Accessories are a big business, and seem to be growing more by the year. 2020 has seen a surge in the ‘cuter’ accessories, like embellished hair accessories such as clips, oversized bows, ribbons, silk scrunchies, fabric headbands and decorated headbands.
People love items like these, along with jewellery or little bags, purses and clutches, because they are an inexpensive way to expand your existing wardrobe. If shoppers know they can get items which are stylish and high-fashion, yet affordable and make great treat-yourself purchases, they’ll be likely to keep returning, too.
Online accessory businesses are brilliant ideas because as well as setting up your own e-commerce store, you can utilise sites such as marketplace retailers, like Etsy and Not On The High Street. You can opt for a mixture of handmade or popular wholesale bought products – there is literally so much scope for building a successful accessories brands.
If you would love to step into the world of having an online fashion business, ideally homing in on hair accessories, jewellery, bags and all the little additions, there’s a few ways you can go and a number of options to consider. Take a read of the tips below first before putting your plan into action:
Create a business plan for your accessories store
Everyone needs a solid business plan so that you know which path you’re going to take, and have shown to yourself and others that you have assess all areas involved.
Sustainability is a huge shopping ‘trend’ at the moment, as we say ‘trend; loosely because it’s only going to be here to stay. With this in mind, could you work on the hand-made aspect of an accessories business? Could you learn the art of crochet or jewellery making with threads, fabrics and embellishments? People love buying from creatives, and when they know products have been made with love or by a skilled designer, the appeal factor only grows.
Whether you go down this route or not, it’s worth exploring first. Look at sturdy materials first, like paracords. Paracord is a form of rope material which has an inner core protected by a woven outer sheath, making it super durable. For certain jewellery or hair accessories, you’ll need to use a strong cord to bind together fabrics, jewels, stones and beyond, so it’s worth looking into. – and it’s this construction which gives it its unique properties (e.g. high strength-to-weight ratio, exceptional durability).
It could be that you create a mix within your store, where some collections are handmade, and others are bought in bulk from reputable wholesales you can offer quality items to save you time and money on sourcing and creating yourself.
Look into retailing costs
I touched on marketplace retailing before, because this could be an ideal way to set yourself up as you give yourself time to create an e-commerce site.
Firstly, do you full research around how much it costs to run an e-commerce store, set yourself up on Etsy, apply for Not On The High Street, eBay Fee’s, etc etc. Then of course, have a look at local stalls and shopfronts too, depending what your ultimate goal is.
Then explore wholesaler rates for fashion accessories; look at bulk buying and then research the costs of buying this way and the profit you would make when you sell.
Have a thorough marketing and brand plan
There is no business plan like having a solid brand and marketing plan. There are various ways of doing this, with many starting with conducting a SWOT analysis first, which gives you a strategic plan to highlight the potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for starting your own accessories company.
Next, research into social media, and how you would grow these channels. How would you share content? Would you take the photos yourself? Would you set up a blog?
Of course, a start up business usually has to start off small, so marketing activities could begin with social media posting, gifting influencers, doing shoots yourself and various other tasks that are do-able yourself. Then you could put a long-term plan in which looks at advertising options and costs, much further down the line.
Know your trends and customers
The aim is to sell, so you have to know what is trending right now and in the next 12 months and beyond. Ideally, a good wholesale brand that specialises in accessories and lives and breathes the trends is a good place to start, because they will have done the work for you.
One that I found a great online site is Nihao Jewelry, which doesn’t just offer jewellery and hair accessories, but sunglasses, phone cases, bags, watches and even baby accessories. Usually, a brand like Nihao will work towards a fast fashion stance, and they’ll constantly be updating their offerings so that the latest trends and the next seasons trends are available to bulk buy.
Before you jump in, make sure you have done ample research on your target customer first. From your customer knowledge, you can then determine which the best methods would be shop for stock, or to create stock, and which way to go in order to promote and brand your business.
If your target audience are going to be younger, which many who buy into accessories are, then look heavily towards social media and the online communities for promotion. But if you want the range to be more classic and timeless, or for people who want to spend more money on pieces, you could look at collaborating with high end magazines or other brands that have a similar audience.
Educate yourself on business legalities
This is the boring part, but it’s worth being aware of business registration, licensing, permits and taxes. If you’re going to be making money online, you’ll need a solid plan around how you keep track of your earnings, your outgoings, profits, losses, and so forth. This then leads to your wages and taxes.
It sure is dull but if you’re serious about launching an accessories business, you’ll benefit from having knowledge around this sector.
Overall, make sure that the products you are selling, the marketing channels you are using and the message the brand has is something you personally love. It is so much harder to throw yourself into anything when you have elements of doubt, or don’t quite ‘feel’ or love the brand yourself.
And ultimately, have the passion and go for it! Good luck!