How I Started My Very Own T-Shirt Business without Capital

How I Started My Very Own T-Shirt Business without Capital

Entrepreneurs find it hard to sit back and relax doing nothing. I was among them too. I wanted to do something big and start my own business. On day while having breakfast at Starbucks, I decided to start my own T-shirt business. The only problem was I didn’t have big money to invest in.

Background Story

We know that people may take so long while choosing a party dress, but the love to buy t-shirts at instant. Keeping this in mind, e-commerce business that I was about to start was t-shirt design named “Finch Goods Co.” people usually ask me about this name of my business. The answer is it is the street name and the Subway station where I grew up. It is the place I spent my whole childhood, where I played, and the place which is close to my heart. Hence, my business name is my tribute to my struggling days.

The Accelerating Point

In April 2014, I was stuck because everything was done from paperwork to strategies, but I was lacking in inventory and had no supplier. I was anxious to launch my new business but was not able to do so. I was staring at my laptop’s screen, and the screen went black. In the reflection, I saw my shirt, Finch. I started remembering some amazing compliments that I got for it. I thought that people might like to admire the hyperlocal t-shirts that represent their local community.


The feeling of getting stuck in new business and trying to start Finch Goods Co. was now a little intimating to me. I had limited time, and I have to make a decision. It was like now or never. I just had 24 hours to do it, and once if I will go live, I will be fully automated. Hence, the whole process was under self-validation by rules.


After taking the decision, I have to confirm two things now.

  1. Selecting an e-commerce platform.
  2. Printing and logistics.

Selecting an e-commerce platform was easy. I searched for the number of available options to sign up and search for their specifications and after getting inspired by a lot of available options. It was time to work on my creativity. Just like Finch, Toronto has 60 stations while many of them have similar typography. I cranked out all of those 60 designs in the very next 6 hours. Then I realized that not everyone purchases a plan if he/she doesn’t know how it will go to look on a t-shirt. People love colors, so I bought a universal t-shirt template and applied those 60 designs with color variations to these templates and saved a copy for display.

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I finally signed up on Shopify on a 14-Day Trial. I uploaded the theme that I purchased before for Finch and completed my business profile. I designed the e-commerce website easy to use and simple while keeping the theme consistent. The uploaded all 60 designs and organized them accordingly.

How I Started My Very Own T-Shirt Business without Capital

After 14 hours of hard work and 5 large cups of coffee Finch Goods Co was came into existence. After that, I installed Printful;Shopify App, and it pulled up my products automatically on the server. I was picking up the right style for my design.Even after being so much tired, I was hopeful. After all, many people are already making a fortunate by selling t-shirts online.


The previous week from my launch, the Finch subway celebrated its 60th anniversary. I thought to use this to market my newly launched website. I researched Google, and I found a popular blog covered the event I contacted the author and told him about my recently released t-shirts. Within an hour, he responded with some queries.

How I Started My Very Own T-Shirt Business without Capital

I decided to respond the next morning as I was tired and sleepy. I also have some pending things to set up my Shopify as well. The next morning, I was surprisingly had emails from some customers inquiring about my products. Although my website was not officially launched, it was live. When I checked for the audience coming from, I came to know that the writer went ahead without my response and wrote a post for my t-shirt store.

Academist Helpfound that online t-shirt business is among the top 5 successful revenue generating business since 2016. I got it right when I got some offers for collaborations and some social media mentions from the same blog and a good number of local inquiries.

Costs, Sales, Profits

I then decide my expenses and earnings for my newly launched 24 hours online business. On my initial orders in these couple of hours, my revenue was $347.71 with a total profit of $210.71 in just 24 hours.

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Total Costs:

Fixed Costs:

  • $16 – Font for Typography
  • $8 – T-Shirt Mockup Template

Variable Costs:

  • $104 – 8 x $13 for t-shirts and printing

$137 Total Costs

Total Revenue In The First 24 Hours: $347.71

By this, I made good revenue, which started to grow with the right customer targeting approach.

Going Forward

After that blog post, I did nothing for marketing. I started to focus on SEO with the right keywords and practical ways of attracting many potential buyers with high-quality traffic to the website. I am keeping this website automated, and SEO is the most significant opportunity for me to earn that way. You can also use Merch by Amazon to start selling your designs without logistics hassle.

Why you need to start online T-shirt Business

If you are struggling to find a high-demand product with a decent profit to sell, printed t-shirts are the best products to choose. You can make your own design or make some catchy lines to be printed on t-shirts. Besides, customizable mugs, canvas, stationaries, and printable patterns are second best niche to give you an understanding of the tips and tricks of how e-commerce marketing works. So learn before you sink some massive capital into the business.

How I Started My Very Own T-Shirt Business without Capital

Three Pillars of Success

Consider the following 3 points before starting your own t-shirt business:

    • Niche: An absolute vital niche is essential for your success in the over-saturated t-shirt industry.
    • Design: A good design has to connect with the prospect either in terms of humor or affiliation. It doesn’t have to be costly or complicated.
    • Quality: The quality of the t-shirts should be good with the printed image.


The online t-shirt business has generated me lots of revenue. Now it’s your turn. If you are thinking to start it, start building and market it to convert your effort into sales. Trust me, the challenge of building your own t-shirt business is fascinating, and it will take you beyond expectations.

Author Bio:

Stella Lincoln is a single mother and a professional academic writer. She is working as a part-time Academic Advisor at Academist Help. She loves to remain in touch with the latest trends and likes to spend time with her pet, Ellie.