For those who are good at it, the shoe design business is extremely lucrative.
(article continues below)
It's a multi billion dollar industry that continues to grow every year. To be successful as a shoe designing company, you will need to have business smarts as well as a sound financial backing among other things.
Acquire Business Skills
The more you know about running a business, the better your chances for success with your shoe designing company. It's a good idea to take a quick business course at one of your local community campuses. If you're not able to do this, then read as many books as you can on business management and starting a business. The success of a design company has more to do with how good of a business person you are rather than how good of a designer you are.
Decide Shoe Type
Make a decision on the type of shoes you will design. Will it be a high fashion design line, a casual shoe line, athletic shoe line or will your shoes cater to a specific industry. The choices are plentiful when deciding what type of shoe line you will design. The key is to choose a style that you enjoy creating as well as one that you are capable of. The type of shoe you decide to create will determine how much money you'll need to get the company started.
Do Your Research
Research the market thoroughly in the type of shoe you are designing. In order to get investors to support you, you will need to know everything about running the business as well as designing your style of shoe. Use resources such as "Footwear News" and other shoe design magazines and newsletters to stay up to date on the latest design tricks and trends.
Create a Portfolio
Create a portfolio or "look book" of what your shoe line will look like. People will want to see this, especially investors. Your design portfolio should be creative and professional looking.
Finding investors for your company may be one of the most difficult aspects of getting your company off the ground but it can be done. A good idea is to focus your attention on investors who look to finance start up companies. With a sound business plan and adequate research of the industry, you should be able to convince an investor to take interest in your company.
Get A Manufacturer
Once you have the financial backing for your company, you can now shop around for a manufacturer. The most affordable ones are in China, although there are others in Portugal and Italy. Initially you'll need them to make you some samples. Negotiate a contract that you are comfortable with and never pay all monies up front.
After samples are made, it's time to start exposing your business to the public. Attend as many shoe trade shows and fashion shows as you can. These are the places where store owners and shoe dealers frequent in order to get products for their businesses. You want as many people as possible to see your shoes.
Starting a shoe design business will take dedication and hard work. If you have a passion for designing shoes, your journey will be well worth it. Remember to educate yourself on running a business as well as have a solid business plan. These two things will set you on the path to a successful shoe design company.