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How to Start a T-shirt Business


hey I’m Taryn from vegetaryn I make
funny and punny tees about eating your fruits and veggies I’m all about female
empowerment and I really want to be able to help other women start any type of
business one of the most commonly asked questions I get is how did I start my
t-shirt business so today we are going to give you a little bit behind the
scenes I kind of fell into starting my t-shirt business I was looking for
anything I could buy and sell on the internet that I could afford at the time
I was very broke just fresh out of college and I was just googling things I
could buy and sell and I realized I could afford t-shirts or a run of
t-shirts and see how that goes the first two t-shirts I printed 150
shirts it was lettuce eat plants and if looks
could kale I still sell those t-shirts today they’re some of my most popular
ones I found BELLA+CANVAS online I was looking for companies that had good
ethics no sweatshops that it was mostly made in LA or that I could easily get
from LA I found that because I really wanted a t-shirt that felt soft in your
hands and it was super cozy and comfy and I felt like a lot of the other
brands either were made in sweatshops or made in China or didn’t feel as soft in
your hand so for those reasons because they more or less Bella Canvas ethically
aligned with vegetarian and the messages that I was trying to promote I think
that’s why I chose Bella Canvas from the beginning and have stuck with them ever
since when I first started so let us see plants and if looks could kale there’s
graphics are not necessarily a design or an image along with it it’s just words on
a t-shirt those designs I really just mocked up on the computer I sent them to
my screen printer and I was like hey this is what I want on a t-shirt as I
grew I was able to work with graphic designers that were able to help me
enhance my shirts finding a good screen printer definitely can be tough cuz
there’s so many screen printers especially here in downtown LA when I
first started my uncle had recommended this company
that was out by my house in the valley and I think they kind of looked at me I
was like this little girl that was just starting out and didn’t really take me
seriously and they ended up ruining like about a batch of shirts at the beginning
which was huge for me because I didn’t really have a lot of money at the time
and I did some research and I found deluxe screen printing in downtown LA
and it’s a screen printing business run by women which I love and I feel like
the communication is better I feel like they have my back and they’ve also
really helped me learn about the screen printing business so that as I’ve grown
I now know the terminology behind screen printing or what discharge means or like
a flash print and all these little things that I had no idea the girls at
deluxe screen printing we’re so awesome and patient and helps me learn as we’ve
evolved you definitely want to do your research you might want to have some
samples made it’s probably best to have samples made before you go through
entire run of shirts so that you don’t end up like I did in the beginning with
a batch that you can’t really sell or do anything away you’re paying the screen
printers for service so you should feel comfortable enough to ask the questions
that are needed in order to create the best product possible for your line for
the first two years it really was just me I had some help from friends that
were super supportive but I’ve worked really hard in the last three years to
get to this point and when I first started all of my t-shirts the hundred
and fifty that I first ordered were in my car in boxes and that’s where they
lived so when I had to like pack orders I would just drive to the post office
and sit in the parking lot and literally pack orders in the parking lot at the
post office and ship them out after the first two years I had a realization that
I was actually running a business it wasn’t just a hobby that I needed to
have help in order to scale my company so I have one girl that helps me with
events in my Ambassador Program I have another girl that helps me with shipping
and handling and customer service and another girl that
helps me with brand deals graphic design and just operations of vegetaryn
Shopify has awesome templates for you to choose from and they make it super user
friendly and I I definitely like the aesthetic and design and how
user-friendly it is people starting out on social media I think it’s good to be
consistent really hone in on what your message is so that you can have like
clear set like themes as to what you’re saying and what you’re posting as my
company has grown so as my following so Instagram is my main platform but I also
post on Facebook and YouTube the first two and a half years of my company I
literally posted every single day I never missed a day mostly twice a day or
three times a day I still am pretty good at posting every single day but I’ve
found that on occasion I need to take a break and it’s usually very beneficial
when I take a break to come back and have like a fresh clear mind running a
business can be really time consuming and overwhelming at times find a message
or something you’re passionate about and make that a part of your career because
if you do that I believe you won’t really feel like you’re ever working
there’s a lot of hard work that goes into it but really if I can do it anyone
can do it

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