Business owner and fashion designer Elizabeth Seghezzi started hand sewing in elementary school, but she didn’t get her first sewing machine until she was 20. She studied textile design at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She honed her design skills in the costume department at the Boston Ballet before starting her own startup clothing line, Elizabeth on Jones, in April 2016. The clothing line’s brick and mortar location is based in San Francisco, and Elizabeth on Jones is named for the street on which it’s located.
Elizabeth’s business model focuses on crafting dresses for young girls and Elizabeth on Jones dresses have impeccable detail, which is not usually found in children’s clothing. The clothing startup’s unique designs are made to last for generations. Ahead, Seghezzi shares advice for other fashion design hopefuls who dream about opening their own startup clothing companies in the future.
Tell Us About Your Clothing Line Startup
It is a girl swear fashion brand that is designed for ages two to ten years, offering limited-edition handmade collections that combine classic silhouettes with gorgeous, vibrant fabrics that come from all over the country. Each garment from the Elizabeth on Jones clothing line startup is designed and crafted to maintain relevance through time in both construction and style.
My inspiration comes from the mastery, focus, and dedication of European couturiers Cristóbal Balenciaga and Jeanne Lanvin. I try to mirror these traits in my fashion business and pride myself on my attention to detail. My goal is to make dresses that appeal both to little girls and their parents.
8 Tips for Opening Clothing Startups
1. Figure Out Which Marketing Approach is Right for Your Clothing Line Startup
Getting new business is one of my top three challenges. I’m always looking to grow and reach my latest sales goal. When I feel like I’ve hit a plateau reaching potential customers, it’s helpful to look back at previous growth while also planning my next approach. Lately, I’ve been working hard to figure out which digital marketing strategy is most effective in the fashion industry, specifically for startup clothing companies. There are so many approaches, which can be very overwhelming for clothing startups like mine.
2. Producing Quality Content is a Challenge, but It Makes a Major Impact
It’s a challenge to produce valuable, high-quality content on a regular basis. Instagram is my top priority when it comes to social media/digital marketing for my clothing line startup, but it’s time-consuming and meticulous. Not only do you need high-quality images, but your brand story is just as important. I’m proud of my account so far, but I’m not able to post as often as I’d like. My company’s Instagram is at instagram.com/elizabethonjones/.
3. Word of Mouth Still Brings the Best Leads
I get leads primarily from word of mouth. A good portion of my sales are either from repeat customers or new clients who were recommended by repeat customers. With a handmade clothing line startup, excellence in quality, customer service, and customer satisfaction are vital. Instagram and Pinterest are the top two ways clients learn about, are directed to, and purchase from my website.
4. Splurge on High-Quality Photos and Stellar Branding
If I had a $1 million marketing budget, I’d splurge on two things. First, on regular photo shoots with some of my favorite photographers. Photographs are how potential customers are initially introduced to my clothing line startup brand. My goal is to capture potential customer’s attention through these images and drive traffic to my website. I’d also put more money into branding the clothing business. I’d love to hire a graphic designer to create a new, stand-out logo and private labeling. From there, I would update shipping boxes, tissue paper, clothing tags, the lining fabric, etc. to display my logo.
I’d also invest more in marketing. I’d run consistent ads on Google, Instagram, and Pinterest. This would help me immensely in reaching a much larger audience.
5. Use Email Marketing to Ensure Leads Don’t Fall Through the Cracks
I use email marketing to nurture leads in my clothing line startup. I put together a simple email template that has proven to be incredibly useful—something with copy and images I can easily update and then send as a friendly reminder to everyone on my mailing list. I think it’s key to stay in customers’ minds. Telling clothing line startup stories with photographs works best.
6. Market, Market, Market Your Clothing Line Startup
It’s vital to get you clothing line startup’s name out there as much and as often as possible. And don’t get discouraged. I’d say that I’m able to turn two to six of every 100 leads into actual sales. That’s why it’s so important to make as many touchpoints with your potential customers as possible.
7. Learn from Your Mistakes and Keep Moving Forward
My biggest marketing mistake was doing magazine advertising. It’s very expensive but has yet to result in an increase in traffic or sales for my company. It’s so fun to see my designs in print, but digital marketing is much more affordable and effective.
8. Identify Your Target Audience and Put Your Effort Towards Them
If you’re thinking about developing your own clothing line startup, identify your ideal clients and figure out how to get in front of them! Find out which social media platforms they use, what they read, where they live, where they shop, etc. Once you’ve done this, your attention to detail and customer service will determine whether they’ll buy from you or not.
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