Before you quit your day job and spend all of your life's savings to start your own label, first ask yourself one thing, "Am I Ready To Start A T-shirt Brand?"
There are some guidelines you need to know and follow before you can answer that honestly. For starters, if your idea is to start a T-Shirt Label that is nothing but you own logo (especially a generic logo) then the answer is going to be a big fat "NO". Other than yourself, your parents, and perhaps your friends who else is really going to buy them? Is it impossible to be successful doing this... no but it is very unlikely. It would need to be something that really stands out from everything else on the market that looks good and has a relatable or powerful message behind it. Like the Life Is Good label does.
If you only have less than 20 designs in your portfolio, I would hold off on opening a shop. There is no point spending a lot of money for a real life brick and mortar business or an online T-shirt Shop if you only have a few designs to show. People like to browse and enjoy looking at graphic tees. Otherwise the shop would seem empty and incomplete.
Know your market. Who are you selling to? What Gender? What Age? Is it Pop Culture? Is it for the Wealthy or Working class? Do they like the idea? Do you know how to market to those people? If not do that research first. If you don't have a list of places that you can afford to advertise on that fits your targeted demographic then don't waste your time or money on starting a clothing line. This stuff is not easy. The competition is fierce, even for a Niche market. BE ORIGINAL.
Am I Ready To Start A T-shirt Brand?
Now depending on your answer and you must answer truthfully you will find out if your T-shirt Brand idea is good enough. If you feel that you are indeed ready to give it a go. You will need to get a LLC status ($900 dollars) to protect you if someone hurts themselves with your product (yes, even in the T-Shirt business), register your business name and logo and Trademarks ($1000+++), register your website domain name, Social Media names, alternate email addresses from Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, etc. Also be sure check out the information on EACH of these pages as well as many of the blog posts on this site.The cost of starting ShirtPunch was $10,000. That covered everything that was mentioned as well as branded packaging and lawyers to set up the legal stuff. Find out about their story at The Star.
I hope this advice helps you decide whether or not you are ready to start a T-Shirt Brand.