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Characteristics of Successful Clothing Company Owners


The people that want every answer before they start and need their hand held through the process usually don’t make it very far. Asking questions and planning everything out is crucial but actually taking the initiative and doing it teaches you so much more. The most important part is just getting the ball rolling. You might not have all the answers now but you will figure it all out down the road. This one characteristic is what I see all the time with successful clothing company owners.

erik-mickelsonThink Positively

Most of the people that are successful have just weathered the hard times and are stronger because of it. If you can be strong and think positively in the darkest hours everything will come together in time.

Define your niche

There is so much competition out there you can’t pick a broad demographic like males 20-40 and expect to succeed. You need to find your niche. Define who your customer is and give them exactly what they want.


No one wants to put up a ton of money to see find out if you will succeed or fail test everything. We live in a time where you can connect to people around the world through the internet. Find your market and ask them questions. Try and stay away from family and friends and take everything with a grain of salt. When you print shirts don’t print 1,000 because it’s cheaper per shirt. Print the minimum and see what sizes sell the best. Use your money wisely and test everything so you can make better decisions in the future.

4120Self Awareness

One key characteristic that is the hardest to develop is being self aware. Do you have fears that are holding you back? Are you holding on to tightly to an idea that doesn’t work? You have to be self aware on how these things are affecting your business.

Be a person not a business

Connect with people on a more person level. You can do this on facebook, twitter, through email, your blog. Be the person people want to buy from.

Get help

Limit what you do to only the things you’re great at. If you’re a great designer but don’t know web design get someone to help. If you’re a marketing genius and have no clue about design get a designer to help you with some shirt designs. Your company will be a lot stronger in the end.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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