest marketing money upfront in order to promote your store to the right audience.

So, which business model should you go with?

Each model has their benefits, however, the consumer trends for children's clothing business are shifting towards e-commerce businesses.

Players

Big Players

Small Players

How To Name Your Children's Clothing Business

It's important to find a catchy name for your children's clothing business so that you can stand out in your space.

Here are some general tips to consider when naming your children's clothing business

  • Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
  • Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
  • Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
  • As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!

Why is naming your children's clothing business so important?

The name of your business will forever play a role in:

  • Your customers first impression
  • Your businesses identity
  • The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
  • If you're memorable or not

It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your children's clothing business.

You can search domain availability here:

Find a domain starting at $0.88

powered by Namecheap

Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.

It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.

As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.

Here's some inspiration for naming your children's clothing business:

  • BabyPlace
  • Kiddle Place
  • Toys And Tots
  • Perfect Playtime
  • Cuddles n’ Chuckles
  • FunWood
  • Little Adventurers
  • Little Misses
  • Baby Born
  • Unbelievable Babies
  • Little One Stop
  • FashionTotz
  • Uluru kids
  • Child Chic
  • Lullaby’s
  • Busy Baby
  • The Charming Baby
  • Kid Care
  • Carousel Clothing Co.
  • WeLoveBabies
  • Rock-a-Bye Baby
  • Kids Kupboard
  • Bouncing Babies
  • ‘Bout the Baby
  • Elle’s Babies
  • La La Buys
  • Stuff 4 Baby
  • Sugar Babies
  • Exotix Baby
  • Kicks N’ Crawls
  • The Baby Place
  • A2Z Fashion For Kids
  • BabyFIne
  • Education Baby
  • Armadillos
  • PeeWees
  • Kidderz
  • Mini Palace
  • Sweetness Central
  • Sugar Babies
  • LittleCounty
  • Cats Meow
  • Little Loves
  • Ta-da Clothings
  • Sunshine Baby
  • Baby Bundles
  • A Lil Style
  • Thread Max
  • FancyPants
  • Little Ones
  • PowerPlex
  • LittleTown
  • Beaucoup Baby
  • Trippy
  • fashonista funhouse
  • AssieStyle
  • Angels R’ Us
  • LilRoos
  • Girls ans Gals Fashions
  • Trusted Toys
  • Upscale Baby
  • Rattles and Rockers
  • NaturalBaby
  • My Shadow
  • Baby Face
  • Baby Cuddles
  • Baby Adventures
  • Bundled Baby
  • Plush Beauties
  • Itty Bitty Babies
  • Peek-a-Baby
  • KangaRags
  • Cutiez
  • Little Laughs

Read our full guide on naming your children's clothing business ➜

Gia Paddock, founder of Boutique Rye explains how they came up with the name of their business:

What took the longest was deciding on a name and our logo; I wanted it to be meaningful, and I cared so much about what people thought.

Looking back, my advice would be to quit thinking about other people. This is my business, and all that matters is if I am happy the name and logo.

A popular national brick & mortar women’s boutique that many may have heard of is called Francesca’s… How original, right? So we came up with Boutique Rye named after our son, Riley. We put "boutique" in front to be a little different.

Now came the logo… Oh man, was this a task. We hired a graphic designer that we went to high school with, and went back and forth with him for about a month and a half. I wanted something that really described my style which is kind of “boho chic” and decided on a dreamcatcher. The dreamcatcher is also what our son’s nursery was decorated in, so it truly felt like a family business.

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Gia Paddock, on starting Boutique Rye ($10,000/month) full story ➜

Search Interest

Let's take a look at the search trends for childrens clothing over the last year:

🎬 How To Get Your Children's Clothing Business Started

Identify Target Customer

A very critical piece in building children's clothing business is to identify your ideal target customer.

  • Develop a niche and create a consistent brand that reflects your target customer.
  • The colors, logo, content, and overall website should resonate with your target customer and should draw them in by helping them solve their specific "need".

Identifying Customers: Sat Nam Babe Example

I launched Sat Nam babe in Spring 2017, a mindfully made line of yoga-inspired clothing for kids under six and babies (think ethical supply chain, pants made out of recycled plastic bottles, fun prints and an overall uplifting message).

Early on, I thought my main customer would be Lululemon wearing, organic produce buying, millennial age yoga moms.

While they may be my end customer, my direct customer is many times the woman looking for a unique baby or kid’s birthday, Christmas, etc type gift for the special kid in their life or the hip Grandma who has a disposable income and wants to spend it on her precious grandkids!

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Jennifer Coulombe , on starting Sat Nam babe ($500/month) full story ➜

Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your children's clothing business.

Why?

Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.

For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.

You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
  • Overviews and Objectives: Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
  • Products and Services: Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
  • Market Opportunities: Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
  • Marketing: Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
  • Competitive analysis: Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
  • Operations: Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
  • Leadership Team: Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
  • Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.

Learn more about how to write a business plan here

When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.

The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.

These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.

  • LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
  • S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
  • C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.

Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.

Learn more about securing the right permits and licenses ➜

Purchasing Inventory For Your Children's Clothing Business

When first starting out, it's important to start small with your overhead to get a gauge for what people want.

Just remember - if you order a line of items that don't sell, it's nearly impossible to recoup the money lost.

Buying the right inventory takes research and planning in order to get it right.

  1. Identify your target audience: Identify the age, gender, annual income that you will be selling to. This is a defining factor in ordering the right inventory that will sell.
  2. Research your competition: Conduct market research and identify the different types of styles, price points, and materials being used. This will help you see what's trending and ways that you can improve/stay ahead of the competition.
  3. Create an inventory wishlist: Identify what you need for the launch of your business and create a budget that you will stay within. Remember, it's okay to start small.
  4. Find a supplier Make sure to first compare prices and analyze different options.
  5. Delivery timing: Schedule the inventory delivery to match with seasonality and trending buying seasons

Pro-tip: It's easy to become biased based on your own fashion preferences on what types of shoes/apparel to purchase. This is where a lot of fashion businesses go wrong. It's important to base purchase decisions on current buyer behavior, trends in the market, and specific to your niche.

Erin Hooley, founder of Bailey's Blossoms tells us how poor inventory projections led her to lose over $2M

When we first launched Peyton Bre we did so in a social or direct sales model.

Through poor inventory projections we were forced to change models but only after losing $2 million dollars.

It was a devastating time for us and one we were not sure we could survive.

I have since become very intentional about the way that we project our inventory needs and we continue to refine that quarterly and even monthly. We have created a KPI for the cost of goods sold to help us hold ourselves accountable.

Ultimately, the better we manage our inventory the less we have need to discount and the healthier our profit margin becomes.

This is, of course, a very high-level overview of the importance of inventory control.

To see the full breakdown on how to manage inventory, check out my guide over on my blog..

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Erin E Hooley, on starting Bailey's Blossoms ($750,000/month) full story ➜

Startup Costs

If you are planning to start a children's clothing business, the costs are relatively low. This of course, depends on if you decide to start the business on your own or bring on a big team at first.

We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of a children's clothing business and outline the costs you should expect for each:

  • The estimated minimum starting cost = $2,050
  • The estimated maximum starting cost = $34,800
Startup ExpensesThese numbers are based off the average expenses incurred when starting a children's clothing business. Min Startup CostsDefined as an children's clothing business you have started and plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs. Max Startup CostsDefined as an children's clothing business you have started with one other team member. You decided to rent out an office space to set up the business.
Licenses and Business FormationThis refers to setting up your business license and establishing any legal contracts. $250 $1,000
PayrollThis number depends on if you decide to pay yourself a salary up front and the amount of employees you hire. The average salary for a full-time children's clothing business individual is $0 $4,000
Advertising/PromotionThis includes (but not limited to): paid ads, public relations, networking events etc. $200 $2,000
Website and Email HostingCosts to host website, domain names and email $100 $300
Website Design (Outsourced)Hiring an outside contractor to assist with design elements of your website $0 $5,000
RentThis refers to the office space you decide to work in. Depending on the cost of living, this number could vary. $0 $2,500
Shop DecorIf you plan to operate a physical store, you may want to consider decorating the place with wall decor, furniture, plants etc. $0 $7,000
InventoryThis includes all upfront inventory you will need in order to launch. Be sure to compare prices of wholesalers to ensure you're getting the best deal and margins remain high. $1,000 $8,000
Equipment and TechnologyThis includes (but is not limited to) any expenses such as: laptops, cameras, office supplies and technology platforms $500 $5,000
Total Starting Costs $2,050 (min) $34,800 (max)

Emily Casseday, founder of Blush Boutique Co describes how she was able to stay under $10K to get off the ground:

Because we were starting small, we didn’t have a lot of overhead. One of the biggest downfalls of starting a business is having too much to carry without a lot of income, which is why we decided to start in my basement instead of fully going brick and mortar.

We wanted to test the waters first to see if we had a viable business for our community. In order to finance the beginning of our shop, we used some savings and one credit card. Our goal was to never outspend what we made, so we started with a limit of $10,000 on the card and paid it off as we went. That first year, we didn’t take a paycheck so that we could completely get out of debt.

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Emilie Casseday, on starting Blush Boutique Co ($25,000/month) full story ➜

Raising Money

Since the startup costs to start children's clothing business range between $2,050 - $34,800, there are ways you can raise money to cover these costs.

Here are a few ways you can secure additional funding:

Crowdfunding Campaign Example: Sat Nam Babe

I used iFundWomen to launch my company with a crowdfunding campaign, raising approximately 70% of what I needed to launch my business.

Crowdfunding is an excellent way to raise capital and test your market in a controlled and safe environment (aka friends and family) without draining your savings.

I raised about 40% of my goal within the first 48 hours because I was prepared, promoted heavily and had 100% of my energy in the game.

I can’t recommend this avenue enough because since most companies fail, why would you want to drain your savings or take out a bank loan when you can get early buy-in, early-stage customers and early feedback through crowdfunding?

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Jennifer Coulombe , on starting Sat Nam babe ($500/month) full story ➜

Design A Prototype

Turning your idea into a reality can feel like a daunting task - but it's critical that you have an idea of what your product will look like (even if it's just a sketch) prior to finding a manufacturer.

Here are some common ways you can design your prototype:

  • Draw Your Initial Design on Paper
  • Form pieces of fabric together
  • Consider Taking A Generic Product And Putting Your Own Brand On It
  • Try Making the Product Yourself
  • Consider Building A Prototype With A 3D Printer

To learn more about how to design and prototype a product, check out our latest guide here.

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I started by deconstructing, AKA pulling out the stitches from a pair of the Stonemen briefs. Created a paper form of the two pieces that made up the brief, and had it digitized.

I also connected with a graphic designer who helped set artwork into the digitized template and made it match at the edges for a beautiful seamless print.

I searched for local sewing classes first, thinking I was going to learn to sew myself. I don’t know what I was thinking.

I was eventually recommended a sewing shop by one of the sewing classes/workshop places I contacted. This is where I met the owner of the shop, a masterful older German lady. She reminded me of my father a bit, an old soul with an immense amount of knowledge and experience.

She was an expert at her craft. She talked me through the manufacturing process and taught me a lot about it.

She connected me with a fabric supplier, a waistband supplier and set out a timeline to create prototypes. All I had to do was provide the printed templates of the underwear on a roll of fabric.

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Krystian Frencel, on starting Bunch of Animals ($5,000/month) full story ➜

Revenue Expectations

We've interviewed several different founders in the children's clothing business and asked them how much $ they're making today.

Sat Nam babe

  • $6K/year in revenue
  • Sells yogi children's clothing
  • Solo founder
  • 0 employees

Bailey's Blossoms

  • $9M/year in revenue
  • Sells infant and toddler clothing
  • Solo founder
  • 30 employees

Buckle Me Baby Coats

  • $600K/year in revenue
  • Sells car seat friendly coats
  • Solo founder
  • 1 employee

Sawyer

  • $0/year in revenue
  • Sells kids clothing.
  • 2 founders
  • 3 employees

Joah Love

  • $468K/year in revenue
  • Sells premium children's clothing
  • 2 founders
  • 7 employees

Baby Wit LLC

  • $12K/year in revenue
  • Sells matching mom & baby clothing
  • Solo founder
  • 0 employees

How To Price Your Childrens Clothing

One of the most challenging and critical pieces to starting your children's clothing business is determining how much to charge for your childrens clothing

When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.

Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.

On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.

When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:

Understand your customer

It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:

  • Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
  • Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
  • Level of price sensitivity with your customer

All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.

Understand your costs

When pricing your childrens clothing, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your childrens clothing so you can factor in a profit.

The actual cost of your childrens clothing may include things like:

  • The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
  • Shipping + overhead fees
  • Rent
  • Operating costs to run your business

You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.

Create revenue goals

When determining the price of your childrens clothing, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your children's clothing business to make.

This process is simpler than you may think:

  1. Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
  2. Create a revenue goal based off of your break-even cost
  3. Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
  4. Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell

This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.

Evaluate your competition

The last piece in determining how to price your childrens clothing is by simply looking at your competition.

The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your childrens clothing fits best in the marketplace.

All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your childrens clothing, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.

Lauren Costanza, founder of Bluminary provides us with a detailed spreadsheet of all of her costs associated with running her business:

I knew this would be a self-funded adventure, and I set aside $3,000. During the first three months, I had a detailed spreadsheet where I tracked where the money was going and what was going toward products versus researching and developing new products.

The spreadsheets involved columns and rows of numbers to craft a budget and gain an understanding of how much would need to be invested at each stage of the process - from gathering supplies to building a website, and shipping materials.

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Lauren Costanza, on starting Bluminary ($500/month) full story ➜

How To Find A Supplier For Your Children's Clothing Business

Here are the steps to consider when finding a supplier/manufacturer:

Know your design

One very critical step to finding the right supplier is having an initial idea of what your design/product will look like.

Sketching is one of the most simple ways to get started in the design phase.

What's great about sketching is that you can practically do this anytime, anywhere - even on the back of a napkin.

To get started, all you need to do is pick up a pen and paper and start drawing - or if you are working on a virtual/software product this can be a diagram that outlines the user interface or experience.

Decide your supplier type

You'll want to identify the type of supplier you are looking for.

Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself prior to searching for a supplier

  • Are you looking for a manufacturer to produce your product idea?
  • Do you want to find a supplier that can simply purchase existing products for you?
  • Do you want a drop-shipper to supply and fulfill orders?
  • Do you want a domestic supplier or an overseas supplier? Read more about the pros and cons of each here

Where to start your search

Once you have an understanding of what type of manufacturer/supplier will be best to bring your idea to life, there are several areas you can start your search:

Domestic Suppliers

Overseas Suppliers

Manufacturing Example

The next step was to look for manufacturing partners, but funnily enough, we didn’t even know what we were looking for. Are we looking for the fabric itself, or a company that produces dress shirts?

We knew the properties that we wanted, so looking through online directories we set up a spreadsheet with possible companies and started emailing them with our requests to "make dress shirts from sports materials".

image 2

At the end, we emailed all the companies that had a website, as well as an email address (you’d be surprised how many didn’t) and started setting up meetings in a span of a week that we can take off from our jobs and travel back to Bulgaria to meet with all of them.

At first, most of them didn’t know what we were talking about and looked a bit confused, but after a week of meetings and discussions, there was one company that said they could be able to create such a product, so we decided to shake hands and proceed to make samples.

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Julian Samarjiev, on starting DULO ($1,233/month) full story ➜

Alibaba Tips From Founders

I did not have expensive prototyping design software, so my “designs” were free-hand drawings I created with colored pencils. It didn’t cost thousands of dollars and it was efficient.

The next process was to packaging my product. I knew I wanted elevated packaging because I thought of my product as an affordable, luxury product ($29.99 per pair). For this box, I went straight to the source: Alibaba.

If you’re not familiar, Alibaba is a site where you can access factories (mostly in China) and get almost anything made. It’s an inventor’s playground. I posted my box design specifications, and within 24 hours, I had selected a factory that could make my boxes for about $1.10 each.

When you look for a factory on Alibaba, make sure they are a “Gold Supplier” with “Trade Assurance”.

Alibaba validates and scores its factories though a badge/award system, so make sure you check these qualifications carefully. I have been lucky and had no issues so far.

how-i-run-a-12k-month-push-up-padding-inserts-e-commerce-with-a-full-time-job.

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Jocelyn Thompson, on starting EPIPHANY LA ($12,000/month) full story ➜

🚀 How To Launch Your Children's Clothing Business

Build A Website

Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).

  1. Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
  2. Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
  3. Make sure you choose the right theme and design
  4. Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)

To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.

Web Design

Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.

Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.

One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.

If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.

Traditional Launch Strategies (that work)

There are various different ways you can launch your children's clothing business successfully.

Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your children's clothing business:

  • Set up a Facebook page for your business. This is a great way to establish an online presence
  • Host an event in a fun location with drinks & food. This is a great way to get exposure in the local community.
  • Get Press! Pitch your story to the media and you may just land in an amazing publication
  • Live sales to get customers excited
  • Send a hand-written letter in the mail with a discount on your services to the local community/neighborhoods.

Traditional Launch Strategies Example

Collaboration is key. We worked together a lot with like-minded emerging brands, local artists, and events.

One of the first sales we made was actually at a local weekend market in Crows Nest. Dealing with mostly online transactions, the experience to meet our very own customers in person is actually amazing.

The biggest lesson is probably to reach out, work with people, and support each other.

For example, we were able to have our pop-up space by sharing the cost with fellow independent brands. We’re stronger together.

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Tom Guo, on starting Atlantis Shoes ($25,000/month) full story ➜

Gia Paddock discusses how live sales on Facebook was KEY to her launch success:

Our official launch happened the day after my birthday, July 26, 2017.

I decided to get the word out by going “live” on Facebook. When you have a personal profile, Facebook will allow you to record yourself in real time, and they allow any of your friends to click on the video and watch if they want. I told everyone our background story and that we would have our first live sale that next night, which was a Thursday. Little did we know Thursdays would be “our day”!

Live sales were something that I wanted to do, and it was different than other online boutiques I had seen. Basically, I would go “live” on our boutique’s Facebook page with our new inventory and show each item, give a little description on it, how it fits, price, sizing, etc. It really feels like I am everyone’s own personal shopper, which is amazing!

Our first live sale was pretty successful. Most of our first customers were my friends or acquaintances from school. We decided to start right away and do a giveaway if they shared the live sale video. We gave away a $100 gift card raffle as an incentive to anyone that shared the video.

This would prove to be by far our best strategy to grow the boutique without spending a dime on traditional advertising.

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Gia Paddock, on starting Boutique Rye ($10,000/month) full story ➜

Marketplaces

There are various different marketplaces that you can effectively sell and promote your children's clothing business, whether that's local or online!

Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Your own website! Shopify is known to be the best for e-commerce stores
  • Local places! Gift shops, farmers markets, festivals, grocery stores etc
  • Etsy - E-commerce website for craft supplies
  • Craft is Art Marketplace to buy and sell handmade crafts & fine art
  • Aftcra Online marketplace where you can buy and sell handmade products
  • Storenvy Marketplace for authentic brands
  • Amazon

Etsy Tips From Founders

Etsy is one of the most common marketplaces for this business type, however, there are some tips and tricks from other founders you'll want to consider prior to listing:

Financially speaking, Etsy is a really great way to start a business because it’s essentially free until you start selling. It cost nothing to launch besides my 20 cent listing fees.

Etsy has been encouraging free shipping with a lot of pushback from sellers, but I built everything into our prices about a month ago and introduced free shipping shopwide, which seems to have improved conversion rates and search visibility already.

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I honestly attribute the bulk of my success to photography. I was a photographer first so obviously very lucky to have no issues launching with great images and it’s something I consistently produce.

With Etsy especially, there are a ton of mediocre amateur photos so it was an easy way to set myself apart from the start, and I don’t think Etsy themselves would feature my products and market them so often otherwise. We’re also able to compete fairly well on price because 80% of customers are American, and our dollar is much weaker.

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Sasha Weekes, on starting Timber Grove Studios ($6,000/month) full story ➜

One big mistake I’m seeing from other people selling handcrafted items is regarding Etsy. I’m seeing people do one of two things:

  1. Under-utilize the platform
  2. They are solely using the platform

What I mean by this is that I’m seeing a whole lot of handcrafters that only use Etsy because it’s easy. But referring people to an Etsy page as your webpage isn’t as professional as a dot com webpage, plus, Etsy’s fees are much higher than Shopify. Also, when Etsy makes changes to its marketing structure, I’ve seen people who have no other website get absolutely screwed and their shops go under.

The other camp is those that refuse to use Etsy at all. Etsy is a marketplace, with a built-in audience that is often searching for exactly the product you make! Both camps are making the mistake of not diversifying their markets. Use Etsy, it’s an amazing sales tool, but don’t rely on it solely.

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James Wolfer, on starting Valhalla Wood Forge ($4,300/month) full story ➜

Consider Selling On Amazon

In addition to selling your products directly on your site, you may want to consider selling on Amazon to reach a wider audience and attract new customers.

Here are some pros and cons of selling on amazon:

Pros

  • Easy and seamless process to get your product listed on Amazon
  • There are roughly 100 million thoroughly committed prime customers, so you're bound to tap into new business
  • Can help grow your business exponentially and reach new audiences

Cons

  • You may encounter some "copycats" and counterfeit products
  • Amazon owns the relationship with the customer (you lose control over product reviews + customer service)
  • If you already have a low-markup, amazon may not wrth your while and you could end up losing money
  • Commissions and listing fees are high - it's easy to lose control of your offering

Follow these instructions to get your product listed on Amazon

📈 How To Grow Your Children's Clothing Business

Build A Blog

One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and grow your business is through consistently blogging.

We've outlined some useful tips for you to consider when creating content:

Consistency and Quantity

Quality is important, but it should be the standard for any content you publish.

What’s more important is consistency and quantity.

Consistency is as simple as committing to publishing and sharing a certain number of posts per week. For me, that’s three per week right now.

This kind of commitment is key, because one day, a random post will blow up, and you will have never expected it.

Oversaturation

The easiest mind trap is to think "I’m posting too much", and “I need to give my readers/audience/this platform a break”.

This is nonsense.

There is no such thing as oversaturation. Well, there is, but it is just someone else’s opinion.

For every person that tells you you are posting too much, there is another person that wants even more of your content.

You should ignore people’s opinions on how much you post.

Patience & Persistence

Keep posting, keep trying, and keep putting out good content on the regular. Your time will come, and when it does, it will change everything.

The only thing you have control over is your content.

You can’t control how people will react to it. You can’t control pageviews, likes, or shares.

So the only metric you should focus on is how much content you can put out in a week, month, etc.

Where to share your blog content

Mailing List

I know it sounds obvious, but the best places to share your content is on your mailing list. It is guaranteed traffic and it is a great way to get rapid feedback from your most loyal readers.

Send newsletters often. I have done once a week since starting, and I’m moving to twice a week soon.

Work on increasing your mailing list as well. Look into ways to increase your conversion rate to your mailing list. I added a flyout popup thing to my site and now I’m collecting ~30 emails per day.

An email newsletter is one of the most powerful assets you can have and it is worth its weight in gold.

Reddit

Reddit is one of my favorite places to promote content.

It is a very scary place because you will often get banned or heckled, but it can really pay off.

Create social media accounts for your blog, the main ones I use:

Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn

Set up Buffer and share all of your blog posts to all of your accounts. All of these little shares really do add up.

Automate this as much as possible. I automated all of my social media for Starter Story.

Facebook Groups

When I started out, I put together a spreadsheet of relevant Facebook groups for my niche, and I would post to these groups whenever I had a big story I wanted to share.

Improve your SEO

SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.

One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."

Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your children's clothing business.

Publish Great Content

Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.

There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.

So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"

  • Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
  • Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
  • Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
  • Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
  • Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).

Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.

If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.

Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.

Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:

  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • If you prefer to keep it simple, your average spreadsheet is just as useful!

Backlinks

Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.

Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.

Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.

For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.

Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:

  • Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
  • Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
  • Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
  • Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
  • Leverage existing business relationships

Learn more about the fundamentals of SEO ➜ here

Grow Your Email List

The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.

One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.

This could also be anything from:

  • Ebook
  • Fascinating case study
  • Video series
  • Free week of the product
  • Discount on the product

Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.

Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:

We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.

Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them.

We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.

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Dylan Jacob, on starting BrüMate ($1,100,000/month) full story ➜

Improve Your Email Marketing

Different types of emails

Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:

  • Welcome emails - the perfect way to provide information from the start with a clear CTA. Make sure to tell your customer everything they need to know about your product or service.
  • Newsletters - a great way to give customers updates or send out your latest content
  • Product launch emails - the quickest (and easiest) way to increase sales is by selling to current customers. Make sure they're the first on the list to know about your new product
  • Promotional emails - promote discounts, deals coupons etc. Try and make this feel exclusive and for a limited time only
  • Abandoned cart emails - give your customers a reason to complete their purchase!

Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns!

Social Media Advertising

Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to children's clothing business.

There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.

Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:

  • Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
  • Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
  • Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
  • Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
  • LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses

It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:

Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:

  • Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
  • Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
  • Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?

From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!

Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.

Host A Social Media Giveaway

People love free stuff and love competition. Giveaways and contests are a great way to create awareness for your brand, grow your email list, and eventually convert leads into customers.

If your goal is to gather email addresses, make sure the entry criteria is to "enter your email." You can do this by leading customers to your landing page where they can then enter their email to be in the giveaway.

One of the most important aspects of promoting a successful giveaway is having an amazing prize. The better the prize, the more engagement you'll get.

This doesn't necessarily mean choosing an iPad or an expensive/trendy watch, but instead a prize that is actually relevant to your brand/target audience.

🏃 How To Run A Children's Clothing Business

How To Retain Customers

Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your children's clothing business.

Often times, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.

Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer, than you are a new customer.

That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.

Here are some ways you can retain customers for your children's clothing business:

  • Responding to comments on social media
  • Send discounts (or freebies) to loyal customers
  • Provide valuable content, for free
  • Write hand written thank you notes
  • Provide awesome customer service and build relationships with customers

To find out more tips and tricks on retaining customers, check out this article ➜ here

Erin Hooley, founder of Bailey's Blossoms discusses the key to retaining customers:

A product without a person is just a product. If you can manage to connect with people on a personal level, you will have a fan for life. And a fan is a thousand times more valuable than simply another customer.

My customers have always been my top priority. I can never get enough of their feedback! It was those willing to speak up and provide constructive criticism that I credit my success to. In an effort to constantly progress we chose to get up more times then we fell and it ultimately paid off!

With a total customer base of around 750,000, we hope to pass 1 million by the end of 2020.

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Rob Hoehn, on starting IdeaScale ($750,000/month) full story ➜

Diversify Your Product Line

Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business.

It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.

Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product

  • Meeting the needs of your customers
  • Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
  • Resistance to downturns/trends fading
  • Create new revenue streams

Diversifying Product Example: Joah Love

The future for JOAH LOVE is bright! Customers have been telling us that they’ve been coveting their kids’ wardrobes for years, and this season, we’re going to make a collection just for them with the launch of a new line for adults.

It will include Mommy + Me and Daddy + Me collections, complementary clothing for parents and their kids.

We’re also in the early stages of exploring clothing options for children with special needs. There’s growing demand for sensory-sensitive apparel to help outfit these children and support their parents, and we’re excited to reenvision how our incredibly soft materials can help these families.

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Ahyoung Kim Stobar, on starting Joah Love ($39,000/month) full story ➜

Resources

We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your children's clothing business.

Tools

Books

Web Resources

Videos

Case Studies

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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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