Starting a Clothing Company Part 1 – The Purchase
This blog series will detail the process of purchasing, rebuilding, and running Sliced Pyramid. I will be transparent in my process and costs.
“How do you buy a clothing company?” is usually one of the first questions get. In my case, it was simple – make an offer.
I found it on Reddit
I originally stumbled upon this Reddit thread about a guy who had been having trouble with his online clothing store. Little sales, too costly to maintain, and not enough time were his main issues. But after checking out his products, I really liked them. I would have bought one pretty easily. Something in my gut told me it had a lot of potential. After taking a look at the backend and discovering it was on Shopify, I made an offer.
£200 (~$300) is how you buy a clothing company. I get the designs, domain, and social media accounts, he gets to relax and break even. After running Umbrella Fish LLC for 3 years, I’ve become accustomed to being obsessed with work. All day, every day, my mind is going over my mental todo list, and working through complicated problems in the background. Adding Sliced Pyramid would be a lot of new fun problems. Fashion -and more specifically physical products- present different hurdles then web development. Time is the primary asset used during web development, whereas a clothing line requires inventory and actual manufacturing. I could manage the entire stack, from server to frontend in building a website. I can’t sew a garment from scratch, and I sure don’t have a screen printing setup. There would be a lot of logistics and upfront costs to make this work.
Right away I registered some extra domains and put up a new placeholder site. Made a few posts on social media that Sliced Pyramid was under new ownership, and to sit tight as we renovated. Everything was on pause.
Deciding what to change
Looking at the design assets, I realized there were some I really liked, and some I didn’t. But I don’t claim to have the final say on what looks cool, so I asked everyone that I could find. After a few days it became clear which were the crowd favorites. The more minimalistic designs beat out complicated or wordy prints. I put together a cheat sheet and assigned each design an SKU for each reference.
Deciding what to be
Picking an audience is important. There needs to be a clear niche that’s easy to describe. We’re definitely not a funny t-shirt company, or an expensive name brand that you wear for recognition. But I do want quality that feels really great to wear. Something that would be comfortable all day and night. Maybe we’ll eventually move into heavier material, but for now I wanted to focus on soft and airy. Combined with the minimalist design, I’d describe our niche as “Night on the Town”. Casual, clean, and feels great out on a date or to the bar. Early 20’s to 30’s who want to move fast and need high quality clothing that can keep up.
“How to run a clothing company” is just one of the related questions I asked Google. Articles on Shopify and HTSACC, books like “The Brand Within” by Daymond John, and a lot of YouTube videos had me feeling pretty good. I knew different printing techniques, the qualities of different fabric blends, how to signup as an official reseller, and a few other tidbits. After about a week, it was time to start making bigger moves and putting my money where my mouth is.
Choosing a clothing wholesaler
In the next part, I’ll discuss the process of getting clothing samples, doing research, and becoming educated enough to select a clothing wholesaler.