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What are the first steps to starting a swimwear line?

I'm a designer of my own swimwear brand. I don't know what I should do to kick off my ideas... Where do I find a manufacturer to do custom designs and should I prepare a business plan?

Please help. Thanks.

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Anonymous User

Firstly congratulations for having a fab idea, there are lots of steps, making a business plan is one of them and included in that needs to be, who are your customers and your target market, whats already out there in your area and beyond, what kind of prices are they selling at and what start up costs do you have. The second step is to decide whether you can sketch the designs yourself or need a manufacturer to do that as well as make the designs, do you want to choose the fabric yourself or want the manufacturer to source the fabric. Depending on what option you choose, this will of course affect the price you are charged. The cheaper option is to sketch the designs yourself and choose the material, the manufacturer will then make the garments. They would make some samples first for you to test.

All off this needs to be priced up depending on what material you plan to use and how much per piece its going to cost to make, the larger the order, the cheaper you can make one item and that will affect how competitive you can be in the market, if you are making just a few items at a time, these will be priced higher and make you less competitive. When choosing a manufacturer, always ask the right questions, how long have they been in business, can you have the names of some of their customers, what is the league time on delivering the products. One problem you may have with some manufacturers is that they will tend to put you at the bottom of the pile in favour of more regular customers and until you are repeat ordering, you goods may be delayed so its important to get in writing delivery dates and hold them to this.

The next step wu;ld be marketing and getting your products out there, hope I've helped a bit and not confused you.


Hi Nilu,

You start off with a COMPREHENSIVE business plan, this is the foundation of your business, it would determine the course of your business and how well it fairs.

Next on you move on to market research, without this, you won't be reaching your desired customers or making substantial sales.

Then you move to competitor research, look at what they are failing at and anchor your business on that.


Creating a business plan
This is an essential ingredient for the success of someone’s entrepreneurial venture. a business plan is not just some document that is used to pitch investors an idea, but it is really a document for oneself that can be tweaked and modified as your business evolves.
Researching your target market and the industry.
research deeply and look for industry numbers (sales figures, industry figures, hard data), speak to store buyers, interview trade show managers and walk as many trade shows as you can
Shopping for a manufacturer/sample maker
Designing Your Swimwear
The first step to professionally designing your swimwear ideas is to use illustration software to sketch your swimsuits. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, hire a professional artist – ideally one with technical garment experience
Manufacturing the Swimwear Yourself
One way to run your business is to manufacture the swimwear yourself. This gives you greater control over the final design and quality, but it ups the initial investment.
Marketing Your Swimsuits
Develop a website for your swimsuit line to use as your main marketing technique.

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