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How to Start a T-Shirt Business



How to Start a T-Shirt Business

If looking for a new business to start, look no further than the T-shirts now a staple of modern casual wear. If you’ve ever wondered how to start a business selling creating and selling T-shirts, read the following tips.



How to Start a T-Shirt Business

Pick A Market

One of first things you’ll realize about starting a T-shirt business is it’s a competitive marketplace. One of the best ways to get going here is to check out the competition in the market you want to compete in. You need to come up with something different and unique.

You can start with a broad scope and narrow it down to start. For example, T-shirts with cute animals on them is too big a market. The same T-shirts that appeal to people looking to rescue animals might be a better plan of attack.

Craft Unique Designs

Once you’ve got a market picked out, you’ll need to come up with one-of-a-kind designs. Attention to detail and simplicity are two features that can make your designs stand head and shoulders above the competition.

If you don’t have the creative chops to get this part of your business up and running, you should look to see if you can find any local graphic designers to help out. Using complementary colors makes for striking designs. Adobe Illustrator is a popular tool.

There are designer communities you can join too.  You can even buy designs from graphic marketplaces .





Here’s a site with some popular designs to get you started.

Get Some Feedback

You’ll most likely love everything that you’ve designed but that doesn’t mean your target market will share your positive response. Getting feedback is a good way of tweaking any of your T-shirt designs before you proceed.

Reddit is a place where you can post some of your designs and get excellent feedback.

Do Some Mock-Ups

Now comes the time where you need to put everything together into some mock-ups so you can see what the final product will look like. There are several tools to choose from here like

Adobe Photoshop (Free Trial) t-shirt templates.





Fiverr is another place to find help.

Select Quality Material

All the other work you’ve done will be for nothing if you don’t print everything on quality t-shirts. There are several things that you need to look at to make the right choice. Material is just one of the factors you need to sort through. Sizing is another element.

Getting the best quality is job number one. You should order a sample of the T-shirts that you’re thinking about using to get a feel for what they’re like before you use any one supplier.



Put A Brand Together

Even after you’ve used all these tips to put your T-shirt business together, you’re not out of the woods. You need to build the brand up to make sure your products stand apart from the competition.



Social media and a great website are some of the tools that you can use. For the T-shirt industry, promotional videos are a great way to separate your products from the competition.

Choose A Printing Technique

Picking the way that you transfer your designs on to the quality T-shirts you’ve selected is a critical step. There are several different options to choose from here starting with heat transfers that work great for unique designs printed on demand.



The direct to garment technique provides for unlimited color options. Finally, screen printing is a great idea if you’re looking to do large batches of the same design.

Photo via Shutterstock





1 Comment ▼

Rob Starr


Rob Starr Rob Starr is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. Rob is a freelance journalist and content strategist/manager with three decades of experience in both print and online writing. He currently works in New York City as a copywriter and all across North America for a variety of editing and writing enterprises.

One Reaction

  1. What can you say about a Tshirt business using websites like TeeSpring? I think that it can be a good business model for you only make shirts once you sell them.

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