Startup t-shirt companies are oversaturated

Building a T-Shirt Business: The 6 most important questions answered

You have a lot of ideas. A portfolio of cool designs. And in your head you're already the owner of a multimillion dollar fashion company. But in reality it can be difficult to get started. Where do you start? What are the dos and don'ts? And how can I set up my own t-shirt business?

Don't worry - we've answered the 6 most important questions and listed the ultimate tips for designing and selling t-shirts. Because Contrado also started out small.

1. How do I start my t-shirt business?

We would like to answer this question briefly and concisely - but then we would have to leave out a few important things. So without further ado, let's start. Before we start, one more tip: Note that you don't have to choose just one business model! You can sell your clothes online and offline at the same time.


With an offline company, you take the traditional route. Be it with a classic shop or a market stall at handicrafts, Christmas or flea markets: in order to be able to set up a t-shirt business, it is important that your customers know exactly where you are and when. Also, make sure you have enough goods on hand in all available sizes to meet demand.

A classic offline business offers limited options, but there are also pluses. For example, you will only have a limited reach and have to rely on local markets or events. A plus point, however, is the personal aspect: Your customers can get to know you and will associate your face with your brand. These personal relationships can secure permanent customers for you in the future as well.


You can also build up a t-shirt business online these days. Compared to the traditional offline method, however, you don't sell your items through a market stall or in a store, but rather through a website. Advertising is also important in an online business to attract potential customers to your website.
With enough advertising, individual branding, a smoothly running website and enough goods, you can easily run your t-shirt business from home.

With a website, your reach is also not limited: if you want, you can send your articles around the world. However, since potential customers cannot view your goods on site before they place the order, it is important that you describe and photograph your T-shirts precisely.


Dropshipping is similar to the online model in the sense that customers place their order through your website. In this sense, you are also responsible for the marketing and branding of your online shop. In contrast to classic online business, however, you are not responsible for handling the goods. The dropshipping partner you have selected prints the shirts you have designed and sends them directly to the customer.

This not only gives you access to a greater range of potential customers, but above all less financial burdens associated with buying the goods in advance. Decisions such as the number of individual sizes and whether you should keep your T-shirts in the kitchen, guest room or garage are a thing of the past with dropshipping. The choice of suppliers and weekly trips to the post office also come to an end with drophsipping. This is how you can build a t-shirt business that focuses on the most important of all: your own cool designs.

2. Can I make money from an online business?

This all depends on your collection, to be honest. If your products and designs are similar to those of other sellers and are also sold at a higher price, then it is unlikely that you will make a lot of money.

Apart from that, the market and demand for unique t-shirts is just huge. From stylish graphics to specific fandoms to funny sayings, we all love cool shirts to express ourselves with. So if you have the right designs, you can build a t-shirt business that you can really earn money with.

3. Is a t-shirt business profitable?

Again, the answer is subjective as it all depends on the designs you offer. In addition to your designs, your business model also plays a role. If you have paid for your items in advance and perhaps also have to pay for storage, it will take longer for your business to pay off. With the dropshipping model, on the other hand, you don't have to worry about these costs and can see a profit faster. With your own business, there are also overheads such as rent and electricity to consider before deciding whether your business is profitable.

If you want to build a t-shirt business, it is important to have a plan - then all of the business models listed here can be lucrative. Don't just upload a couple of designs to your website and twiddle your thumbs. This happens far too often, especially with the dropshipping method. Find out about trends, marketing methods, and search engine optimization to set yourself apart from the crowd.

4. What do I need to know to sell t-shirts for my own brand?

The answer is simple and at the same time super important: your target group. T-shirts with planets and falling stars are all well and good, but if your target audience prefers floral designs, you won't get very far.

Before you can build your t-shirt business, it is important that you research not only the designs, but also the color palettes and styles of your t-shirts. Which motifs are particularly popular with your target group? Do your logo, your brand and your color concept match? After all, you want your customers to instantly associate your t-shirts with your brand.

5. What is the best resolution for printing on T-shirts?

It all depends on where you have your t-shirts printed. In general, however, we recommend a resolution of 300 dpi. With a high resolution like this, you can zoom in and out on your subjects without sacrificing quality.

150 dpi is suitable for most subjects, but the result is less sharp and can be less large. Some companies can print designs as low as 72 dpi - this depends on the size of the garment, the image and the colors used.

6. How do I put my logo on my t-shirts?

A selection of different methods is available to you here. It all depends on your taste. We have listed the most popular options for you:

Logo on the breast pocket

If you want to place your logo on the chest area or on a chest pocket, you should know how big it should be compared to the rest of the t-shirt. The Contrado Design program is equipped with helpful rulers on the sides so that you can determine the size precisely. Upload your logo and set the size and position in just a few clicks.

Logo as the main motif

Another possibility is to place the logo as the main motif on the T-shirt. High-contrast, colorful and unique motifs are best suited here. First, make sure that the resolution of your logo is high enough to have it printed at the size you want. As mentioned above, a resolution of 300 dpi is best. In the Contrado design program you will find a practical button with which you can automatically place your logo in the middle.

Logo on the label

A logo on the label is the perfect choice if you want to associate the shirt with your brand, but don't want the logo to play the main role. Most of our T-shirts come with a practical "Design your own label" button. Click this button to be able to design the label as well. Printed labels give your designs not only an individual, but also a professional touch.

Design and sell t-shirts

Building a t-shirt business is easy with these tips. Do you have a plan, know your target group and want to design and sell your own t-shirts? Then apply for a Contrado wholesale account to save with great volume discounts. If you already own a Shopify store, click on the following banner to sell your designs with Contrado as a dropshipping partner.