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S E C T I O N V I E W : Business Plan Part one: Initial Idea

IDEA & INITIAL PLAN This is a B2C business model. I plan to sell printed T-shirts and notebooks on Instagram and TaoBao on-line shop. I do sketches and illustrations, and I designed the prints based on my art creation and curated vintage floral pattern. The Tshirt line will start from the basics including long sleeves and short sleeves. The target audience will be people, aged from 15 to 75 who would like to buy designer brand cloth and who are used to shopping online.


My brand is called Aquamurmur which means the secret conversation in the ocean. I give it a whale-shaped logo. I am a fashion lover and always want to have an online shop selling cloth. I did the informal study of women’s wear a long time ago in a designer's studio.T-shirt production has lower cost comparing to other garments’. Artful prints taking center stage paired with streetwear styling can make the brand stand out from the competitors. My brand will focus on the good T-shirt design and continuously develop expertise on it. The initial launch will take place in Canada and China since both sides have sizeable online marketing of women wear. China is also one of the most important fabric products export countries. I will be able to look for the local factories who are experienced and order my first series of T-shirt. The first series will be sold on my personal Instagram account which has 200 followers so far but will grow if I put more efforts on it. Facebook shop page and twitter account will be run at the same time for brand promotion.




Artist Series collec-

Super soft and com-

Chic and urban pat-

tion & retro styled

fortable material,

tern design

tonal stitching




S E C T I O N V I E W : Business Plan Part2: How to spend the first year

STAR TUP PLAN AND PRODUC T STEP 1: INCOPORATION AND BRANDING Register the company at the local goverment. Get resources from the government. Get HST register number. Setup the financial bank account. Reder the logo, mark, poster, sticker and the business card. MARKETING TIP: Niche: Choosing a niche is absolutely vital for success in the over-saturated t-shirt industry. Design: No one will buy your shirts if the designs don’t look good. This doesn’t mean you need to have complex images though and it doesn’t mean it has to cost a lot. Quality: This includes the quality of the t-shirts themselves as well as the printing. Skipping seasons, make the one for 2 or 3 seasons. Online t-shirt business gives the entreprenuer a way to understand online marketing.


STORY BEHIND THE BRAND: The brand need a story. The story is about the origin of the material. The story is about the design inspiration. The story is about the manufacturing, the cloth is how the customer connect with the maker and the community. Maybe the profit will go to support the local crafter or culture inheritage.


The marketing research include the advertising, manufacturing and logistics management. The potential location for such an investigation will be held in the main fashion cities in East Aisa including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, China; Seoul, South Korea and some American cities like LA and NY. Buy something from the similar brands and experience their deliver and cus-


promot e so cial med ia

2.2 K$ I ni t ial F un ds .


15% 35%

The initial cost will be 18%

production fee, obline shop setup and maintainance fee,


Business registration fee and location rental fee.

online shop setup

Incoporation fee

production fee

rent for business

ALL ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA: Social media is now a key part of the equation for shops, brands and customers. Create UNIQUE content, posting the personality, lifestyle and daily thoughts rather than just selling the products to attract more followers.

tomer service thus get knowledge from the other brands.

STEP 3: SOCIAL MEDIA I will build my own social networks such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. It is a market without nation boundaries that I can connect with as much people who are intersted in my products as possible. At the same time, these traditional leading social media are over satuated, so it is also important to put an eye on the budding communication media. Based on my own skill sets, I would like to have my personal youtube channel to share my process of sketching. Wechat is another powerful social media for Chinese. It is a combination of facebook and instagram, but means more than that. It is the essencial part of a Chinese’s daily life. And it supports personal blog post that you can create and spread widely. So creating good quality contents and promoting it in the Wechat can be a good start. But it is also a satuated market now. One niche on Wechat is that your posting account can provide an interactive content, such as “a quiz to test your ideal traveling country“ and “a mini program to make your new year postcard“. So this is also a great start point, coz I have the basic web development skills.

STEP 4: ONLINE SHOP I will build my own online shop through Shopify and TaoBao. Or start from instagram shop supported by

BE UNIQUE, TELL MY STORY. SEARCH FOR UNIQUE BRANDS TO WORK WITH, MAKE MY OWN TRENDS. Shopify paying system and Wechat mobile shop which cost less maintainess fee and focus on the mobile users. I will hire my beautiful friends to be the model and photograph the product.

STEP 5: PRODUCT DELIVERY Worldwide shipping will be the final goal. I will hire my two aunts who are going to retire soon as my working stuff and let them pack the product and mail the delivery. Use online business assisting service from ShipStation for shipping label and Printful warehousing & fulfillment service for the growing number of customers from all around the world. The packaging will include the business sticker and all the social media info for the future contact with the customers. Be nice to good customer while say no to the bad customers.



S E C T I O N V I E W : Contexual Landscape

Q. a sk t he compe t i to r s Based on my own experiences of online shopping and my observations of several Instagram T-shirt seller, I get a list of companies that are similar to my brand. I started browsing through their online stores in order to get a good feel for their site, and make a list of all the things I like, and all the things I don’t like. Marketing strategies make me to ask these questions: Q. - How do they emphasis their value proposition?

DEATH AND MILK * LONDON Death and Milk is definite a wicked brand. Their business all start from the Instagram in 2017. In only one year, they have 251 posts and have 58k followers now. The owner, Alex is a dark art illustrator. The popularity comes from his unique illustrations. He soon star ted to make printed T-shir t, well limited, online.

Q. - What are their prices like compared to yours? Q. - What is their product photography like, and how are their product descriptions? Q. - What are their shipping options and prices like? Q. - Where are their call to actions, and how obvious are they? Q. - Are they trying to build an email list? Q. - Is their site optimized for mobile?

It is amazing that he has such a rapid market growth and obviously will continue. The brand is a true designer brand which is unique to all. He successfully find his niche. If I can learn something from him, probably is the branding direction.

Q. - What is their social media presence like; which platforms do they use; how often do they interact with customers, and how do they speak with their customers?

His T shirt is between 20 pounds to 40 pounds which is much cheaper than the other Designer brands. I guess this is because his style is more for young people and they do not have a high income for it. But I really think this brand can go as crazy as other luxury brand in future.

To assess my competitor’s sites is to start analyzing your own ecommerce store. Remaining competitive means operating with flexibility and be able to pivot the direction. There is a balance I need to find between serving the customers/taking advantages of the competitors’ weakness and my brand’s unique.



Competitors Review

T H O U G H T S : Fashion companies are everywhere, they occupies every niche. Competitors Review is more about branding and the most of all, to learn how to communicate with customers from these emerging brands.



KOTH is a brand created in Toronto, but mostly fabricated in Egypt. I get to know the brand story through my friend, Sara. Sara knows the founder of KOTH and she might be able to introduce us someday.

Rennes is a crafted woman’s wear brand created 4 years ago in Philadelphia, U.S.A. The founder started from selling her own design of leather bags, and then branching to the cloth. It is a curated onlineshop now, so they sell not only Rennes but a couple of other brands which share the similar tastes on fashion design.

KOTH is a pretty new brand and has no physical shop. They have a good branding strategy. They tell a lot of stories about their material and production origin. For example, they post pictures of farmers who picked cotton in the field, and fabrication line in the factory. So customers can remember their story really fast. They focus on basic style Tshirt which has no seasonal differencies. This is also good solution for a beginner brand. The price of a Tshirt is between 25 dollars to 60 dollars.

They focus on the Frenchie and sometimes Japanese Zen styled casual wear. They use the traditional fabrics like cotton, linen, silk that has a beautiful and natural tone of coolor and softness. Price level is quite high, useually between 200 dollars- 400 dollars for a dress. The success also comes from the beautiful Instagram posts. They touched every photo and keep it the same tone which simulates to the European oil paintings. Followers love this kind of pictures.



S E C T I O N V I E W : Business Plan

DE VELOPMENT e - pl at fo r m sc an There are two major categories with e-commerce platforms: hosted and self-hosted. For stability purposes, I am going with hosted versions because I can always have dedicated support. The downside of hosted software is that you will have to pay a monthly fee, and sometimes it can be pretty high.

29$/MONTH 3%+30C/TRANSACTION The user interface of the admin panel is simply gorgeous and provides awesome add-on apps.

10$/MONTH 5%+3%+30C/TRANSACTION A platform specially for creators who own their design assets. They provide an all-inone solution to sell the work and grow the audience. Has a good legal protection of the Figure: Shopify Analytics of the selling volumn in December, 2016

sellers’ intellectual assets.

More and more orders are passing on mobile, but interestingly while on Friday more orders passed on mobile, on Monday orders passed on desktop pushed slightly ahead. The statistic shows that the average selling volumn in a Shopify shop is about 25% while it booms to 100% on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The selling defnitely have busy and non-busy seasons. Black Friday now reaches beyond the U.S. into Europe, particularly in Spain, Denmark, Canada, and the U.K. So E-platform also target on the global market, this is a huge benefits of purchasing online store.


10$/MONTH Most promising self-branding online shop platform run specifically on WECHAT community. Focused on WECHAT customers.


Future Stability or Growth Predictions.

avail t h e analy t i c to o l s With retail e-commerce sales worldwide expected to reach just over four trillion U.S. dollars in 2020, the global e-commerce industry appears to show no signs of slowing down. Apparel and accessories is also the most popular e-commerce category in the United States and China. In order to play well in the game and stay keen about the markets, I will study how to use the Google Analytic and Shopify Analytic tool (shown as below). The Shopify Analytic Tool allows me to check every aspect of the online shop, including sales, traffic, and growing rates....

The initial cost will be production fee, obline shop setup and maintainance fee, Business registration fee and location rental fee. The rough estimation is

2.2K 15% 35% 18%


online shop setup production fee Incoporation fee rent for business Figure: Shopify Analytic Dashboard

Analysis is not just reading the report. So instead of just getting the “what” from reporting, it is more about exploring the “why” and “so what”. It is important to ask the right questions of the data. That means the question has several potential answers and the analysing points to a candidate solution. There is no fixed answer for “what is success” and there is no need to compare with the leading fashion brands. A good amount of monthly traffic is more traffic than the last month. The same is true of every other metric I am tracking. Focus on the growth at this stage and maintaining is the next level. Content is the key. No matter what, customers come for the affordable quality. So all plan can not shift away from making good products and good presentation of them.

This estimation does not include the traveling cost since I will spend those money as my traveling fee. I have developer ex-perience, so the online shop setup fee will be less than I calculate. I have checked the information about incorporation in Ontario, but still remain some questions about the national incorporation and the laws. I think I can get some help from OCAD. I will take the start-up boot-camp soon in Feb, 2018 and hopeful to net-work with people there. Secondly, there are provincial institution who will offer free consultation about intellectural as-sets, or say to help the local designers and artists better protect their work.


Questions: 1, Do you want a T-shirt with fancy prints on it? 2, Do you like this vintage design? 3, If you want to buy such a T-shirt, where do you think of getting it? 4, How much would you like to pay for such a T-shirt? 5, Do you think the soft and silky quality is important for you? (comfortable and looks good) 6, Help me thinking of more questions!

Vintage Inspired T-SHIRT (Women apparel in future, expand to handbags)

Customer Exploration: Sub-culture group who likes vintage, who love fashion and who work in creative industry. Establish Instagram and talk to this group of people.