We’re all about t-shirts but it seems the industry is taking a strong approach to adding more parallel products, like paintings (DesignByHumans recently announced it), mugs, hand-crafted “stuff” or more in the t-shirt tone, headwear (Gold Hats Headwear, a French custom headwear company founded in 2011, operating out of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam contacted us recently for a sponsored article).
Not too long ago, custom headwear was reserved for well established brands and big corporations capable of reaching high minimums.
The situation has changed these last few years thanks to the introduction of new & young players to the game like Gold Hats Headwear.
With a 100 pieces minimum, the time when you had to order at least 500 pieces is now long gone.
THE NEXT STEP
Your printed t-shirts are selling well, you’ve recently added tank tops and soon hoodies to your store, however you feel like something is missing.
Custom headwear is the logical next step for your brand, to test the waters you can have some blanks embroidered by your local guy, there’s nothing wrong with that but if you really want to make a statement and stand out from this ocean of indie brands, fully custom headwear is what you need.
« The market is saturated, it’s vital for young brands to find a way to stand out these days, nobody is waiting for you »
— says Adrien de Lafosse, co-owner and head of Gold Hats Headwear’s Vietnamese office. « Custom headwear represents a smooth and easy first step in the world of cut and sew manufacturing, allowing brands to create something truly unique at a relatively low cost. »
Hats are the best selling accessories by far, that’s what people buy the most right after t-shirts. According to Adrien, the main reason can be resumed by : « one size – no stock issue ».
Remember that moment when you sold out all your M and L tees while you still had loads of XS and XL in your basement ? This is not a problem with hats since they mostly come in one size.
The second major reason is that everybody wear hats, they last long, you don’t have to change them daily and they’re the perfect last touch to an outfit, according to Adrien « if it fits, it fits ; it’s not a headache like trying a pair of jeans ».
A “REAL” BRAND
Adding custom hats allows brands to evolve from the t-shirt brand status to a « real » brand with a diverse and varied range, « It really is your legitimacy stamp » adds Adrien.
For the same reasons stated above, retailers are extremely keen on hats; they sell very well, they don’t have to worry about ending up with unsold sizes at the end of the season.
« Getting your products in stores is everything but easy, retailers are not looking for new brands, they will only buy your products if they’re sure to make some profits out of it; they might have hundreds of tshirts in store but they mostly still got some room for a few premium headwear pieces »
IN A FEW WORDS
Adding custom headwear to your store is definitely worth it, however it does involve some risks related to the investment needed to start and the fact that you’re dealing with overseas manufacturing. Working with experienced manufacturers like Gold Hats is the safest way to avoid all these troubles, communication and honesty is everything in this field so you have to be able to rely 100% on your supplier. Adrien and his team know their job and the market.
To finish, Adrien tells us what it means to work with indie brands on a daily basis:
« We’ve been there, we know how stressful it is, it’s not only about the product but also about the person, we’re truly honored to work with hungry entrepreneurs willing to do something big, it’s a privilege ».”