Student seeking advice in starting a shirt business.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by AJ.G, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. AJ.G macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #1
    good day Macrumors,
    my name is AJ, im 14 years old studying abroad in China, and have always had a passion for art. Im always drawing, designing, and creating. My work has gone from crayons, to pens, to pastels, to pencil sketches, to markers, to graffiti, to graphics design (which im picking up rather fast), and now, another aspect of street art- fashion.

    *This post isnt to brag about what i can and cant do, that was just an intro*

    When i say fashion i dont mean designing dresses for catwalks, but designing shirts. Ive been taking my designs frmo sketchbooks and opening them in photoshop, converting them to three colour stencils, and silk screening them onto shirts. I builst my own silk screen station in my room, with a hinge screen and everything, so i can efficiently print, aswell as clean the mess.
    Last night, i had an epiphany, if thats the correct word. Instead of ME wearing my shirts, why dont i sell them to OTHERS. In fact, why not in school.
    In Beijing, theres a place called Yashow, which is a big shopping mall, where you can buy anything from shoes to fake ipods. Its all fake, but theres a shop that sells coloured shirts for rather cheap. i can buy a bulk pack of shirts, where it comes down to around 20 kuai a piece (4.5USD).
    I would buy these shirts, print on them, and sell them at 100 kuai. Which is what you would pay at yashow for a shirt with a design. 100 kuai comes down to around 15USD. i dont know if thats a lot for a shirt, but over here its the average price.
    I would be selling these shirts in school, where i would present my project to the whole seconday school during an assembly. Presenting my project, how im doing this, and the pricing.
    Is there anything else i should be taking into consideration? Anybody out there whose experienced with silk screening? Starting small businesses? (its not really a busines, just a project, where i could potentially make quite a bit of money) Or maybe you guys have any advice? or can see a flaw in my plan? im looking to hear what others have to say. my parents said do it. It would also be great for experience.

    This idea came about after a month of rattling my brain looking for methods to make money, for the Macbook Pro i want to buy:D.

    thank you for reading,
    all the best,

    AJ--
     
  2. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    #2
    If I were you, I would think of these things:

    1. Start off making 3-4 of your shirts and wear them yourself and see what people say about them; ask if they'd buy one or what they'd add/change about it.

    2. If you end up selling your shirts, make sure you give your customers (or school friends) a reason to buy your shirts instead of those that they sell at Yashow. If they're the same price as those, why would anyone want yours?

    3. I'm no shirt expert, but I have made quite a few different shirts for projects, friends, etc. One thing that could be profitable if people like your shirts is that you can take requests from people if it isn't too much work for you; custom make them a shirt from a piece of their art, or draw something for them (charge more for that, obviously) and then people will be more inclined to buy your shirts if they can make them into something that they really want on a shirt.

    Good luck!
     
  3. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Hogtown
    #3
    AJ ... listen to your Parents ... go for it :cool:

    Good Luck
     
  4. samiwas macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #4
    Make sure you are buying good quality shirts to start with. I used to get swag shirts all the time that were just the cheapest-quality shirt they could get and put their logo on. They would fall apart within months. My dad works in promotional advertising, and of course shirts are part of it. Any shirt he's ever done for me has held up for many years, as he starts with the top-line shirts.
     
  5. AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #5
    1. thats a really good idea!! i really like that, sort of like subtle advertising, whilst getting advice from people, aswell as seeing whether they like it or not. sweet,

    2. thats a good point, something to think about. Maybe the fact that the designs themselves look good (subjective of course) would suffice?

    3. the shirts i buy/will be buying from my "friend" that i talk about at yashow are good quality. Ive been wearing them for like two years and there arent any faults in the sewing or anything, so thats not a worry.

    Thank you for the heads up!

    As stated in point 3 above, the shirts that im getting are rather good quality, which is weird considering the price. But thank you, i think that was my biggest concern too.
     
  6. iApples macrumors 65816

    iApples

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    #6
    Add 'Bi-Winning' on the shirt and you'll sell millions. In fact, I'll purchase one myself. It's the key to success. The funny part is, I'm not even kidding.
     
  7. AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #7
    care to explain? not sure i understand...:p
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #8
    Selling t-shirts? In China??? Why bother? They're a yuan a dozen over there....
     
  9. AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #9
    no theyre not. its cheap over here, but not that cheap.
    and im "bothering" because i love the art aspect of it,
    aswell as i believe i can learn from this experience, eg: managing money, thinking beforehand, solving possible problems, etc etc... even if it doesnt work, and i dont make any money, it doesnt matter. thats not what its about. its about learning and having fun. though money would be nice:p:p
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #10
    You're right, and nothing costs a dime a dozen over in the US either. People should stop using idioms so that....well......"some" people who take every expression literally don't get confused.
     
  11. Reefbone macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #11
    I think it's a good idea. Being young yourself, you probably know what would sell better to other young people.

    Printed Tee shirts are very popular with young people here in the United States and some of the designer shirts are very expensive... $60 US or more sometimes. ( see http://www.buckle.com ) You mention you have an art background. Have you considered using your own artwork or designing your shirts have a themeor feel to them? If you had fans they would not only buy the shirty you are offering today but would look forward to the shirt you offer tomorrow.

    I kind of see two ways to do this: The first is to print clever, current things to sell now and be thinking up new things to replace them as they becomne out of date. Or for two, develop a line or style of your own that you try to popularize.
     
  12. AJ.G thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2010
    Location:
    Beijing.
    #12
    thank you,
    conrtuctive advice. Im using my own artwork, but i didnt really think about "popularising" it:D not sure how id go about doing that. ive got a everything set up and will be taking orders in next week from my peers at school. Should be interesting to see what happens.
     

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