Have you ever thought about opening your own personal clothing brand?
I have. At least several times in my life I thought about creating a store where I can sell the stuff I really want. I often didn’t find what I really wanted in stores in terms of jeans and t-shirts, that’s why I dreamed of creating my own store where I can sell the clothes I wanted.
One day I actually remember sitting down and thinking about all the things I will need to actually create the desired brand: I had to learn how to design clothes; I had to rent a place to keep all the clothes; I probably had to hire someone or convince my mom to go to the post office everytime I had new orders; I had to pre-order a particular amount of t-shirts so I can have enough of every size. But the biggest objective was this: To raise X amount of money in order to start or to take a loan from the bank. Thankfully, I didn’t bury myself into debt.
Thanks to WordPress and a company called Printful, you can now start your own t-shirt store without having to rob the bank or hire a staff of 10 people to help you.
Here is what you will learn in this detailed guide:
- What is Printful?
- What do you need to create a t-shirt store with Printful?
- Getting started with your own clothing brand.
- Installing WordPress Theme and WooCommerce.
- Setting up Printful.
- Connecting your WordPress with Printful.
- Creating your first designs.
- Bonus tip.
I’m super excited to walk you through the steps of setting your own t-shirt store today. Ok, let’s go with the first step:
What is Printful?
To answer this question best, I will use the example they are giving on their about us page:
- Print: Printful is a company that prints designs created by you on clothes and other products.
- Ful: The “ful” part stands for fulfillment. Once the desired product is successfully produced, the company also takes care of the shipping of the product to your client.
This happens on demand. Once someone on your website purchases a t-shirt, or whatever on your site/store, the order is directed to the Printful database and it’s produced in a couple of hours time. Then, the guys from this printing company send the order to your customer.
In this whole process, you have 0 involvement. After the initial setup of your store, you don’t have to do anything besides collecting the profit of your t-shirts.
I will also include the video on their website to get even a better idea of how the whole process works:
Ok, I believe you got the idea of how simple the whole process is. It’s like having your own printing agency in your garage but without all the stress and complications.
Our part of the whole process is to setup a website and make a connection between our store and Printful.
That’s what I’m going to show you next:
What do you need to create a t-shirt store with Printful?
Obviously, you will need a WordPress site to have a fully operational store. To do so, you need a couple of things:
- Domain name: Consider the domain name as the brand of your new store. You can get a domain for around $15.
- Hosting: Hosting is the place where your website will be built. Imagine this like renting a piece of land and building a physical structure. In our case, however, we will rent a virtual space on a machine that’s connected to the internet and we’ll build our store from the ground up. I will personally suggest going with SiteGround for the domain and the hosting.
- Install WordPress: WordPress is the software we’ll need to set up our store and submit products. It’s a super simple to use this content management system for creating websites. WordPress is powering more than 28% of the websites around the world.
- WordPress theme: You need a theme to style your store. There are plenty of options and your choice should be influenced by the things you’re selling and also the impression you want your visitors to get. I will personally suggest using Total or Jupiter themes. Also, a great theme that is free is Storefront.
- WordPress plugins: You can’t go without plugins. Plugins extended the functionality of your WordPress website. You can check some of my plugin recommendations by going to my resource page.
- Connect to Printful: Once your site is created you need to connect it to Printful. That’s easier than it sounds.
Bonus Tip: You also need traffic otherwise no one will order your products. Read my guides about gaining more organic traffic: SEO for beginners; 10 Practical SEO Techniques. A bit more about this below.
Getting started with your own clothing brand
If you don’t already have a WordPress website setup, I’m about to show you how to create one from scratch in less than 5 minutes.
I’ll start at the very beginning. We’ll first need a hosting and a domain name:
Getting Hosting and Domain
There are a lot of hosting companies out there but the best in the business are SiteGround. They are hosting more than 1 million websites and have above 99% user satisfaction rate. So, don’t spend time researching, I’ve made the research for you.
To get hosting and domain, go to their website > Hosting > Choose a plan:
I will personally suggest starting with the GrowBig package for an online store. This package comes with the needed resources for a store.
The next step is choose a domain name for your store:
Finally, you need to add your personal details: name, email, phone, payment details, etc:
Pay to complete the order.
Ok, once you have a hosting account, we need to install WordPress.
Thankfully, the folks from SiteGround simplified this process for us.
Access your account and go to My Accounts > Go to cPanel:
Once you’re inside, navigate to the Autoinstallers > WordPress:
This will open a quick installation wizard. Hit install to open the details:
Choose where to install the WordPress. Leave “In Directory” field empty once you choose your domain name. Next, add user, pass, and email address:
I will also suggest installing the plugin Limit Login Attempts. This will add an additional layer of security to your website. Hit install once you’re done with the configuration.
The process will take only a couple of minutes and you will see this screen at the end:
From here you can access your admin panel and start making changes.
Installing WordPress Theme
Once we’re ready with the installation of WordPress, we will want a theme that is suitable for an online store.
I will go with Storefront in this example.
Access your WordPress admin page by typing yourdomain.com/wp-admin. Of course, change yourdomain.com with your actual domain name.
Once you’re inside, go to Appearance > Themes > Go to add a new theme > Search for Storefront > Click install:
Once you activate the theme you will see that the theme will prompt you to install WooCommerce:
As mentioned, the theme Storefront will ask you to install the WooCommerce plugin.
Simply click install and activate here:
Once the plugin is activated, it will load a new setup wizard that will help you add the initial details for your store:
You can choose your country and prefered currency.
Decide what will be the payment method to receive payments.
The cost for shipping. You can change that later.
I will recommend installing the plugins shown above.
One more thing before we continue, you need to enable the Rest API on your WooCommerce. To do so, go to WooCommerce tab > Settings > Advanced > Legacy API > Enable:
Save the changes once you’re done. Printful won’t work properly if the above is not active.
Creating Account with Printful – Setting up Printful
The next thing we need to do is to create an account with Printful.
Go to their website and click on Sign Up:
Add name, email, pass and agree:
You will receive a confirmation email on the previously added email address. Click confirm:
The last will lead you to this page:
Click the button above to start your store:
Click create a store above and the next is Choose platform:
Select this option:
The next step is to make the connection between the two platforms:
Connecting your WordPress with Printful
We need to install one more plugin to make the connection between WordPress and Printful – the Printful plugin. Go to Plugins and find Printful plugin:
Once you install it you will see this:
Click on connect:
Than click to approve:
Continue with the account we just created. Yes, the process involves a lot of clicking as I mentioned in the beginning 🙂
Creating your first designs
We’re near the finish line.
The next thing we’re going to do is to create our first t-shirt design using Printful setup process.
Click on Design products once you’re inside your Printful account:
You will see your store connected and active and a couple of options. Click Add to create your first product:
The next screen will load a variety of available products to design. I will select men’s clothing:
I will go with t-shirts:
I will select one of the available t-shirt design:
Once you’re inside the t-shirt your selected you will see below the available colors for this particular t-shirt:
On the top there are a couple of options for design: Upload; Add text; Add clipart:
I will upload an image of a text I’ve created using Illustrator by simply uploading:
Find the file from your computer and click the Upload button.
This pop-up will appear. It’s like agreeing to terms and services bit for the image:
Once the pic is uploaded simply select the file:
It will appear directly over your t-shirt:
You can resize and adjust the file:
Keep in mind that you will need a larger file if you’re planning to stretch the image too much.
Once you’re ready with the front of your t-shirt you can also add design on the sleeves and also on the back:
I will add this simple text on the left sleeve.
Click proceed to mockup to continue with the process once you’re ready with the design itself:
The next screen will basically allow you to add cover image to your WooCommerce store. Select which styles of your t-shirts to appear on your site and proceed.
Next, add a description. As you will see, there is already added sample text, which you can change. Also, decide if you want to add size guide. I will personally recommend adding this to your store.
Next is pricing.
The page here is separated into 3 sections:
- Printful price: The price for manufacturing the product.
- The retail price: The price your visitors will pay.
- The profit: How much you will earn.
Once you’re satisfied with the profit of each shirt continue. Check the box “Publish on my site” and also choose category:
Make sure your items are synced. Now, you can preview the t-shirt by clicking on the buttons:
This is your final product on your site 🙂 Amazing, right? In less than 10 minutes you have a product that people can buy.
If you scroll a bit down you will see that the description and the size guide are also added:
If you add this to your cart your will see that everything is functioning:
There is only one more thing you need to setup before you start taking orders.
You need to set your payment with Printful.
Go to store essentials and click on set up billing methods:
Add your credit card or PayPal account:
Now, once someone purchases a product and the guys from Printful are ready with the item itself, they will bill this payment method. You don’t have to worry about anything. Just make sure the payment method you’re adding is valid.
Bonus Tip: Traffic
As I mentioned in the beginning of this detailed guide about creating your own t-shirt store with WordPress, you will also need traffic to your site. Otherwise, you only wasted your time.
Promoting your website is something you need to regularly do. The best way to gain more traffic is to write awesome content and find people to link to that content.
Hopefully, there are tons of articles about this. I actually recently published the following two guides that will help you get higher in the search results:
I’m sure you will find them useful.
Nowadays everything is possible.
As you can see from the steps above, you can now create your own personal clothing brand in just a few minutes. Besides t-shirts, you can also design other items to match the style of your store and make even more profit. Printful’s catalog has 5 main categories and 30+ subcategories. Also, they are adding more items to the available products for design regularly.
Have you ever thought about creating your own online store, now you can!
Have you ever used Printful? Share in the comments below if you have any questions in regards the program: