So you want to start your own tennis line?

Discussion in 'Shoes and Apparel' started by tamdoankc, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

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    A little background on my company. Some of you TT old timers might remember me starting a small tennis apparel company years ago (Ozone Athletics). My objective was to learn as much as possible and start with a minimum budget of a couple hundred dollars and see how far I can take it. I got lots of advice and opinions from TT members on design and fabrics and I was off and running. I sponsored teams, juniors and journeymen pros with free clothing. Highest ranked pro (154) was Pavel Snobel from the Czech. His agent helped me with networking in Europe and things really took off. A corporation came in and made me an offer and I sold the company/brand and basically retired (I'm 37 this year) and spend almost everyday playing tennis.

    Well, I'm getting a bit antsy again but also want to help a lucky TT member since without TT I'd still be sitting behind a desk. I know there's at least one person here that's in the same position I was in years ago. If you have interest in tennis/athletic apparel PM me your story. This offer will be open to one person only. My contacts will be open to you and I will help you start/create your own tennis apparel line, team and club uniforms, etc the best i can. This is not a partnership so only the motivated need apply.

    Pics or it didn't happen:
    http://www.pavelsnobel.com/?location=gallery/image&gallery-blob-id=mistr-cr-2011
    http://www.pavelsnobel.com/galerie/
    http://db.tt/esxWWEBq
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2012
    #1
  2. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    that is certainly one interesting post, to say the least
    are you open for questions?
    if someone would ask me whether to start an own tennis clothing line, i would definitely say no. the big players seem to dominate the market, the internet is dumping prices,...
     
    #2
  3. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    Can I ask how big the offer was, that you are able to retire? :D
     
    #3
  4. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

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    Sure. Ask away.

    I didn't start with the goal of becoming the next Phil Knight. Just wanted to prove to myself that anything can be done if you set your mind to it.
    It'd be unrealistic to try to compete with the big three.

     
    #4
  5. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

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    Unless I'm really careless I'll be just fine. ;)

     
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  6. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    thanks, much appreciated
    did you think that you could do anything better than the big players?
    that you had something to offer that wasn´t there?
    in todays global economy that is a common mindset, that if you want to succeed you need to find a niche for your product.
     
    #6
  7. Borrelli

    Borrelli Semi-Pro

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    Could you say if it was in the six figure range or seven?

    Also, I take it your located in Europe. Something like that here in the States I don't think would get much traction. How much did you have to travel at first to get your product out there?

    Thanks!
     
    #7
  8. mix_ice

    mix_ice New User

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    Now this is interesting.. Been wanting to do this here in the Philippines and I don't know where to start. I visity TT again and here's your post. Can't seem to be able to PM you though but I'd really like to learn how you did it. :)
     
    #8
  9. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

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    Good questions.

    I can only speak in regards to apparel. Truthfully, anyone who knows how to sew can make a shirt as good or better than the big players (well maybe with a bit of practice).

    When you pay $75 for a shirt from the big players what are you really paying for? It's just fabric, thread and maybe some ink/dye. Think about the raw material costs and labor and you'd be amazed.

    I'm not a very creative guy so niche products aren't my niche :p I'd rather take something that's proven and then make it better and/or cheaper. Just the way my mind works.


     
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  10. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

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    I'm actually located in SE Asia. With a little investigation you can find out exactly where I'm based. I was born and raised in the US. Just living the American dream overseas.

    I actually made my very first sale in the US. When I first started out my father sold (soldout) them out of the trunk of his car. Because of the way things turned out in EU and SEA I didn't have time or energy to pursue the US market. Although, I'm sure it would've done just as well.

    I've done 0 travelling in regards to business. Lots of emails and mailing out samples though.



     
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  11. Borrelli

    Borrelli Semi-Pro

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    Cool. Thanks for the reply.

    What was your annual revenue? Who were your biggest customers?

    Thanks again!
     
    #11
  12. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

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    Go to my profile and send email.

    If its a general question just post in the thread. I don't want to get tons of emails asking the same question.

     
    #12
  13. tamdoankc

    tamdoankc Rookie

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    Sorry I can't answer questions about my former business. All I can say is everyone will be different. Luck, desire, hard work, willingness to learn, commitment. Thats all you need.

    You don't have to only create for your own brand but for others also. If a company likes your stuff they'll pay you to make it for them.

     
    #13
  14. Tennis Sucks

    Tennis Sucks Rookie

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    Ironically enough my teammate and I are starting an apparel company. We were joking around with creating shirts for the upcoming season and came up with a good concept, logo/identity and name.

    We will be going for the more casual look (t-shirts, hats, pullovers, sweatshirts) at the beginning as opposed to performance gear.

    We're looking at handing out samples on league nights, custom gear and sponsoring events.
     
    #14
  15. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    making something better a/o cheaper seems a niche all by itself:)
    did you sell the clothing yourself over the internet or did you bother with retailers?
     
    #15
  16. Tennis00

    Tennis00 Guest

    What tips about making the first line would you give to a newcomer in the business.
     
    #16
  17. kimguroo

    kimguroo Hall of Fame

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    1. Find good manufacturers
    2. Decent design and color choice.
     
    #17
  18. Stick It Wear?!

    Stick It Wear?! New User

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    Tried to email you. I'm interested in knowing more about your story. I sell my line here on Tennis Warehouse. It's called Stick It Wear?! (mens & womens)

    You can also find me on stickitwear.com and facebook.com/stickitwear.

    If you can email me. My name is Joe Durica. Stickitwear@gmail.com


    Best,

    Joe
     
    #18
  19. Tennis00

    Tennis00 Guest

    Do manufacturers require you to provide supplies.
     
    #19
  20. sthomas5

    sthomas5 New User

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    Your Guidance would be appreciated

    Greetings,

    I hope all is well. I just joined this forum last week and I search the topic "starting a tennis clothing line." I came across this thread and was so excited. I know it is very old, but I am so excited about my ideas for a tennis apparel line that caters to the "regular gal" and I hope you can be a mentor to me in this process. I live and breathe tennis and began playing for varous leagues about a year and a half ago. I have noticed that alot of the ladies complain about the same issues with tennisware and I have so many great ideas. I actually wore one of my prototypes to my last ALTA Sunday match this weekend and everyone loved it. They kept asking where I got my pants/tights and when I said I created them, they bout died. I know that the ideas that are keeping me up at night are being revealed through the creative intelligence within me and I want act on this. Please let me know if you are still available to guide someone through the process. Sharren. My email is sthomas5@bellsouth.net.


     
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  21. stringmaster

    stringmaster Banned

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    Hi Joe I just wanted to say that it is very cool that you started your own brand and it is on TW. I was looking on your website though and it said you dont do sponsorships. Did you give out free samples to get your pros? How did you get your name out?
     
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