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How To Start A Hoodie Business in 2023: A Complete Guide

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Are you tired of wearing boring, uninspired hoodies that make you feel like a fashion victim? 

Why not take matters into your own hands and start your own online hoodie business? 

With the right attitude and a little bit of guidance, you too can become a hoodie tycoon and rule the world of cozy fashion. 

With the rise of e-commerce and the convenience of online shopping, starting an online hoodie business is a no-brainer. You can reach customers from all over the world, and with the right marketing strategy and a little bit of creativity, you'll have people lining up to get their hands on your hoodies in no time. 

So sit back, grab your favorite hoodie, and let's dive into this guide on how to start your own online hoodie empire.


Why Should You Sell Custom Hoodies?

custom hoodie

Source: Threadcurve

Starting a custom hoodie business is a smart market choice for entrepreneurs. 

Firstly, online businesses have lower overhead costs compared to brick-and-mortar stores, which means you can save money on rent, utilities, and labor. All you need is an initial upfront cost of $1000-$1500 to get started. This amount will ensure you a comfortable runaway for around 1-1.5 years keeping in mind you are doing average sales month-on-month.

Secondly, the demand for comfortable and stylish sweaters has increased significantly over the years, making hoodies a popular choice among customers of all ages. Trade shows the global hoodie and pullover market is expanding at 4.3% year-on-year and is expected to reach $28.69 billion by 2023.

Moreover, custom hoodies are a niche of their own, especially in a generation that loves greater personalization. Personalized hoodies are a part of the $1790 million market that is growing on the back of merchandise and custom demands of users.

These custom sweatshirts also serve as promotional tools for your own brand and marketing partners, helping you to enter a $16 billion market. Brand-specific hoodie merch with a peculiar design element is your chance to stand out as a custom hoodie maker. With the help of social media and other online sales and marketing platforms like HubSpot, GA, and Shopify, it's easier than ever to build a loyal customer base and reach a wider audience. 

Need one more reason to sell custom hoodies? By starting an online business, you have the freedom to work from anywhere and at any time, giving you more control over your schedule and work-life balance. 

On top of it, custom embroidered hoodies have greater profit margins than their other counterparts. With an input cost of $10-$15, your profits could go up as high as $30-$40 per piece, when all your operations are sorted and in place. Even if you only sell 100 hoodies at volume discounts, you will make a profit of roughly $3000.

All in all, starting an online hoodie business is a great way to tap into a growing market while enjoying the flexibility and benefits of online entrepreneurship.

Choosing The Right Business Model for Your Hoodie Business

When it comes to starting customized hoodies, there are a few business models to choose from. It's like choosing which hoodie to wear on a chilly day - do you go for a customizable fit, a hassle-free experience, or the tailored approach? 

Each model has its own unique advantages, so let's explore which one is the perfect fit for your hoodie dreams.

hoodie business

Source: Pexels

Print-on-demand model

The print-on-demand model allows you to create unique and personalized products without the need for inventory. In this model, you can either have in-house printing or outsource it. 

Only once a customer places an order on your website is the design printed onto the hoodie and shipped to the customer. This means you don't have to hold any inventory or worry about the costs of storage!

When it comes to print-on-demand, it is hard to miss the strides ShineOn has achieved. The company started with selling in-house print-on-demand materials, and later converted into a B2B store to help other Shopify merchants in outsourcing their POD products, and selling it on the platform. 

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The dropshipping model is similar to print-on-demand but is a more flexible and low-risk option for your garment business, allowing you to focus on creating a wide range of designs and styles without holding inventory.

Here's how it works: first, you partner with a supplier or manufacturer who has a wide selection of hoodie designs and styles. You then create a website or online store to showcase these designs and make them available for purchase. When a customer places an order on your website, the manufacturer ships the hoodie directly to the customer. This means you don't have to worry about inventory management, production costs, or shipping, as your supplier handles all of that for you! 

Doba offers business owners access to dropshipping suppliers, with chance to use, and inspire from different products on their catalog. They have a customizable inventory, with integrations across 100+ carts, leading to better product experience for end-users. 

White label manufacturing

This model involves finding a manufacturer who can produce hoodies with your branding and labels, and the hoodies use either the manufacturer's pre-existing designs or your own desired specifications. Once the designs are finalized, the manufacturer produces the hoodies and ships them directly to you. This means you can offer unique and high-quality products to your customers without having to invest in production equipment or expertise, building your brand identity with minimal effort. 

Costco’s house brand- Kirkland signature is a famous white label manufacturer. Kirkland sources its products from a third-party trusted manufacturer with a contract agreement, and does additional quality checks. With its branding, and private labeling, Costco sells the products wholesale at heavy discounts to outsmart competitors. 

Making your own hoodies

make your own hoodie

Source: Burst

This is a traditional approach to starting a clothing business and can work well for entrepreneurs who have a clear vision for their hoodie designs and want complete control over the production process. It involves creating your hoodie designs and then working with a manufacturer or having in-house production facilities to produce a batch of hoodies in advance. You'll need to invest in the fabric, equipment, and labor costs upfront, which can be expensive and riskier, but also gives you complete control over the design, quality, and production process. 

A 5-Point Guide to Starting Your Hoodie Business

Starting an online hoodie store is easier than you think, and with a bit of creativity and hustle, you can create a thriving business that will have customers lining up for your hoodies. Here's a step-by-step guide that will make you a hoodie tycoon in no time:

Creating an online store

It's time to get your hoodie empire up and running, and that means creating an online store that's as cozy and inviting as your hoodies. Choose a platform like Shopify or WooCommerce, and get to work customizing your store, choosing themes, and making it look as stylish as your hoodies.

online store

Source: Pexels

Picking your business model

The world of hoodie entrepreneurship is vast and varied, with four business models to choose from. Whether you're into dropshipping, white-label manufacturing, print-on-demand, or making your own clothing, select the model that best fits your preferences and budget.

Choose a brand name that resonates with the audience and your purpose

A good hoodie store needs a great name, and that means something that's catchy, memorable, and embodies your brand's personality. Think outside the box and let your creativity flow - just make sure your potential customers can find you without having to consult a spelling bee champion.

Use PageFly Name Generator to get a brand name up and running. All you have to do is enter the inputs that you want in your brand name, and let PageFly do the rest!

Figure out logistics

No hoodie store can survive without the right operations, payment, and supply chain systems in place. That means figuring out how to manage inventory, shipping, and returns, setting up payment gateways, and finding reliable suppliers who can keep you stocked with fresh hoodies.

Make your store faster!
TinyIMG offers effortless, affordable Shopify optimization with powerful automation and leading image features for enhanced store growth.

Smart marketing

Marketing is a make it or break it part of your store. No matter how interesting, or appealing your final product is, if your marketing isn't right, then your hoodies might not reach or get retained by the right user. Put your best hood forward with smart marketing tactics. Use various marketing tactics to promote your store and attract customers.

You can use search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your website's visibility on search engines, use social media advertising, and email marketing campaigns to reach your target audience.

marketing tools used by US small business owners

Get the list of the best marketing tools for your small business here

Bonus Tip: Influencer marketing and product giveaways

Influencer marketing is like giving your hoodies to the popular kids at school. Reach out to influencers in your niche and offer them free hoodies in exchange for promoting your brand to their followers. You can also run product giveaways on social media platforms to attract new customers and build brand awareness. Spread the hoodie love! 

Popular Online Hoodie Stores

Are you still feeling a bit stuck in your hoodie business venture? Well, fear not! Sometimes, all you need is a little inspiration to get those creative juices flowing. Luckily for you, there are plenty of popular hoodie stores out there to draw ideas from!

Hoodie Lab

Hoodie Lab products

Source: Hoodie Lab

Hoodie Lab is a brand that is known for its handmade hoodies, which feature unique and original designs created by artists from all over the world. The brand offers a platform where artists can upload their designs and customers can pick the ones they like best, creating a collaborative community of creators and fans.

In addition to its creative and collaborative approach, Hoodie Lab is also committed to sustainability and ethical production. Their inks are biodegradable, which means that they have a lower impact on the environment compared to traditional inks.

Furthermore, their hoodies are vegan-friendly, which means that no animal products are used in their production.


DaMENSCH products

Source: DaMENSCH

One of the standout features of Damensch hoodies is their minimalist and high-quality design. These hoodies are made from premium materials and are sustainably sourced ensuring they are comfortable, durable, and long-lasting wear to the audience.

Damensch's focus on quality is evident in the attention to detail in their designs, which feature clean lines and simple yet elegant details.

Their men's hoodies have a minimalist aesthetic, which gives them a timeless and versatile look. These hoodies are designed to be worn with a range of outfits and styles, making them a versatile wardrobe staple for any fashion-conscious man. 

Crazy Monk

Crazy Monk products

Source: Crazy Monk

The crazy Monk sweatshirt is the most comfortable pick among all others. They know how to cater to the specific needs of their niche audience. By offering hoodies with embroidery and designs inspired by trendy online cultures, such as anime and geek, it has created a dedicated fanbase that keeps coming back for more.

The brand's unique designs add a touch of creativity and exclusivity to its products, making them stand out from the rest. It's clear that Crazy Monk has mastered the art of satisfying a particular market while also keeping their designs fresh and exciting.

The Hoodie Store

The Hoodie Store products

Source: The Hoodie Store

The Hoodie Store specifically caters to an online market and creates unique and innovative designs that appeal to this demographic, such as hoodies with popular cultural references or unique prints. This allows them to stand out in a crowded market and attract customers who are looking for something different.

In addition to selling hoodies for humans, The Hoodie Store also offers a range of hoodies for dogs. These hoodies are made from the same high-quality materials as their human counterparts, ensuring that dogs stay warm and comfortable while looking stylish.

The Hoodie Store's dog hoodies are available in a variety of sizes and colors, making it easy for pet owners to find the perfect fit for their furry friends.

PS: Their women segment is one of the best in the market. Use the design ideas to customize your next hoodie.

Cotton Citizen

Cotton Citizen products

Source: Cotton Citizen

Cotton Citizen is a brand that's proud of its L.A. roots, and it shows in its designs. They've managed to capture the laid-back yet fashionable vibe of the city in their hoodies, making them a go-to for fashion-conscious Angelenos.

But it's not just their aesthetic that's impressive - they also have complete control over the design and production of their hoodies, ensuring that every detail is perfect.

And let's not forget their commitment to sustainability - by using recycled materials in their production process, they're doing their part to reduce their environmental impact.

Challenges in Building Your Hoodie Business 

Hoodie business is an investment-heavy business, at least initially, with high entry barriers, especially for small business owners that are just getting started. 

Here are common challenges store owners might face if they are venturing into hoodie business: 

Creating a differentiation

Finding your USP becomes difficult in the fashion industry, especially when you are selling a niche product. Hoodies are a trendy product, yet most manufacturers fail to create hoodies that stand out or match their target audience niche.

For example, almost every new hoodie business popping up is creating anime hoodies and solid sweaters. How will you be able to stand out? Our hack- bring uniquely designed colors; use peach, and sea green instead of just reds’ and blues.

If you are using an anime or movies merch print, research the top 10 quotes in anime/movies/series, and get them printed on your customized hoodies. 

Sustainable fashion

Going green has become a prerequisite to survive in the hoodie business- that’s what your ideal customer wants. However, using sustainable, and recycled products add a lot of expenses to already burdened inventory.

The best way is to find a balance initially, rather than sticking to current happenings, try to source both normal, and recycled material as inputs, and once your brand is up and running, with repeat customers, and enough traction, GO GREEN! 

Finding trusted manufacturers 

Getting good manufacturers with a good track-record can be your biggest hurdle in starting a hoodie business from scratch. Handling the design production is a full-time responsibility, and finding someone with adequate experience, and who understands your needs, demands, and ambitions can be a challenge of a lifetime.

Moreover, handling the production yourself means higher capital investment, and less time spent on sales and marketing- a risk not all shop owners can afford. 

5 Do’s and Don'ts for Your Hoodie Business

do and don't Source: Burst

The Do's for your sweatshirt store

  • DO invest in a high-quality website that showcases your unique style and brand. Your website is the face of your business, and it needs to be able to handle high traffic and showcase your products in a visually appealing way.
  • Focus on building your social media presence to reach potential customers. Social media is a powerful marketing tool, so make sure you're using it to your advantage.
  • Offer a variety of hoodie styles and sizes to cater to a wider range of customers. Everyone likes a good hoodie, so make sure you have something for everyone.
  • Do offer high-quality products at reasonable prices. Customers are willing to pay more for quality, but you don't want to price yourself out of the market.
  • Do listen to your customers and adjust your business strategy accordingly. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so make sure you're giving them what they want.

The Don'ts of your store

  • DON'T skimp on quality. Cheap materials and poor workmanship will quickly turn customers away.
  • Don't ignore customer complaints. Addressing and resolving customer issues is key to building a loyal customer base.
  • Do not plagiarize or steal designs from other brands or artists. It's not professional or ethical, moreover, it can also lead to legal trouble.
  • Stop neglecting marketing and advertising. No matter how great your hoodies are, if people don't know about them, they won't buy them.
  • Do not be afraid to take risks and try new things. Starting a business is all about taking calculated risks and being willing to pivot when something isn't working.

Parting Note

In conclusion, starting an online hoodie business can be a lucrative and exciting venture for those with a passion for fashion and a love for comfort.

Just remember to stay true to your unique style, offer high-quality products, and never underestimate the power of a good hoodie - it just might be the key to your success.

So, what are you waiting for? Let's hoodie up and get this business started!

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