Things To Consider for starting a Clothing Company

Two cheerful individuals wearing matching grey t-shirts with a Northwest Custom Apparel logo, standing in a workshop setting

You’re about to dive into the fashion world with your clothing company, and there’s plenty to consider. From honing your brand’s identity to crafting a savvy business plan, you’ve got your work cut out.

Understand your market, nail down logistics, and strategize your marketing. Don’t just dream—plan meticulously to turn that vision into a sartorial reality.

Ready to start? Here’s what you need to know to make your clothing company successful.

Defining Your Clothing Company Brand Identity

A plain navy blue polo shirt displayed on a white background.

Establishing your brand identity is crucial, as it’ll shape how customers perceive your clothing company. Think of your brand as a story you’re telling the world. What’s your narrative? Is it edgy and modern, or classic and timeless? Your logo, color scheme, and the designs of your clothing will speak volumes, so choose wisely.

You’ve got to consider your target audience. Who are they? What do they value? Your branding should resonate with them on a personal level.

Remember, consistency is key. It’s not just about slapping a logo on your website or tags; it’s about a cohesive image across all platforms. That means your social media, packaging, and even your customer service should all reflect your brand’s identity.

Nail this, and you’re on your way to making a memorable mark in the fashion industry.

Crafting a Clothing Company Business Plan

After defining your brand identity, you’ll need to create a solid business plan to map out your company’s financial future and goals. This document will serve as your roadmap, outlining your vision, target market, and competitive landscape.

It’s essential to include a detailed marketing strategy, considering both online and offline channels. Factor in the costs for high-quality materials and professional finishing if you’re aiming for a premium product line. Consider the quantity of your initial product run, balancing it with your budget constraints.

Include projections for revenues and expenses, along with strategies for pricing and distribution. Remember, a well-crafted business plan isn’t just a requirement for potential investors, but it’s also a crucial tool to guide your decision-making as your clothing company grows.


Understanding Your Market

Knowing your target audience is crucial as you dive into the competitive world of fashion and align your business plan to meet their needs. You’ve got to pinpoint who you’re designing for—whether it’s trendy teens or professional adults. Consider their lifestyles, spending habits, and fashion preferences. Do they value sustainability? Are they looking for luxury or affordability?

You’ll also need to keep an eye on the latest trends and how they might affect your market. Social media is your friend here; it’s where you’ll get a pulse on what’s hot. But remember, you’re not just following trends—you’re setting them. That’s why understanding your niche is so important. It’ll help you create a unique brand identity that speaks directly to your customers’ desires.

Establishing Supply Chain Logistics

Transitioning from understanding your market to orchestrating your supply chain logistics is essential as you’ll need to ensure your products reach your customers efficiently. Start by identifying reliable suppliers for materials and manufacturers for production. You’ll want to negotiate terms that balance quality, cost, and delivery times. Remember, your inventory levels should align with demand forecasts to prevent overstocking or stockouts.

Next, establish a distribution strategy that suits your business model. Whether you’re using third-party logistics (3PL) or handling it in-house, your objective is to minimize delays and shipping costs. Consider warehousing solutions that optimize storage and accessibility.

Lastly, implement a system for tracking and managing orders. This ensures you can monitor your supply chain, adjust as needed, and maintain customer satisfaction through timely deliveries.

Marketing and Sales Strategies for Your Clothing Company

As you streamline your supply chain, you’ll need to craft marketing and sales strategies that resonate with your target audience and boost your brand’s visibility. Consider your brand’s identity and how you want to communicate it to potential customers. Will you rely on social media buzz, influencer collaborations, or traditional advertising?

Determine which platforms your audience frequents and tailor your content accordingly. You’ll also need to decide on your initial product lineup. Keep your budget in mind, balancing quality with cost. Remember, professional-looking products often justify a higher price point.

Think about online advertising, such as Google Adwords, but don’t overlook the power of niche blogs and their affiliate programs. Lastly, print ads can be costly but impactful. Carefully select your channels to ensure a return on your investment.


You’re now equipped with the key considerations for launching your clothing company. Remember, your brand’s identity is the cornerstone, so let it shine in every aspect.

A solid business plan will guide you, but understanding your market is crucial for staying relevant.

Streamline your supply chain to keep your promises and craft marketing strategies that resonate with your audience.

It’s your vision, your brand, and your journey. Go make a statement and turn heads with your unique clothing line.

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Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.


Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.


Erik Mickelson


Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.



Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.


Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.



Taylar Hanson


Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Nika Lao


Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.


Bradley Wright


Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.


Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.


Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.


Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.


UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.



Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.


Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.


Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.


Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.



Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.


Jim Mickelson


Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.

Northwest Custom Apparel
Northwest Custom Apparel
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Janice Herron
Janice Herron
Love their amazing customer service! From ordering over the phone, through email, or in person at Northwest Custom Apparel, everyone is very helpful, and very nice! Always! We have been ordering our apparel for our local small business through them for many years! Thank you Thank you!
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Morgan Pero
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Randy Birch
Randy Birch
We us Northwest Custom Apparel for our work shirts and they are incredible. The staff is super friendly, the quality of workmanship is outstanding and they stand by the work they do. I love this place.
Heidi Christiansen
Heidi Christiansen
The company I work for has been buying custom apparel for the team members for years now. We love working with NW Custom Apparel because the process is easy, delivery is timely, and materials are high quality. Anytime I’ve ever had an issue, they’re quick to resolve it. We’ve purchased both embroidered items and DTG graphic tees. We’ve purchased blankets, shirts, jackets, hoodies, etc. Everything ends up looking super professional, and our team members always have positive things to say. Ally is always there at the warehouse with a smile and a friendly greeting when I pick up materials. She is so helpful and respectful. Taylar is a wonderful customer service rep. I’ve sent her some complicated orders—like 20 different items with all different colorways and styles or 150 items with three different styles—and she is so good at getting everything just right. I plan to continue purchasing from NW Custom for high-quality custom apparel.
Hoa DeBusk
Hoa DeBusk
Have used them for years. Knowledgeable team that is always so helpful in recommending options or creating designs. Great quality too for embroidery or digital prints. Very happy with them as a vendor.
Stacey Perez
Stacey Perez
We use Northwest Custom Apparel for all of our professional embroidery needs for the orthodontic office I work at. They do great work, are quick and have never missed a deadline. Highly recommend if you need any custom apparel needs.