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When Should I Start Making Products for The Season?

Has the title been a question that you’ve had on your mind as you stock the products for your textile business? You’re not alone, and it’s certainly a very important question that nearly every business has to grapple with. In general, the summer months for production tend to be more stagnant, and the fall and winter months pick back up when the holiday shopping season comes in. 


When it comes to the textile industry, the timeline for making products is a little bit more fluid. A good degree of the fluidity depends on the specific textiles that artists are producing. It can be a little complicated rolling out new products, determining the best time to start selling them, when you should have it on-hand, and when you ought to start marketing it. We’ve broken it down in this article, so you can save time and energy to focus on the main thing–designing your products!


The Textile Timeline 

We said before that the textile timeline is pretty variable, which is due to the variety of products. Some textiles are evergreen, like T-shirts and tapestries, and can be sold all year-round. You may need to roll out new designs and change up the patterns for new seasons, but people in general will be buying tapestries and shirts year-round. 


Other textiles are more cyclical, such as blankets or heavier garments like jackets and sweaters. Naturally, people will not be buying these in summer, so if they’re in stock, you might need to sell them at a discount in order to move them. The same goes for designs reflecting the seasons–textiles featuring snowflakes, autumn leaves, bright floral patterns, and nautical designs won’t sell well if it’s not the relevant season. 


When Should You Start With the Designs?

You should plan your designs several months in advance, at least two quarters or six months in advance. This largely depends on how long your cadence of creation takes; some artists can pump out dozens of catchy designs in just a week, while others might take their time developing one or two solid designs. This is the part that you can control, so know yourself well and be honest with how much time you’ll need. 


We also recommend starting two quarters in advance because your supplier may need time to process and create them. This is something you’ll get a better feel for as you work with the manufacturer. If they’ve been pretty punctual, or your designs are relatively simple, you can expect the merchandise to get to you reasonably quickly. If they’re more complicated designs, an entirely new line of products, or you’ve been stiffed by them in the past (in which case, you should probably get a new supplier!), be sure to give yourself ample time. Ideally, you should aim to have the products on-hand a month before planning to sell them. 


Selling and Marketing Timeline


You can start marketing and teasing the products the second you start developing them, as long as you’re certain you’ll have them completed and ready to go. Customers will lose trust and get upset if you start drumming up interest, only to have the designs not make it to the market. But as long as you have the products on hand, go ahead and start marketing them to your heart’s content. Post on social media, start offering first-comer discounts, and more to up the hype, as long as your merchandise will be ready. 


This is one of the advantages of having a business model where you sell on demand. You won’t need to worry about buying in bulk, and because you’re only selling on demand, you can be certain that your products will sell and not sit around. If you buy in bulk, there’s always the chance you may not sell the whole lot; you might be forced to write off or mark down excess merchandise. Selling on demand can give you the power to sometimes raise prices if demand picks up, but you’ll never be forced to worry about overstock. 


Conclusion


We hope this article was even just a little bit helpful for you. We know that most artists are creators first, and businesspeople second. Navigating them business world and choosing when you ought to start making your products for the next season, and deciding how to sell them, can be a pretty tricky affair. We hope that this gives you a little guidance, so that way you can get back to doing what you love and do best–inspiring the world with your eye-catching designs! 


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