Starting a Vegan Business from Scratch – Ch.1: Many Considerations

So I have been venturing, very slowly, but surely, into the land of Vegan Entrepreneurship! If you follow my blog, you may (or may not) have noticed a few designs sneaking into blog posts, and some advertisement for a shop called Veggie Planet Clothing – yes, that is my new shop! 🙂

It’s very early days, and I am most definitely feeling like I am on a journey of discovery here. I have had small online shops here and there before, but they have been small hobbies really, in retrospect. But with this one, it’s different: I am really enjoying coming up with new designs, working out the best colours to place them on, items to show them on, etc. So I guess it still is a kind of hobby for me – an expensive one at that, right now – as sales take some time to get going, and these days, marketing and social media rule the roost as far as getting seen/heard/noticed.

So, I thought I might use this blog to periodically update on the business – in case any of you out there are about to start a similar journey yourselves. There are bound to be mistakes, and I have already made a few, and so I am feeling it would be good to share, and might be cathartic for me also. 🙂

So, here were some of my first considerations, when I was contemplating setting up a vegan shop selling tees and accessories. My first thoughts were about the products I would sell, the people who might buy them, and the kind of message/theme I wanted to deliver.

  1. Who is my audience – who was I going to target? Would it be Vegan only, or vegetarian too? What about animal-loving people, what about plant-based diets…health and fitness fans, etc. Should I keep it a narrow niche, or include the above?
  2. What would be tone of the messaging on my designs? There are plenty of vegan msging tees etc. out there… Many with similar msgs, a lot with activism msgs, or persuasive msgs. Where would I fit in? My designs are around the kind of messaging I (and my family) might wear: Less provocative, and much more subtle, but fun and thoughtful designs. The kind that would not start an argument at the workplace or school… but might make someone smile instead.
  3. What kind of designs? Loving the 70’s and 80’s revival thanks to shows such as Stranger Things, I am certainly inspired and influenced by that era of clothing…
  4. What items would I sell? Just tees – (for men, women, children too?). Or add more things, like bags, accessories, etc.?

So those were my initial considerations…

And then it was down to actual creation of the products: – How would I make these (buy the blank products and print myself? Send to a printer? Have them printed to order and drop-shipped direct to purchaser? In the end, and most certainly for now, with little sales – I went for printing myself at home. This way, I have control over designs – where the go, how they look, can take photos and videos, etc. and can offer customization if requested. So for now, that suits me. It also meant that I could sell on the Etsy platform (where you can only sell vintage or self-made items).

I’ll go into more detail about setting up the Etsy shop in the next chapter, I think. But after all the above was considered.. I started sketching out some ideas for design in my sketch book… Actually, I was scribbling down ideas for some time, in reality – as this is playtime for me and very therapeutic.

So to wrap up this first chapter, I wanted to finish with explaining WHY I wanted to do this – to set up a Vegan Business: Well, even though I have a full time job, and enjoy the work I do, I really, really felt a calling to do something around veganism – to work in that area, to help promote it… and to feel more like my work could help animals and the planet in the process. My current role in education gave me a sense of accomplishment, but I really wanted to express my creativity and my passion for veganism for some time – and the calling was getting louder! And so here I am! Having the blog to share thoughts and experiences has also been a very therapeutic and enjoyable experience – and it is starting to feel like it is starting to all tie together…Well, it’s a start, as my husband would say! 🙂 😀

If you are interested, Ch.2 should be out in a week or so – well that is the plan – to update every couple of weeks… See if anyone finds it useful or helpful. I might even throw in the odd video or podcast/audio file here and there, if it will work/help.

Feel free to add a comment or drop me a line if you have any questions.. Or any experience you want to share also… 🙂

http://www.veggieplanetclothing.com

All designs are protected by copyright.

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