A Guide to Starting Your Own Cat Clothing Store

Cat Clothing Store

It’s been your dream to start your own cat clothing store and sell cute, dashing, or fierce apparel for your favorite four-legged creatures. The only problem is, starting a business can be daunting, especially if you’re doing it all on your own. The process of creating your own business is multifaceted and might require you to plan and consider things you hadn’t thought about previously. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.

To start a cat clothing store, you’ll need to go through a lengthy process of creating a clear and unique brand aesthetic, mapping out a budget and business plan, then creating and testing your designs. Afterward, setup your store physically or online and support your store’s success with social media or a website. Finally, expand the store when possible.

Read on to learn how you can make your dream of starting your own cat clothing store into a reality. We’ll take you step-by-step through the most crucial elements of starting a business to ensure maximum success. If you follow the process laid out in this article, you’ll see customers flooding your store and kitties wearing your clothes in no time.

How to Start Your Own Cat Clothing Store

There’s a lot that goes into the process of creating a strong and unique brand for your cat clothing store that will get the store noticed by customers and ultimately generate revenue.

As much as we’d like to think the adorable cats in their little outfits are what matter most, there’s much to be done before you can get this product on shelves and ultimately on cats.

Here is the step-by-step process of what needs to be considered and accomplished as you create your cat clothing store to ensure its success and longevity.

Focus Your Vision

Usually, when someone wants to start a new business, many professionals will advise them to “find their niche.” Luckily, creating clothes for cats is already a pretty niche market to start with, especially since more emphasis is placed on apparel for dogs.

However, even in a business genre as niche as cat clothing, you still need to consider your competition. Many of the top pet supply companies, such as PetSmart, PETCO, and Pet Supplies Plus, will only focus on dog apparel, which is good for you. However, you still have to worry about popular and accessible online giants, such as Amazon, SHEIN, and Chewy.

To set yourself apart from these companies, you’ll want your brand to be as unique and focused as possible. It’s not enough to know you want to make cat clothing; you need a clear vision of your brand aesthetic and ideals. Here are some things you should consider:

  • Motivation: it is vital you know why you are creating this business and what drives you before getting into the nitty-gritty processof building a business.
  • Accessibility:who is going to be able to use your products? Are these clothes going to be high-end luxury cat items or economically attainable by all? Will your brand be accessible to all cat breeds, from the fluffy Persian to the skinny Sphynx, in terms of design and size, or will they just fit the standard Domestic short-haired cat?
  • Aesthetic: all brands have their own aesthetic, but this is particularly true for clothing. When you hold a Gucci purse next to a Mary Kay purse, you can clearly tell the two brands have their own distinct style. So should your cat apparel. Decide what you will prioritize style-wise in your brand, so it stands out. Do you want your clothes to be fluffy, have lots of patterns, prioritize functionality, etc.?

Plan the Logistics

It might not be the “most fun” part of starting a cat clothing store, or frankly any business, but it is undoubtedly the most essential. Without detailing the logistics of how you’re going to get your cat clothing store up and running, it’ll likely remain a dream forever or end in financial ruin.

The length of your logistic planning will depend on the intended scope foryour business. If you intend to start with a small store, you can create a simple but effective budget.

However, if you have much bigger plans for your store, you’ll want to make a more comprehensive business plan. A business plan is a fantastic way to get a detailed look at the ins and outs of your company so you can determine what this business will cost you as well as what you’re willing to invest.

Create a Business Plan

Create a Business Plan

Creating an individualized business plan for your own cat clothing store can be a lengthy process in itself. To help, we recommended following thesefive steps.

Research Product Demand

If the market doesn’t indicate enough interest in your product, then all your hard work will likely be for nothing. Save yourself the heartbreak of investing thousands of dollars on a failed business by utilizing market tools to research existing demand.

Supporting evidence from resources such as surveys (Google Surveys, Samplify and, AYTM are great options), analysis of competitors, and demographic information can help ensure your product has a potential clientele substantial enough to sustain your business.

Choose Your Business Structure

One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make before you get your cat clothing store running isdetermining what business structure you want. Ultimately, you have three options:

  • Sole proprietorship:the business is owned only by you, and you are responsible for all debts and obligations.
  • Partnership:the business is owned by you and at least one other individual.
  • Corporation:the business is a separate entity from its owner and can therefore own property, pay taxes, enter contracts, sue/be sued, while its liability is separate from the owner.

Many small, start-up businesses will choose the first two options to get off the ground, but if your business fails with one of these structures, it will most likely affect your credit. Therefore, some will opt for a corporation to prevent their business from affecting their affairs directly.

Create a Budget

Your cat clothing store might be fueled by a passion for furry animals in adorable outfits, but unless it’s also fueled by the right amount of funds, it’s not going to last very long. Creating a budget will help you see how much money you have, what the business will need, and what you’re willing to invest.

You’ll need to consider the costs of your business, such as:

  • Materials for your cat clothing
  • Location cost: are you working from home, renting a space, or buying a space?
  • Employment costs: do you intend to work under your own steam or hire help?
  • Registration and domain namefees
  • Manufacturing costs:if you aren’t creating the products yourself
  • Distribution costs:if you intend to ship products

Some of these costs might seem small at first, but once you add them up, they can become pretty substantial quickly.

ConsiderSupplemental Funding

One way to help supplement your budget enough to get your business started is to consider seeking additional funding. This could come in the form of:

  • A business loan from a bank
  • A business grant
  • Investors
  • Crowdfunding (ex. GoFundMe or Kickstarter)

Some of these are certainly competitive and difficult to obtain, such as bank loans and grants. Still, if you’re a small start-up business, crowdfunding has become increasingly popular in recent years and might provide you that initial boost you need to get some products on the market.

Have a Backup

Before you get too in-depth with the planning process, you need to consider what would happen to you financially if your business failed. Contemplating your business’s failure before it even started might seem cynical and counterproductive, but it’s essential for the safety of your personal credit and assets.

A lot can go wrong when running a business, and you might find you have to pay for numerous hidden fees and costs you hadn’t planned for initially. Therefore, it’s important to have some wiggle room in your budget and have an emergency plan in place in case things don’t go as intended.

Flesh-Out Your Brand Aesthetic

Flesh-Out Your Brand Aesthetic

Once you have all the logistics planned out and feel secure that your business has a solid foundation for support, you can start working on your brand aesthetic.

We discussed this briefly in your initial vision of the brand, but now you can really sit down and consider what will make your brand unique, what your store will value, and why people should choose you over your competitors. The best place to start is with your name.

Your brand name needs to be as unique as you can make it. This name should be timeless and memorable to drawin potential customers and entice them to explore your products.

Finding a unique brand name that hasn’t already been claimed by another company can prove to be exceptionally challenging. When this happens, think about your brand values and aesthetic. Over time, with some dedication and creativity, you should be able to find an original name that’s all your own.

Besides your store values, style, and name, another element of your aesthetic that will make your store memorable and impactful is a quality company logo. Since the goal is to sell cat clothing, you already know two key components you can work with.

It is not uncommon for people to remember an image over a brand name, and so a unique logo can really boost your influence. It’s also important to create this image before your final products so you can incorporate your logo into your cat clothing for an added effect. 

Start Designing Your Product

Some people might argue you should create your product well before you even consider creating a clothing store for cats. On the one hand, they’re right. It’s probably best to have some product ideas before you get this far into the process.

However, it is unlikely you’d have a clear vision and aesthetic of your brand in the early days, which we believe is essential to quality product design.

Since you want your products to have a uniform brand aesthetic,you’ll want them to resemble each other, so they are immediately identifiable as products of your store. Therefore, you should consider design elements that will be stapled indicators of your brand, such as:

  • Color palettes
  • Potential fonts
  • Patterns
  • Use of imagery
  • Textures
  • Style (ex. artsy, minimalist, costume-based, humor-based, outdoorsy)

This is also a great time to incorporate your store name and logo.

When creating a product, particularly in your business’s early stages, it is best to keep your output small.Although your ultimate goal is to fill an entire store with cat clothing, it is more beneficial to create 1-5 high-quality products than a store’s worth of mediocre products.

There’s a lot of trial and error with a new business, and sometimes you might have to go back to the drawing board. It is best to re-evaluate and improve on a handful of designs to meet consumer needs rather than scrap a whole store’s worth of designs and start over.

Test Your Products

Test Your Products

Creating a product can be rewarding enough, but you’ll find that the process of selling it will go much smoother if you test the product first. This will allow you to obtain constructive feedback about your cat clothing so you can determine if any alterations need to be made.

For example, maybe the fabric tends to tear in one spot, or the apparel would be sturdier with a zipper rather than Velcro. Little changes such as these can take a middle-ground product and make it exceptional.

Aim for Quality

It will also help your store’s reputation when you sell high-quality products from the start rather than selling a new and untested product that receives poor reviews and results in frequent customer requests for refundsdue to design issues.

Another benefit of testing your product is it allows you to obtain feedback regarding what cats seem to like. Cats have quite a unique personality as far as pets go and aren’t dressed in clothing nearly as often as dogs.

However, throughout the process of product testing, you might find that cats tend to be more comfortable in one product versus another. This might be a result of the design or the materials you used.

It will be a significant asset to sell a product cats are comfortable with since owners will ultimately dress their pet and hope their cat will wear the clothing proudly rather than try to rip it off two seconds after they’re dressed.

Lastly, testing a product will help you determine which one of your design’s consumers enjoy most. You might be running a cat clothing store, but let’s be honest. The clothes aren’t for the cats; they’re for the owners.

Consider the Owners’ Opinions

Cat owners will be the ones purchasing this product, and they’ll choose the outfit they like best.Receiving this kind of feedback can help you dwindle down your products to a select few to start with when your company officially opens.

Some individuals will even opt to start their business with just one product that was tested and received high praise until they are comfortable with runninga business. Then once they’recertain a single product’s sales are enough, they’ll add more to the store.

You can test your product in a few different ways, including:

  • Giving prototypes to your friends and family
  • Using online platforms (Facebook Marketplace, UserTesting.com)
  • Sending them to market trading spaces

Setup Your Business

You’ve created a clear and unique brand aesthetic complete with name, logo, and your best-tested cat clothes. Additionally, you’ve mapped out a business plan and a budget to ensure this business is financially achievable and bound for success. Now, you can finally start setting up shop.

How you create your cat clothing store will differ depending on your financial status and how you intended to run the business. If this is something you’re starting yourself from scratch and you are the one making all of the cat clothes, you might want to start with an online store on a platform like Etsy.com.

Going for an Online Boutique?

Online stores can be extremely economically friendly for first-time business owners trying to make their way with an easily sold product. Etsy users thrive on selling artsy work, which would be perfect for the niche group of cat clothing consumers.

Other typical options would beFacebook Marketplace, Amazon, and eBay, especially if you want to see how a select few products perform on the market.

Prefer an Actual Storefront?

Alternatively, you could rent a space or purchase a building to setup an official store filled with cat clothes and potentially other cat-related products.

If you are setting up a physical store where people can shop for products in-person, make sure you create an atmosphere that reflects your brand aesthetic. Consumers are more likely to revisit your store, even just to browse, if they enjoy the atmosphere you have created.

Creating a physical store is typically much more expensive and riskier financially. Still, if you are certain you have the products and finances to support this decision, and you are intent on expanding your business, an in-person store is the best option.

However, another element to consider when creating an in-person store is the fact that it is unlikely you will run the store by yourself at all hours.

You’ll need to hire help. Hiring employees adds a whole other element to running a business. Still,as long as you invest in individuals that prove they will be an asset to the company, the added process of being an employer and receiving additional help is worth it.

Increase Your Range of Influence

One of the best ways to ensure your store’s success is to increase your range of influence. This can be done in a series of ways, including:

  • Creation of social media accounts
  • Obtaining an official website domain
  • Partnering/sponsorships with other prominent brands
  • Advertisements (online, radio, television)

The more people hear about you, the more likely you will increase your clientele and sell products. Nowadays, most successful companies at least have a presence on social media where they keep their customers informed on company events, upcoming new products and sometimes post coupons and promo codes.

The same could be done on an official website, although this process is a bit more involved than a social media account. Not only do you need to buy the official rights to the website domain, but you might find yourself battling for a domain name if the name of your company has already been claimed for a website.

Luckily, once you have gone through the logistics of acquiring and creating an effective website, they can increase your clientele and profits exponentially.

Nowadays, many individuals prefer to purchase goods online and have them shipped to their doorstep than go to the store searching for them. By making your products accessible online, you dramatically increase your range of influence.

Expand Your Company

Expand Your Company

After you’ve invested your hard work and hard-earned cash into a thriving cat clothing store, it’s time to reap the benefits of your profits and expand.

How a company expands depends on its degree of profit and its setup. Someone selling cat clothing on an online forum like Etsy.com might expand by finally purchasing a space where they can create a physical store.

Others who have a physical store might finally have the money to hire a professional website creator who will provide them a high-quality website where they can post content about their store and customers can purchase products.

If you’re really fortunate and you want to turn your homey store into a chain business, the expansion might imply you have the funds to create more than one cat clothing store under the same brand name.

This would greatly increase your market influence and make you a serious competitor. You might even decide you want to expand your brand to include more than just cat clothing. Maybe you create apparel for dogs as well or other cat products such as toys.

Once your business is thriving and consistently profiting, expansion can take it to a whole other level and will truly reaffirm all your hard work and success.

Are Pet Supply Stores Profitable?

There’s definitely a market for pet supply stores. It is not uncommon for owners to spoil their pets rotten and provide them with all sorts of toys, treats, and high-quality food before treating themselves to ordinary luxuries like a Netflix subscription.

Ultimately, the most significant hurdle to overcome when entering the pet supply industry is competing with large, popular retailer stores such as Petco and PetSmart. Even general retailers such as Walmart and Target pose a significant threat to independent business owners because they have their own pet sections with generally affordable and sometimes high-quality products.

Generally speaking, pet supply stores can be extremely profitable. The pet industry grew from $97.5 billion in 2019 to $99 billion in 2020 and earned an estimated profit of $594.7 million annually, on revenues of $16.5 billion. That’s no small chunk of change. But of course, this is the overall industry, not individual pet supply stores.

On a smaller scale, according to ZipRecruiter annual salaries for pet shop owners can range from $110,500 to $17,000, with the majority falling between$25,000to $56,500 and top earners making about $75,000.

It was also stated by ZipRecruiter that, “as of Feb 1, 2021, the average annual pay for a Pet Shop Owner in the United States is $49,174 a year.”Unfortunately, this barely taps into the range of a middle-class American’s annual income, which falls between$40,500 and $122,000.

Clearly, there’s money to be made in this industry, and it certainly has room for profit as a market. Still, the success of a pet supply store, particularly a small store, is going to rely heavily on being smart with its business setup, researching the competition in the area to ascertain demand, and creating a strong bond with its customers.

This will be more easily achieved if your store brand is unique and has something to offer or founded on values lacking in the competition.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. It is estimated that 59.1 % of pet industry stores are considered non-employers (no-paid employees present), and 83% have a maximum of four employees. These owners are trying to navigate and make a living off of this industry just like you. The best thing you can do is make sure you stand out amongst the crowd.

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that starting a business is a hefty ordeal, but if you follow these steps, your cat clothing store should be thriving in no time. Remember, it’s crucial that you are smart financially before you start this business and that you create a unique brand that will help you drawin a loyal customer base.

Additionally, since cat clothing is what you have to offer, make sure they are the highest-quality products you can create. Test them out before you put them on the market, and hopefully, before too long, plenty of fluffy, fierce, and friendly cats far and wide will be donning your unique apparel.

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We are team Veste for Pets! Veste means dress or clothing in Portuguese and we loved it and thought it will give our site a fresh feel. Plus we are moving to Portugal soon! Pets provide us with companionship, love, and security. They are always there for us, no matter what. They make us laugh when we're feeling down and help us to feel loved and needed. They are a source of unconditional love, and we can't imagine life without them. We want to share our love for making and giving our pets the best.

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