#63: Starting A Clothing Label With No Manufacturing Experience – Jeremy Roberts from Tradlands

Tradlands sells menswear inspired clothing for women, made and produced in the USA. Tune in to hear co-founder Jeremy Roberts sharing his experience of sorting through product ideas, learning the manufacturing process, and how consistent hard work is needed to snowball a business.

Topics Discussed:

  • 04:00 – Background of Tradlands and getting samples off the ground
  • 07:30 – Learning about women’s clothing as a man
  • 09:00 – Getting in the mindset and psychology of your customer
  • 12:00 – Making educated guesses to start without proof of concept
  • 14:00 – Grasping the manufacturing process without any design background
  • 16:30 – How many products for the initial opening?
  • 17:00 – Why limit the amount of inventory for your products?
  • 19:00 – What was it like launching the store on Day 1?
  • 21:00 – Branding and positioning phrases that set you apart from the competition
  • 24:30 – Jeremy’s blog outreach strategy to the biggest blogs in their industry
  • 26:00 – The best social media tool for connecting with the top bloggers
  • 30:00 – Response rate for blog outreach and things they’d do differently
  • 33:30 – Why did they choose Tumblr as a blogging platform for the store
  • 35:00 – Challenges of scaling up manufacturing, marketing, and the business
  • 38:00 – Future considerations for starting a Kickstarter campaign
  • 41:30 – Putting in the work day after day, week after week, month after month

Mentions in the Episode:

Episode Length: 45:02


Blogs Posts To Check Out:

Download Options:

  • Direct Download: Right-click here and click “Save As” for a direct download
  • iTunes: Listen and subscribe on iTunes for free!
  • Android: Listen via Stitcher Internet Radio streaming
  • Blackberry: Listen via the Blackberry Podcast App
  • Zune: Listen via Zune
  • If you enjoyed this episode, leave a positive review on iTunes!


  1. Great episode. Really found the part on outreach and connecting with people in your community a good reminder of best practise. Interesting to hear about a vertical that I have absolutely no insight into!

    1. Thanks Simon.
      We’ve found that through outreach and being featured on blogs has brought in the most traffic and sales compared to other things we’ve utilized like SEO, social media, and ads. So we are going to continue what is working well for us.
      I also think this outreach builds social proof and authority. The more you are featured, the more places you show up, the more familiar people become with your or your brand. If my brand shows up on one of the biggest blogs in the niche, the readers trust that authority blog, and that trust and proof is transferred (hopefully) to us.

      1. Just to go a bit deeper, it’s really more than a trifecta going down this path:

        1) High Quality Links – SEO is trending towards this anyways (content/context)

        2) Reaches Your Target Market – Lowers cost of acquisition for customers, reduces marketing expenses and better for the bottom line

        3) Builds Relationships – Asking the blogger to feature future products is just an email away

        4) Social Proof – Huge brand builder of “As Featured On…”

        5) Conversions – Trust/Influence of the blogger has with their audience definitely rubs off on you

  2. Thanks Terry for the opportunity to appear on Build My Online Store amongst so many other great interviewees and episodes.

    If your readers have any questions please feel free to contact me at jeremy@tradlands.com. I’m always down to chat.

    Also, another twitter tool I forgot in the interview is followerwonk. You can really dig into your own followers as well as competitors and like brands.
    I’m also doing a little bit of Gary V style twitter technique right now by using hootsuite to track keywords and conversations on twitter and fb, and when I find people talking about these things I enter the conversation, favorite, retweet, etc.

  3. I gots me some questions, Terry.
    Where can I find the apparel source handbook? A Google search doesn’t seem too fruitful.
    The other question I have is around the startup costs. I don’t think Jeremy mentioned how much it cost to get started including the cost of the first product development nor how long it took Tradlands to hit breakeven. Can you provide any insights?

  4. Starting a business with no manufacturing experience can sound difficult but it is easy. You can outreach and connect with people in your community a best practice.

Leave a Comment