Where to sell your tie-dye shirts?
If you’ve been making tie-dye shirts for a while you may have had the idea to start selling them but where do you actually sell them and how? You have to ask yourself who your potential customers are, how to reach them and how much to charge them for your art. It can seem like a daunting task, but you can certainly have success if you try. We will be covering many options and hopefully you can find one that suits your needs.
The most obvious way and the easiest to start off with is to try selling your creations to your friends and family. This is a great way to gauge the pulse of wether your tie-dye shirts have the potential to sell to a larger public. The next step is to look for weekend festivals where dozens of craft artisans meet up to sell their wares. In the same vein, music venues are a great opportunity to reach many interested people. The last step is to go online, to establish your own store on the Internet for everyone to see.
There’s a lot that goes into having success in business and tie-dye is no different. All the same principles apply here as well. I’m talking about sourcing materials, calculating the costs of production, marketing and branding and much more. This post will focus primarily on where to find your first customers and how to expand your horizons from there. You don’t need a business plan to start selling and the rest can be figured out along the way.
Family and friends
This way of selling your shirts has only a very limited reach but is the most common method when you’re just starting out. You can sell a few pieces here and there, commonly at a lower price than you would sell to a stranger. At this point you’re only looking to establish a small base of repeating customers and you may even be surprised how much your friends can support you in your endeavors. You will need to approach them and propose your services directly to them.
Selling to your family and friends is the fastest and most cost-efficient way to see how your products do in the real world. It’s one thing to ask for their opinion about the quality and beauty of your products, but it’s another thing entirely for them to support their words by buying from you. If your products are well made and are well priced you should begin to see some interest. Do not be surprised if no one asks you directly to buy something. New customers, even if you know them well, are reticent and you should approach them first.
Weekend festivals and music venues
If you’ve seen success by selling to a few friends and family members, now is the time to open up your horizons and venture farther out. At this point you should have a few direct sales under your wings and you are ready to tackle a bigger challenge. Preparations are needed before selling at a venue. You will need a kiosk and enough stock to last you for the amount of time you plan on staying there.
After selling to the people you already know, the next logical step is to introduce your products to a larger public. The best way to do this is to find the nearest craft festivals and music venues that accommodate sellers. There you can see lot of foot traffic and can realize many sells if your kiosk is on-point and your products are attractive. The reason why these are the best venues is that you will find a lot of people at these events that are passionate about art, color, and flashy clothing. You need to go where your most likely customers are, where your products are recognized and valued.
Selling on the Internet
If you have bigger plans and are intent on making tie-dye your full-time job then there’s no better way than to completely open up your possibilities. Here we are talking about potentially selling to international customers from all over the world. For this you will need to think about your brand and your branding. At this point you should think about a name for your business if you don’t already have one. It’s a different game to sell on the internet and you should think hard about your branding.
Take your offer to the web. Open up your digital store on social medias first as they are easy to begin with and are free. Another good option is to put your products on free and paid marketplaces. Sites such as Etsy and Shopify will let you the opportunity to get going very quickly. If you have enough shirts you can try putting them on Amazon and Ebay, but you better start small at the beginning.
Nowhere else is there so many opportunities but also so much competition than on the Internet. You should be ready to take your game up to the next level if you are to succeed in this market. You may be the only tie-dye artist locally but this is not the case anymore when entering the international market. You should be prepared to have very solid products with
Opening your own store
The final step of the process is to open up your very own store. By this I mean first by having your own dedicated website and then launching a physical workshop where you can create your shirts and also give classes. Opening your own brick-and-mortar shop is only recommended if you already have a strong customer base or if you are located in an area which has a huge demand for tie-dye clothing and a severe lack of competition.
Having your own dedicated website and workshop will let you keep all your customers and transactions neatly inside your business. You will save costs and be able to better target and reach the needs of your customers. Having a workshop where you can sell your products and also give tie-dye classes is big expense but can be worth it when you have a large clientele.
Do you plan on creating all the shirts yourself or will you hire assistants to help you? The cost of opening and operating a physical workshop, as well as the cost of having employees can add up really quickly if you are not careful. Definitely only take this step if your finances are solid and you have a solid understanding of what you’re getting into.
Getting from your first tie-dye shirt to having a successful business is a wild ride. You do not only compete against other tie-dye artists, but also against the clothing market as a whole. There definitely still is a huge gap in the market where the demand for tie-dye clothing far exceeds the current offers.
There are many opportunities in the tie-dye market, all you have to do is to find your niche, get creative, and start selling. No matter what business you start, you will have to break through the noise of the competition. For this we recommend that you use your talent and that you explore creative ways to market your products. We expect the market for tie-dye clothing to grow tremendously over the coming years and we would love to see you along for the ride.