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How To Start Own Shoe Line

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How To Price Your Shoes

How To Start A Shoe Line For Free

One of the most challenging aspects to starting a shoe brand is determining how much to charge for your shoes.

When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.

Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as “cheap.” Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.

On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.

When customers buy, it’s likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they’re getting the best value + deal. This is why it’s so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.

Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:

Understand your customer

It’s important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they’re willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you’ll want to takeaway:

  • Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
  • Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
  • Level of price sensitivity with your customer

All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you’re attracting and how to price your product accordingly.

Get Fashion Design Training And Experience

If youre thinking of starting a shoe line, you probably already have an interest or some experience in fashion design. However, shoe design isnt a business to take lightly.

Its necessary to know what youre doing .

The best way to get training in the retail shoe industry is to attend a school that features a program in fashion design or retail.

Even better, you can find schools devoted to fashion design with a department that focuses on shoe design and development. Here are a few to consider:

You also should consider classes or a certification course in business and/or entrepreneurship. This will help you tremendously with the non-design aspects of your shoe line.

Work in the Retail Industry

Though helpful, degrees and certifications are not a requirement to start your shoe line. Theyre also not an indicator of your chances of success. However, its best to have experience in the retail industry.

Work in areas where you can gain an understanding of fashion buying and the things that drive consumers to purchase particular products .

This experience can also help you network with others who may become key allies in your quest to start your own shoe empire.

Choose Correct Machine In Purchasing Process

Choosing correct machine is necessary before you start shoe making.

1 Check machine model and usage.

Some machines look-alike in feature and also similar in usage, but it will not work if you buy a machine with the wrong model.

2 Machine dimension.

As the direct manufacturer of shoe machines, we suggest buyers calculate the machine dimension and the factory square. Efficient arrangement for machine setup will lead to convenient use and easy operation.

3 Technical parameters

Some parameters need to be adjusted according to different countries, areas or materials. This information needs notifying before purchase.

4 Spare parts and wearing parts

Make clear about the list of spare parts and wearing parts, and evaluate the lifetime of these parts, and it will save your time, also save your money.

5 Training

Make sure if there is any training about machine use and troubleshooting. Machine manual or video of installation & usage will help you much.

6 Support

Clarify if overseas support or online support will be provided. It is very IMPORTANT, it will cost you less time to resume production when meet problems.

7 On-time communication

Instant messages, Emails, phone calls, whatever with quick responses, will push the business quicker and further. Check with your supplier about communication experience!

Read Also: How To Win A Shoe Raffle

How To Start Your Own Shoe Line

This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 29,269 times.Learn more…

If you have creative ideas about footwear, you may consider starting your own shoe line. Though undertaking such a large project can be daunting, breaking it down into smaller pieces will help you get organized and realize your dreams. By starting your business, hiring the right team, and creating your brand, you can achieve your entrepreneurial goals in the shoe industry.

Developing A Business Strategy

How to Start My Own Shoe Line From Scratch
  • 1Save enough money for an initial investment. Take stock of your finances to understand how much you can devote to your dream. You will need an initial sum of money to cover starting an inventory, producing the shoes, and paying a small staff. While there is no technical minimum, experts recommend a starting sum of around $200,000 USD.XResearch source
  • Some successful shoe designers, such as CeCe Chin, have started with less. Chin started her business with $35,000 USD.XResearch source
  • This money will help cover expenses not directly related to shoe design, too, such as transportation and travel costs to meet with collaborators.
  • While itâs best to have this money in hand, you can also take out a loan to secure enough money for an initial investment.
  • 2Narrow down your target market. After learning more about the shoe industry, narrow the focus of your prospective shoe line. Decide who your customers are and how much money they will be spending on your shoes. Think about what need isnât being met by the current market that your shoe line will address.XResearch source
  • If youâre feeling overwhelmed, ask a couple of friends what they look for in shoes and how much money they would be willing to spend. You can use their feedback to refine who you think your target audience will be.
  • Use the price point your target market prefers to begin thinking about shoe materials that make sense.
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    Get The Necessary Legal Documents You Need To Operate

    The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentation. If you do, it wont be too long before the long arm of the law catches up with you.

    These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own sneaker line company in the United States of America

    • Certificate of Incorporation
    • Apostille

    Necessary Equipments Needed To Start A Shoe Making Business

    i. Scissors of different sizes : Needed to cut materials basically the Nora.

    ii. Knives: For cutting hard leathers.

    iii. Filling machine: Just as the name implies, for filling and smoothing of leather surfaces. You can also use it for finishing.

    iv. Sandpaper: A sandpaper is fixed to the filling machine during shoe production Its needed because before you glue two leather surfaces, theres need to make the surface rough. Though a wire brush can also be used.

    v. Sewing machine: Used for sewing leather together. Also used for designs.

    vi. Thread and needle: For sewing where or places the machine cant sew and can also be to create designs.

    vii. Shoe former: Used to create the tip of shoes and left there permanently.

    viii. Punches: For creating cavity for pins, hooks, rings etc

    ix. Shoe model: Usually or sometimes called pattern. Its in form or in shape of human foot. It is of different sizes, around which the shoe is made. Its in wooden or plastic form.

    • Other materials or equipment needed are gums, tape and ruler , nails, hammer, shoe sole etc.

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    Moving forward

    Before you start a shoe business, there are a few things you should ponder on or give a deep thought to the following

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    How To Start Your Own Shoe Company


    Shoes hold a major fashion and practical purpose. If you are interested in shoes and have an entrepreneurial spirit, you might be interested in learning how to start your own shoe company. There are several aspects, from licensing to advertising, you need to take into consideration with a shoe company startup. Below are some things to consider when opening up your own retail shoe store.

    The Solution That Nobody Needed

    Why I Started my Own Shoe Line?

    It is common for people who start a shoe company to overcomplicate their designs. They automatically assume that adding technology to a shoe will make it more useful. If the shoes currently available to buy arent providing the solution to a problem, then adding an extra widget will do that, right? Not necessarily.

    Shoes are built the way they are for a reason. A foot is a complex structure comprising 26 bones and other complex engineering. Shoes are designed for rigidity where we need it, flexibility where our feet flex, and an ability to stay on as our feet move and distort. The problem with some shoes currently available is that they havent been made with love and pride. Why am I getting emotional here? Just try on a pair of beautifully made Italian shoes and you will see the difference.

    So before you start applying for a patent for your clever new shoe technology, consider whether going back to basics would help you create the solution your customers need.

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    Hiring The Right Team

  • 1Find a shoe designer. Locate an experienced shoe designer who can get your design ideas down on paper. Look for someone you get along with who has experience in the fashion industry. The right person may also know other industry professionals who can join your team.XResearch source
  • If youâll be designing the shoes yourself, you already have this person! If youâll be hiring a shoe designer, make sure you have a complete idea of your lineâs look so you can communicate it clearly.
  • Online freelance marketplaces, such as PeoplePerHour.com or UpWork.com, have profiles of available designers with digital portfolios you can view.
  • 2Hire a graphic designer. Look for a designer with experience developing patterns for shoes. Your graphic designer will help you develop an online presence and create templates for your manufacturer.XResearch source
  • Graphic designers can be located on freelance marketplaces online.
  • 3Find a manufacturer that works with new businesses. Browse online supplier directories to read profiles of different manufacturers that suit the needs of your business. Some manufacturers only work with large or established clients while others specialize in those starting out.XResearch source
  • Online supplier directories based in the U.S include: ThomasNet, Makers Row, MFG, and Kompass.
  • Online supplier directories based elsewhere around the world include: Oberlo, Alibaba, AliExpress, IndiaMART, and Bambify.
  • Register Your Shoe Line

    Establishing a business entity is crucial when starting a shoe line. It would be best if you established a corporation or LLC. By doing so, you protect yourself against any liability in case someone sues your company. Youll have to pay a small fee for registration.

    Since a shoe line is a business like any other, you also have to register for federal and state taxes. Your shoe line will be taxed depending on the business structure you select.

    Additionally, you need to obtain the necessary licenses and permits. If you dont, you will end up paying hefty fines or even losing your business altogether. Before starting a shoe line, research the permits and licenses you will need.

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    Open A Business Bank And Credit Account

    To protect your assets, you need to open a separate business bank and credit account. In case someone sues your company, you wont risk losing your assets.

    You should also make a point of building your business credit. This way, you can easily finance your business when the need arises. Note that business credit accounts offer higher credit and great interest rates.

    International Private Label Shoe Company Summaries

    How to Start a Shoe Line

    Donianna SH.P.K. is the largest leather shoe manufacturer in Albania. Founded in 1992, Donianna provides private label shoes in the regional and international markets with approximately 800 new styles each season to choose from.

    Firma Conhpol Henryk Konopka has a large footwear product selection for private labeling but also offers longterm contracts the possibility of designing and creating their own pilot shoe line at their design studio in Poland.

    Jovan – Indústria De Calçado, Unipessoal, LDA is a family business designing, creating, and exporting handmade shoes for men, women, and children from their factory in Portugal.

    Florence Luxury Leather SRL, with 20 years of experience in the women’s footwear sector, this company’s luxury leather product list includes boots, loafers, brogues, high heels, and formal athletic shoes.

    Italian Shoe Factory manufactures private label shoes, working with the client from the design consultation, prototyping and sampling, to logo stamping and packaging, and offers small batch production with no minimum order requirements.

    Spanish Footwear Agencies SL sources private label footwear production from global factories for brands and retailers, connecting clients with designers and product development teams.

    Valtershoes, Unipessoal, LDA makes handmade men’s and women’s footwear in Portugal, offering design services, shoe development, large production runs, and shoe branding.

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    Create Your Shoe Tech Pack And Designs

    Footwear manufacturing differs significantly from other types of garment manufacturing, as it often requires more complexity and time to produce. With a wide variety of fabrics and materials being involved in the manufacturing process, its important to be very descriptive when creating your tech pack and illustrating designs.

    Ask yourself about the specifics of the fabrics and materials you are considering:

    • How comfortable should the soles be? Is it made for daily wear, formal attire, or athleisure?
    • What about stretchiness, durability, and weight of the fabric?
    • Will there be buckles, laces, or any other embellishments inside or outside?

    Here are some quick factors to think about when selecting footwear materials:

    Be specific regarding your shoe materials in your tech pack and sending in your design illustrations to your manufacturer. The footwear industry is one of the most creative, so make sure that all your ideas are being conveyed in your prototype, which is also helpful for your manufacturer to have. If you need guidance in selecting materials, reach out to your manufacturer.

    Licensing Your Shoe Store

    Make sure to choose a business name that identifies it as your shoe store. As long as it is not your personal name, you will need to register the name of your business with your local county clerks office. You will also need to apply for a Federal Business Tax ID for tax purposes. Also, check with your local city to make sure you are following all the proper local ordinances for your store location in order to obtain your business license.

    Lastly, in addition to the previously mentioned business license and the addition of a store front, if you are looking to sell licensed shoes such as Nike or Adidas, you will need to fill out the proper applications on their website. If accepted, you can then sell their shoes.

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    Step : Register For Taxes

    You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

    In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It’s really easy and free!

    You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.

    Learn how to get an EIN in our What is an EIN guide or find your existing EIN using our EIN lookup guide.

    Small Business Taxes

    Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation .

    You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:

    There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

    How And When To Build A Team

    How to Become a Shoe Designer, Start Your Own Shoe Line : Developing a Business Strategy

    A shoe line owner will likely want to start on their own or with the help of one or two mentors. Once sales are strong, consider adding associate designers to broaden your line and attract more customers.

    Next Steps

    Check out our How to Start a Business page.

    Sign up at the Business Center to access useful tools for your business.

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    Make Sure You Get The Package Design Right

    The way you package your shoe brand is often the first impression your customer has – so it’s important to get it right.

    You may want to ask yourself these questions:

    If my product is on a shelf next to hundreds of other similar products:

    • Will my shoe brand stand out?
    • Will the branding/packaging create a connection with my customer, and hence, lead them to buy?

    There are hundreds of tools you can use to help with packaging and design:

    • Canva – Allows non-designers to create beautiful Instagram/Pinterest posts, flyers, business cards, etc.
    • Stickermule – High quality custom stickers you can include on or in your packaging.
    • Noissue – Custom tissue paper and compostable mailers
    • Rollo Label Printer – A great tool to print all shipping labels at home

    Sheets & Giggles explains the motive behind their “Premium Unboxing Experience”

    I had a particular vision for our packaging centered around one goal: because we were a DTC company and wouldnt do physical retail in year 1, we needed to focus entirely on an incredible unboxing experience that made the product feel as premium as possible.

    Outside: a white box, nice wax coating, logo front and center with no other copy, easy to open, nice and sturdy.

    Inside: make people smile from the get-go, have a social call-to-action, include free extra surprises , put funny copy all over the place, and add a donation bag that people could use to donate their now-defunct cotton sheets .

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