Starting a Clothing Catalog Business


Dear Lori,

Thank you for your question and subscription to the Power Homebiz Guides

As I understand your question, you plan to start a catalog business focusing
on feminine apparel. To find merchandise to put in your catalog, you need to
have a list of manufacturers from whom you can select and acquire your
inventory. To find the manufacturers, use the following resources:

1. Trade Magazines. Trade magazines are the best source of information. Check
out the articles as well as the advertisements. Trade magazines are the first
place that clothing manufacturers use to advertise their business. Get a copy of
Womens Wear Daily. This thread on our discussion board lists some trade
magazines that you can check out 

2. Thomas Register 
is an extremely useful site containing listings of manufacturers for any
industry. Visit their web site, or go to your library to look at the latest
edition of their books.

3. Contact individual companies. If you have specific clothing lines in mind,
you may want to call them and inquire about the possibility of allowing you to
carry their products in your catalog

4. Search the Web. Go to Google and do a search on “clothing
manufacturers” or other keywords to help you find possible contacts.

We also suggest that you check out some books on how to start a successful
catalog business. We recommend the book “Creating a Profitable Catalog:
Everything You Need to Know to Create a Catalog That Sells
” by Jack Schmid

Our Consult Your Guides service, which is free to subscribers, is only
intended to steer you in the right direction, but not provide the actual
information that you need. We encourage our subscribers to do the research
themselves and investigate the industry that they are getting into. It is always
better that you personally know what you are supposed to do.

Never go into the business without writing your Business Plan. It is your
step by step guide on how you will operate your business. Without it, you will
be operating your business on guesswork and dreams and you won’t have a
direction to follow. Before you know it, you may already have sunk so much money
on it without getting your expected results.

Operating a catalog business is similar to the mail-order business. You must
have realized that you must cover yourself with inventory of all the items that
you publish in your catalog. Are you ready to finance that inventory? Do you
have the facilities for warehousing, shipping of the goods and most important of
all, how will you distribute your catalog? How about the printing and printing
costs? There are a lot of questions to this project- that is why it is necessary
to write the Business Plan to keep you on track of what you want to do.

At the moment, I hope the above answers maybe of help.

Good luck!

the Guide: 

Nach Maravilla is
the Publisher of Power Homebiz Guides. He has over thirty years
experience in sales and marketing of various products, which
covered as he jokingly describes, “from toothpicks to
airplanes”  He also had extensive experience in
International trading and he always excelled in special promotional
ideas for  retail outlets. 


The opinions expressed in this column are
those of the author, not of
should not treat the Guide’s response as legal, accounting, or
professional advice as all answers are intended to be general in
nature. Such advice can only be properly given by qualified
professionals who are fully aware of a user’s specific geographical areas or circumstances, such
an attorney or accountant.