JUKI Small Business Seminar: Choosing Your Business Name

Choosing the right brand name can be the stepping stone to a successful business. A brand name that is memorable and catchy can give you an advantage when it’s time to market your business. When potential customers hear your brand name, you want them to remember you and think about your small business, setting you up for long-term success.

When you’re starting your business, we know how hectic it can be to think of a name on top of what you’re selling, who, and how. So follow along as we show you some tips and tricks to choosing your business name that will help you stand out from your competitors.

Best Shop Name Generators

Sometimes we need a little help or inspiration picking our company name. While it may feel like all the excellent store names have been taken, there are still many options out there!

Using a name generator is helpful for two reasons. First, it can help you come up with your business on the spot and create the perfect representation you need. Or two, it will give you ideas that you can later on work with and make your name. Below are some generators you can visit to help you create your business name.

How to choose the perfect shop name

As a small business having the correct name is crucial to your success in the e-commerce world. Having the right name can bring attention and new shoppers to your site and showcase your individuality to customers. Remember, choosing the right name will lead to success in branding and awareness on search engine sites. Below are some tips to keep in mind when choosing your name:

  • Creating a short and simple name is the right choice for a few reasons. For example, you’ll have less mispronunciation from customers, it will fit in your marketing campaigns, whether it’s physical business cards or social media posts, and it’s memorable.
  • Finding the right name can be challenging, especially with companies popping up daily. However, don’t let this discourage you! It’s a big world with many niches in the market and finding the right name for your business and niche only pushes you to be creative.

If you’re having trouble creating a name, follow the steps below.

  1. Keep it Short and Simple.

Combine different words that relate to your industry, and keep them short. Try to aim for words that rhyme or that alternate.

Tweak an existing word or create one of your own! Many companies like Skype and Häagen-Dazs began as gibberish and are now household names. Don’t be afraid to be different and have fun when creating.

Be personal. Create a company name that relates to you on a meaningful field like an old nickname, family pet name, or other nicknames that resonate with you. These quirky names can be the perfect title for your business and create that personal touch many customers love.

2. Dare to be Different

Research your competitors and see what popular names are out there in your industry or niche. Then, be different and avoid familiar rhymes, gimmicks, or phrases. This way, when it’s time for someone to look up a company in your niche, your individuality will show. Do the same when thinking of your slogan or mascot if you choose to have one, as each difference will help you stand out even more.

3. Is it Available?

Keep in mind to research your ideas before sticking to one. By heading to your favorite search engine and researching your company name ideas, you can see what companies out there might have the domain already attached to their business, pushing you to either tweak yours or choose another from your list. You want your domain to represent your brand and make an excellent first impression.

If you’re choosing to sell on an online shop platform like Amazon or Etsy, review what shop names are out there already. This will help you succeed by confirming that your name is not lost in the pool of shop hosts and also help you edit your shop name to avoid confusing future customers between your shop and others.

4. Finding your Inspiration

If you’re having trouble finding a name so far, think of themes that you can focus on for your business and work from there. Trends, nostalgia, fandoms, and even other languages can be inspiration when thinking of your shop name.

Think of what’s around you in day-to-day life that can be used as a catalyst for your creativity! Follow along with conversations, pay attention to your day-to-day sayings and jokes, your hobbies. All these things can give inspiration if you look close enough, helping you personalize your shop and create a name that represents your brand and yourself.

Why the Name Matters

Finding the right name for your brand goes beyond just putting a few words together. While this might seem like a difficult task at first, it can also be an enlightening and fun experience describing yourself and your company in a few or even one word. Put the time and effort into this as you would everything else in your shop, for a shop is only as strong as its name! Your name is how customers recognize you, so make sure it’s a name you are proud of. Remember that word of mouth is free, and you don’t want to miss out on that.

What advice would you give to those deciding on their company name? Let us know down below!

How to Start Your Clothing Brand

In a generation where fashion has no limits, fashion brands and designs have continued to change, evolve and return over the past decade. Whether it’s fast fashion, one of a kind, or small shop drops, there is no limit to the options available for your closet. Even in this era of fashion where we can choose styles from all over the world, there is always room for new fashion and trends to grow, and that’s where you come in! If you’ve been dreaming of starting your clothing brand and apparel shop, follow along as we go over ways you can start planning your new business today. From figuring out your market to budgeting, we go over the things you should know before jumping into this journey.

Start With a Plan

Before beginning any business, it’s best to start with a plan. The fashion industry is more than the pieces being sold, but understanding its steps to sell those pieces. There are multiple options for creating apparel: Direct-To-Garment based apparel, Embroidery apparel, Ready-Made Apparel, Custom Apparel, and so much more. The world of fashion is not one skill set or technique but is filled with endless options on how to create.

Once you have an idea of the products you plan to create, you can build your business plan. Your business plan should include ideas for your brand and products, budgeting and sale goals, marketing ideas, and more. The more details and work put into your plan, the better chance you’ll have when it comes to the time to open your shop and sales.

If you’re looking for more information on how to create a budget plan and calculate profit visit our post here to begin creating your own today.

Who’s Your Market?

Let’s begin by thinking of who will wear your fashion pieces! By identifying your target audience and what they’re looking for when they want to shop apparel, you’ll be able to locate your niche and find your customer base. The better you understand your audience base, the better you’ll be at marketing your products to them.

The top two things to keep in mind when studying your audience is:

Demographics: age, gender, income, marital status, geographic location, etc.

When you understand your audience’s demographics, you’ll have a higher chance of completing a sale. For example, if you market your product to women in their early twenties, you’ll have a higher chance of gaining a sale on Instagram and Tiktok than marketing on Facebook. Likewise, by knowing your audience, you can find the correct places to push your products and not spend energy on a site that focuses on an older audience like Facebook, whose average users are in their mid-40s and higher.

Psychographics: hobbies, interests, lifestyle traits, and what problems do they have in life that your product can solve.

Knowing the psychographics of your audience is where you’ll be able to create the right products. Here is where you can learn what fabric to use (is your audience athletic and need breathable material?), what interests they have (can you design graphic tees for fan bases?), and more. With every detail you learn about your audience, you’ll be able to create products that are better suited for their wants and create a solid returning customer base.

Once you better understand your niche audience, you can begin creating a solid marketing plan. If you’re having trouble making your marketing plan, follow along here as we show you step by step how to begin yours today.

Focus On Your Brand

Now that we know what you’re going to sell and who you’re going to sell to let’s start talking about building your brand. Branding goes past your business name and logo and dives into what your values are, what your mission is, and more.

Create brand guidelines and a storyline for your products that customers resonate with and want to follow. Focusing on platforms like your website, social media pages, email marketing program, and more will build that relationship between buyers and your shop. The best way to bring your brand to life in today’s age is through marketing on social media!

The key to building your brand is being consistent in your message, constantly posting and promoting your brand and products, and making sure what you put out into the world defines your brand correctly. If you’re unsure what to post, look into examples like behind-the-scenes videos, how-to’s, fashion inspo using your pieces, and more for ideas. Have fun and be creative when it’s time to get your brand out there!

Let’s Start Development

Now that we have an idea for your brand let’s begin designing and developing your clothing line.

  1. Keep your Sketchbook on You

Any artist will tell you that inspiration hits anywhere and any time. So be prepared for when you want to design a new piece by keeping a sketchpad on you or using your phone as a digital sketchbook with apps like ProCreate, Adobe Designs, and Adobe Illustrator.

2. Create Samples

Start creating sample pieces of what you want to make for your shop. Whether you’ll be doing buy-to-make or pre-made pieces, having sample work is perfect for modeling on social media and understanding material costs for re-production.

3. Have Your Beginning Set

When you first open up shop, it’s best to not overwhelm yourself with product varieties. Instead, find your top 3-5 products you want to create and go from there as you begin building your audience base and receiving orders. Once you create more demand for your brand, you can start testing out new designs and growing your product options.

Now that we’re in the development phase make sure you have your station ready! Start by deciding what fabrics you’ll be using in your apparel shop, what style you’ll create, and what machinery and notions you’ll need to get there.

For example, if you want to open an apparel shop that focuses on couture dress-making, you would look into a machine like the MO-654DE that offers built-in rolled hemming and the HZL-DX7 which offers presser feet options like the button attaching presser foot, invisible zipper foot and more. Your fabric choices could be options like silk, tulle, satin, and more. 

By knowing what you plan to create, you’ll be able to have the right machinery, accessories, and notions on hand when it’s time to begin producing.

Start Setting Up Shop

Whether you’re setting up shop online or in person, having an online face is a great way to promote your business and gain new customers. Online shops allow you to reach new audiences! Below are some things to keep in mind when setting up shop.

Clothing Images: Take photos of your clothing that truly presents its colors, fabric textures, and closures. These photos don’t need to be professional if you’re working on a small budget; just have a simple lighting kit, a good camera and learn some tricks on taking professional fashion DIY shots.

Pricing, Shipping, and Handling: Make sure to have a plan in place for how you’ll be pricing your products. From shipping to taxes, you’ll need to make sure you price your products correctly to pay for your bills, time, workspace, etc. Learn your target audience’s price point and what they’re willing to pay for your product. Then, keep an eye on competitor pricing to confirm you’re in the suitable price range.

Website Design: Don’t forget to add your brand’s personality to your site! Set up your Social media, include graphics of your work, add an ‘About Me page, use your brand theme colors, bring in customers and build relationships.

Put Your Marketing Plan into Action

You’re now ready to begin implementing if you’ve created your marketing plan from our earlier steps! Start by setting up your shops’ profiles and deciding how you’ll be advertising. Organic advertising, meaning you do not pay and use search engine optimization like hashtags and tags, is a perfect way to start when you’re on a low budget. If you’re marketing budget includes spending for advertisements, begin setting up your ads by using the information you have on your niche. Focus on your top media sites for higher chances of receiving a sale.

Don’t forget the power of word of mouth, and research your options in ambassador marketing. By offering free items, or negotiating payments, you can bring in influencers from your target audience and work with them to promote your brands and products.

Let’s Launch!

Launching your first clothing brand doesn’t happen quickly or easily. It will take time and dedication, but you’ll create your brand soon with the proper steps! After that, you can begin selling in numerous ways, from your social media accounts to in-person artisan markets and pop-up shops. Then, finally, it’s time to get your product out there.

Now that you have an idea of where to start when it comes to opening your apparel shop and starting your brand, we hope to see your brands’ names soon! What kind of apparel would you create if you were to open your apparel shop?

JUKI Small Business Seminar: Have You Found Your Niche?

Join us every last Saturday of the month for JUKI’s small business seminars designed to help you start or grow your at-home sewing, quilting, embroidery, or direct-to-garment business.

When it comes to owning your own small business, finding your niche is one of the first goals you should focus on. While you can have all the supplies in the world, and top equipment, not knowing your niche will leave you lost. Take the time to consider who you’re selling to and what kind of designs and work you’ll need to do to hit that audience base

Sometimes finding your niche can be coincidental. If you create a t-shirt for your daughter’s dance friends, and everyone loves it, you might find yourself attending dance recitals with moms and supporters wearing your shirts. Think of finding your niche as an upside pyramid. The top is wide and covers everything on earth, it’s up to you to trickle down and see what’s at the point for your market.

Who are you marketing to?

The best way to start your small business is by planning who you’re going to sell to! Having a target audience or niche will help you build ideas for designs or connections to go after that will grow your shop. Below are some examples of audiences you could market towards.

Hobby and Niche Markets

Are you obsessed with comics, cars, and more? Many groups of people enjoy having products that are different and creative, and allow them to show support for their favorite things in fun ways! Think of what groups you resonate with that you could create custom shirts for.

Car Hobby: If you find yourself having fun puns or art ideas for cars, those in the car community would enjoy having new products like t-shirts they could wear to car shows to show off their personality!

Punny Jokes: Something so many people enjoy are good puns and jokes. Creating material with fun graphics, or even quotes is a great way for people to show off who they are. Think of fun socks, printed t-shirts, or canvas bags with fun quotes.

Pop Culture References: With media constantly expanding and growing, you’re always likely to stumble upon a TV show, movie, or band that has a following. Create things in your style that fans would enjoy wearing as a form of pride and excitement in their likes.

Events and Show Markets

In a world where there is always something going on, events and shows always need some merchandise and freebies!

Charity Events: Charity events are always circulating. Many times these events include team t-shirts to set apart company teams, or for individuals who are volunteering! Connect with your local charities and see who needs a partner for event merchandise. These events are not only a great way to get your business out there, but they will allow others to see the quality of your work and bring in new connections for future events. 

Trade Shows: If you’re located in an area where tradeshows are common, look into exhibiting at these events! Many times teams will set up their shops on-site and sell their goods and creations while customers are attending. You can also look into what tradeshows are happening near you and create custom products to sell beforehand.

Sports Events: does your town have a kickball league? Look into what leagues are in your area for options on creating merchandise for their teams! Many companies, schools, and friends have their own sports leagues that require team t-shirts, tote bags, hats, and more.

Create Your Brand

For those who have a mind filled with artwork and fun style, look into creating your brand! These projects may seem big, but you get to choose how you create and sell. Many small businesses are known for having their select few designs that they focus on. We recommend starting with 3-5 designs you want to place on merchandise and going from there when creating your brand.

Once you’ve picked your niche deep dive into what’s popular in the community. Whether it be characters, quotes, styles, or more; these tips will help you create your shop and build up a profitable business. The more you know your audience, the more likely you are to create pieces that others find special and worth buying. Small niche consumers pay more as well because of the low product options available for them to choose from.

Whether you choose to market to corporate, or to your local community, finding your niche is the essence of creating a profitable and successful company. Don’t be afraid to join niches that seem popular, the same reason people go to Walmart instead of Target can be the same reason someone goes to you instead of another seller. Begin with categorizing people so that the game plan is more concrete. Research their demographics, interests, jobs, etc. Once you reach the point where it’s too narrow, go up a level until you find your sweet spot. Try to find a niche where there are enough people to market to, and then go for it!

5 Things You Create On Your Direct-To-Garment Printer

Focusing on direct to garment (DTG) printing can be the beginning of a successful business venture! With this technology, you can now print quality images and graphics onto garments and have the ability to customize designs, fonts, and more. Using a machine like the RICOH Ri 100, you’re now able to create the highest print quality for the lowest cost per print. If you’re looking into starting up a business or upgrading your current one, DTG printing is the ideal choice. Let’s deep dive into some options you can create on your DTG machine today!

Custom Made, Personalized Apparel on Demand

A highly competitive market that’s constantly growing due to high demands is custom-made apparel. With the ability to print-on-demand small production volumes cost-effectively while quickly following market trends, you’re able to create your brand easily. These items don’t need to stop at custom t-shirts but polo’s, socks, aprons, tapestries, and more. There is a wide range of options for what you can create.

Memory Quilts

Are you thinking about creating or expanding your quilting business? An exciting venture is creating your unique fabric pieces for memory quilting. With the RICOH Ri 100 software, you can import photos of loved ones, graphics of their interests, and more to create a unique, personalized quilt.  In addition, you can provide fabric printing services to other quilters that want to create their very own memory quilt or are looking to make a quilt with their fabric design. DTG printers, like the RICOH Ri 100, use a wide range of colors, going as far as being able to print a photo taken in real-time with a webcam.

Fashion Textile Printing

DTG printers, like the RICOH Ri 100, use a wide range of colors, going as far as being able to print a photo taken in real-time with a webcam. With access to these unlimited colors, designers can make their fashion trends by creating prints for their projects. This can be a great niche to enter if you enjoy clothing construction and add more personalization to your projects. In addition, you can create on-demand accessories that users will love by printing limited edition fabric and using these on your projects. Some additions you can focus on are tote bags, socks, beach bags, and more!

Home Décor

We all enjoy decorating our home, and a fun way to do this is using personalized home textile! Using your DTG printer, you can create pieces like holiday-themed table runners for the dining room, tea towels with funny phrases for the kitchen, and monogrammed pillowcases for the bedroom. The possibilities are endless! You can also develop themes that transfer over different products, inviting shoppers to buy sets instead of one product.

Event Products

Marketing products are popular items to personalize and create for other small businesses, sports teams, school events, and more. You can also design pieces for birthdays, weddings, and other events that involve goodies being handed out. Follow your niche’s needs and open your business to personalized projects instead of creating designs or products. You can also offer up your services and attend events for onsite printing. Using a machine like the RICOH Ri 100, you’re able to take a photo and instantly print it onto a garment, creating a fun giveaway item for special events and shows.

Additionally, if you’re attending conventions or sporting events, you can take the RICOH Ri 100 on the go due to its compact nature! It can fit into a space as small as 15.7″ wide x 27.5″ deep, making it one of the smallest DTG printers. In addition, the printer and its finisher can be stacked to maximize functionality without sacrificing space.

With so many possibilities for creative products, the world of DTG is an exciting venture for many to enter. Creating personalized and commissioned pieces is also a perfect option for those who aren’t art savvy but enjoy creating otherwise. If you’re interested in starting your own DTG business, continue reading for tips on how to begin! What would you create on your DTG machine? Let us know down below!

Celebrate Festival Season with JUKI!

With the summer sun finally here, it’s time to start celebrating! This year’s festival season is kicking back up, and we wanted to share fashion ideas for your looks. With festival trends coming and going, here are some great options for you to recreate.

Face masks

While festival season comes back with a bang amidst Covid, it’s always fun to be fashionably safe! If you’re planning to wear a face mask, we recommend looking into nylon and spandex fabric. These materials are waterproof and come in a variety of exciting colors, perfect for hot outdoor days. Cotton is also a great choice and allows you more creativity in the designs. On top of a protective mask, you can wear an additional mask to accent any outfit. The additional mask can be made with beautiful fabrics featuring intricate designs like lace or flashy designs with sequins or beads! Adding accessories to your mask is easy when you use our beading presser footer. Personalize your mask to represent you!

Upcycled Looks

With quarantine bringing new life into the sewing world, expect to see people with new pieces they’ve handcrafted! It’s a great experience when you find something old and upcycle it into a new fashion statement. Grab old pieces you enjoy and a sewing machine like the HZL-80HP-A that helps you create fashion that goes together beautifully. We recommend ideas like patchwork, upcycling dresses into a two-piece set, or turning plain t-shirts into funky outfits!

Small Mini Bags and Fanny Packs

Attend your next one with a comfortable mini purse or fanny pack that holds your essentials. Create them using intricate fabrics, faux fabrics, or add on embellishments to really wow! Creating beautiful bags is easy using a heavy-duty machine like our TL-2010Q. This sewing machine comes with accessories like our zipper attaching foot. We recommend fanny packs, tactical pouches, or cross-over slings when deciding to make a bag!

Bucket Hat

Bucket hats have made a comeback! Perfect for keeping shade while making a cute fashion statement, look into accessorizing with a bucket hat. Personalize by adding fun designs and embroidery using our Tajima Sai! Look into canvas or denim fabrics for the pieces on the inside for a sturdier feeling and clean look. A fun idea is to get your friends together and make matching ones!

Whether you’re going into festival season with the most outlandish outfits or a more toned back look, choose creativity and show up with your very own unique look!