For as long as I can remember the t-shirt has been a staple item of every wardrobe.  It is the capsule item that has been accepted by both men and women.  Entrepreneurs and artists are fans too as they can turn this blank canvas into anything they like.  In fact lots of entrepreneurs see setting up their own t-shirt company for the online market a fantastic option; it is relatively cheap and fun.

There is no doubt however due to the popularity of t-shirt companies you will be faced with a few competitors.  Fear not, if you have designs people will fall in love with and a brand many will cherish you will have a flourishing business in no time.

In this guide we will cover the steps need to start your own online t-shirt business and the key attributes for success.

So let’s get started…

Setup is as easy as 1-2-3

Welcoming news for many but it is true launching a new t-shirt company can be quick to do and relatively cheap.  If you have already sketched out your ideas setting up your business in as little as a few hours is a realistic target.  With the array of apps at your disposal that integrate with the Shopify App store you can even connect your shopify account to a printer within minutes.  Your store will then be fully functioning and ready to print designs and ship them to your eagerly awaiting customers.

How much work is involved?

Admittedly there is a lot of hard work to be done.  Nowadays there are plenty of tools on the market to aid the design, print and shipping element, easing the work needed to market your brand.  As previously mentioned competition is stiff in this market so you need to have unique selling points which bring your brand to the forefront of your customer’s minds.  Combined with tight margins building a successful t-shirt company may see hard at first glance.

It is important that you make the right decisions from the offset.

Success:  How do you achieve it?

There are several aspects that will need to be considered closely in order to be successful in the t-shirt industry.


A word that gets thrown around a lot but it is even more important in the t-shirt sector.  As mentioned a few times now the biggest factor that will turn an OK t-shirt company into a successful one is its ability to stand above its competitors and the best way to do this is to target a specific niche.

If you are considering the t-shirt with a funny slogan market you unfortunately need to think again.  Yes it’s a great concept but too broad.  A more specific niche would be a funny t-shirt that relates to bikers.  Being this specific is vital in targeting the right market without blowing your marketing budget.


As you are already aware in the majority of cases, people are looking for a graphical t-shirt that represents their view, their options and their personality.  It is not a good idea to have a design in your catalogue that can be found elsewhere either.  Your t-shirt designs do not need to be complex, in fact some of the best selling t-shirts are very simple.  The most important aspect is they connect with your target audience.