How To Start an Online T-shirt Business With Printify & Designious

How To Start an Online T-shirt Business With Printify & Designious 1

Why get into the T-shirt business now?

You might be asking yourself, why should I do this right now? Is there a better opportunity?

There might not be. The T-shirt business is absolutely booming as more and more business moves online. COVID-19 has accelerated the shift in spending from retail stores to online shops by an estimated two years. According to Statista, online sales as a percentage of total retail sales in 2019 were 14.1% and were supposed to reach 22% by 2023. It’s estimated that online sales in 2020 have already gone well past 22%, accelerating the trend to online sales by about two years and counting.

What better time to get your products online? With nearly everything online and available at your fingertips and online sales growing, how can you cash in on the trend? Buckle up, today we’re going to talk about starting your own T-shirt business with Designious and Printify.

Printify’s print on demand and T-shirt edge


Source: Printify

Printify is a company focused on delivering high-quality apparel via a print on demand business model. If you’ve been thinking about how to make some extra money online, but haven’t yet found quite the right method yet, print on demand might be for you.

Printify is a print on demand (POD) platform that connects print providers and shop owners or merchants. What is print on demand? It’s a business process that dropships products directly to customers from print providers:

  • The big advantage: Printify lets you leverage their platform to choose the print providers that you want to work with to ship products designed by you and sold in your store to your customers.
  • The best part: all products are drop shipped, and you don’t have to worry about producing or shipping them. There also isn’t a need to pay for anything upfront.

Printify also transparently ranks their providers for you to see. The provider’s average production time, seller ranking, and even their geographic location and price are all visible before working with them. Why is this important? In an age of lockdowns, you want the flexibility of being able to change providers or re-route orders to a working print provider. Disruptions in your supply or being locked into a single print provider could end up costing you a lot of sales and hassle.

Printify’s T-shirt lineup

How To Start an Online T-shirt Business With Printify & Designious 3

Source: Printify

Printify’s provider network will send T-shirts from your store directly to your customer. But what kind of T-shirts do they have? Let’s take a look at some of the bestselling tees from Printify.

Bella+Canvas 3001

The Bella+Canvas 3001 is a high-quality tee from a sustainable provider of tees and other apparel. The 3001 is a staple of the print on demand business, and it’s no wonder. Bella+Canvas uses its own ringspun cotton technique and long-staple cotton to deliver an ultra-soft tee. What’s more, because they use long staples, the ink from the printing process takes extremely well to the fibers, ensuring a much longer-lasting and higher quality design.

They also fit extremely well, with side seams that hug the body of the wearer, giving a tailored look that few tees have. They’re a bit pricier than other options, but if you’re looking for the highest quality tee, look no further.

Gildan 2000

The Gildan 2000 is a light fabric T-shirt that is also one of the most popular across Printify’s platform. Its mix of quality and price is excellent, and many shop owners use this to push out their designs on T-shirts that are competitively priced. This is a classic fit T-shirt, one that you’re probably used to wearing out and about and just throwing on for any number of occasions. It has a sewn-in label and runs a bit baggier than usual.

If your shop or brand caters to those that want a baggier look, this might be an affordable solution for them. It’s also 100% breathable cotton, making for a comfy shirt to wear to outdoor events or anywhere it might get a bit steamier.

Delta 11730

Delta offers a mix somewhere in between the Gildan 200 and the Bella+Canvas with its offering, the 11730. This is a lightweight, 100% cotton T-shirt without side seams. It runs true to size and is a closer fit than the Gildan 2000 but looser and less tailored than the Bella+Canvas 3001.

This is a solid T-shirt at a price point that most of your customers will like, delivering a good trade-off between price and quality. If you’re able to hit the sales sweet spot with a Delta 11730, then you might be well on your way to creating the type of income you’ve been wanting.

Designious & Printify: a perfect match

How To Start an Online T-shirt Business With Printify & Designious 5

Designious helps you source all kinds of beautiful, inspiring, and creative designs from all over the creative community. Access thousands of vector designs specifically for print on demand products, like the hundreds that are available from Printify. If you don’t have any creative inspiration or want to test out some other, high-quality designs before you plunge into the deep end of print on demand, Designious is the way to do it. Using Designious and Printify, you can design an entire clothing lineup of fabulous looking, high-quality apparel for your customers, all without designing anything or manufacturing any clothing!

How to make a T-shirt design business with Printify and Designious

The first thing you should do is get signed up for accounts on both Designious and Printify. Here are a few easy steps to think about before you get started

What’s your market?

Are you looking for a niche? Are you an influencer? Or are you starting an entire clothing lineup? These are important questions before you begin any print on demand business. If you’re just focusing on T-shirts, consider that most T-shirts sold in stores are brand names, so you’ll have to do something to stand out!

If you choose some designs or funny sayings for your T-shirts related to pets, gaming, or another niche topic, you can probably build a small but loyal audience without any kinds of advertising. If you’re going big, with a lot of different designs and potential buyers, then you’re also making it a little more challenging – and rewarding – to pursue. So choose wisely!

Where will you sell?

Are you going to have your own store, or are you going to use a platform like eBay, Etsy, or another to generate your sales? This question is important because it is all about traffic. Traffic turns into sales, so how will you get yours? If you’re an influencer with a sizable audience already, then you won’t have a problem selling on your own store. If you’re just starting out, selling on your own website might prove a bit difficult without an expert traffic and marketing strategy. Again, think carefully about this before you start to sell!

Only 3 steps to start your T-shirt business

1. Get your design

Choose your designs from Designious. When you’re looking, make sure it fits in with your overall brand, even if it’s just you as an influencer! Popular designs don’t have to be complex, but they have to speak to people and move them. Some influencers do quite well with just a simple word or catchphrase from their YouTube or Instagram channel. Other entrepreneurs use a theme, like pets or animals, so that people that come to their store know that’s what they’re likely to get, and the store becomes known for that type of product. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re likely to find it among the thousands of available designs on Designious.

2. Create your T-shirts

In your Printify account, you can create your products to sell. First, choose the type of T-shirt you’re looking for, maybe from among the T-shirts above or the many others available on Printify’s platform. Next, choose a print provider you’d like to work with for your designs. You can see provider rankings, price, and location before you choose. Once that’s done, you’ll be transported to the mockup generator.

The mockup generator allows you to take your designs and put them on the product you’ve selected. You can change the location or preview the look of the design before you complete it. Printify will also give you an idea if your design meets their standards, so keep an eye on their DPI calculator in the lower right. Too low of a DPI means that the design won’t be very eye-catching and potentially blurry. Once you’re satisfied, you can publish your design to your store.

Make sure you also order a sample! By ordering sample products, you make sure that the design you’re putting to the canvas of the T-shirt looks exactly how you want it to look!

3. Sell them in your store

Publish your designs to your store, and off you go! It’s that simple, Printify will handle the rest, from production to order fulfillment. You won’t be charged anything in advance, and your awesome looking T-shirts will be shipped directly to your customers once they’re sold.

Big print-on-demand opportunity

The opportunity for print on demand right now is like no other time in history. More and more people are moving online for a lot of their buying, and established consumer buying patterns are changing. As they change, you can benefit by inserting your store into the mix of new buying decisions. If you’re able to leverage Designious’s designs and Printify’s print-on-demand business process, you could be doing so in no time at all!