How to Make Money with Hat Brand Business

anna marketing

Anna Navolokova, Marketing Manager in Multi-Programming Solutions  •  8 min read

If you are looking for a lucrative option to start your own company instead of working for someone else, take a closer look at the headwear customization with print-on-demand. Is a hat business profitable? Yes, it can be as promising as producing POD t-shirts and provide thousands of opportunities to join the fashion industry. These accessories are long used for owner’s protection and as stylish elements in everyday outfits.

You can design caps for men, women, children, and even pets. With a smart hat brand business plan, it’s quite possible to develop a recognizable company that will make sales worldwide and will grow together with its e-commerce partners.

Learn how to establish a headwear store, systematize your workflow and become closer to your customers from our guide.

Table of Contents

I have a printer - how do I start a hat business?

Integrating your hat store with Podza

Success stories and tips


Suppose you own printing equipment but need clear ideas on how to make money with the hat brand. We’ve gathered the necessary steps to help you launch a POD company and overtake competitors.

Examine the market

Research is the most crucial task to do when you launch a custom headwear business. Shop around to figure out what types and designs are trendy. It’s vital to understand whom and where to sell hats online. A thorough market analysis will help you to find the right audience and an e-commerce environment with a competitive advantage. 

For example, young and older people have different tastes and styles of life. So you should define whether you will focus on both categories or develop unique offerings for a narrowly targeted customer. 

You may pay attention to the niche with a lack of propositions and try to fill the gaps with your hottest hat styles. Your product should become a problem-solving solution for buyers who couldn’t obtain their desires from other sellers.

Consider personalized design

Next thing to do while developing a POD brand is brainstorming on the design. You should consider whether you’ll print your images or accept personal customer orders. Thus, by owning a vinyl cutter machine and heat press, you may create custom images, names, and phrases on demand. It will require more time for preparation but can cater to a larger audience.

Still, if you aim to develop a recognizable brand focused on a particular theme, it’s worth creating several ready-to-apply mockups clients can choose from. For example, you can make custom hat printing on a sport, pets, movies, TV shows, or music topics. You can choose any niche, preferably if it should showcase your personal tastes. In this case, you’ll work with love and passion and achieve better results.

Develop store name and logo

The best name for a hat brand must be laconic and memorable. It should also emphasize the value which your stuff brings to customers. Adding your logo to the product will help customers to build an association with the brand. You may create it by yourself or hire professional designers. Determine where you will print it: right on the front of the item or on the inside label. Also, think of the color palette. It should be suitable for the headwear type and material. For example, vivid and frizzy details will hardly suit peaky blinders' hat style.

Your brand name: how it impacts the POD business and how to choose one?

Choose the type and garment

To run your startup successfully, you may focus on a single product type, like trucker hat style. When ready to scale, you can diversify the assortment with beanies or caps, the most popular headwear. They protect the owner from harmful weather conditions and are essential to various outfits. 

Baseball caps are frequent orders for sports teams, teambuilding meetings, and other mass events. That’s why these items are a good option for providing wholesale at discount prices.

Your choice of fabric depends on the selected hat type. Thus, cotton, spandex, or jeans are commonly used for caps production, while silk, straw, leather, and felt will better suit for making fedora hats.

Observe competitors

Your rivals' websites and listings are an essential source of valuable information for personal brand development. You can find good hat brand ideas and online store designs. Still, don’t try to copy them. Analyze customers’ reviews. They may contain insights on the service benefits or sellers’ bottlenecks you can fix in your stuff.

Find a company to source your production line

At this stage, you should search for a supplier or multiple ones which will produce white-label hats according to your requirements. The best partner to build relationships is those who satisfy several criteria:

  • Is communicative and always stays in touch.
  • Provides discount prices for bulk sales. The higher your order will be, the lower price you’ll pay per item.
  • Suggests suitable shipping conditions, fast and cost-effective.
  • Follows sustainable principles: use safe materials and inks, deliver goods in eco-friendly or reusable packages.

It’s also worth ordering a few samples before signing a long-term contract. You should ensure that hats are high quality and you won’t disappoint your customers with the products printed under your brand’s name.

Create an online shop

Your items should be easy to find on the Internet. As many purchases are made online, the first thing to do is start your online hat store. Consider multiple selling channels like Shopify, eBay, Woocommerce, and others. Learn how to create a successful Shopify digital shop that will guarantee the perfect customer experience and traffic growth resulting in high profit. 

Advertise yourself

Good promotion is all you need to open an online hat store and generate traffic. Use several ways to make your brand eye-catching and attractive to potential buyers. First, make your website recognizable for the Google engine with SEO optimization. Second, create social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook, or other platforms to showcase your designed stuff. You can also search for influencers with a broad base of subscribers to promote your items among their audience. 

Don’t underestimate the power of trade shows. Here you can directly contact customers, advertise your website and receive feedback firsthand.

How much does it cost to start a hat business?

The prices for custom cap&hat store development may be changeable and greatly varies depending on several factors:

Another factor influencing the development costs is whether you provide software integrations. Automated apps require a monthly subscription, where prices vary depending on available features.

How much money do you need to start a successful print on demand business?

start your online hat store

To get the maximum efficiency from your hat brand business on Etsy, Shopify, or eBay, you may optimize selling processes with dedicated software like PodZa. A single API can automate e-commerce shop workflows simplifying order processing, product and warehouse management.

PodZa is easily integrated with popular marketplaces and platforms, allowing owners to organize sustained selling processes from multiple channels. MPS developers can customize the software according to personal business needs and provide further system scaling when your brand grows.

How does Podza benefit entrepreneurs who want to build their own brands? The app caters to printing services and warehouse owners and also can solve plenty of tasks for those planning to become dropshipping suppliers. This is how you can optimize your work with e-commerce software:

  • Connect partner stores from several platforms and marketplaces, establishing multichannel sales.
  • Set up payment systems like Stripe, PayPal, and other gateways.
  • Upload and save artwork and custom hat designs for your listings using Google Drive.
  • Calculate discount rices, generate invoices, and analyze payment history.
  • Add integrations with Shiphero or Shipstation for automatic order exporting and shipment tracking.
  • Provide messaging and e-mail notifications for customers.
  • Monitor business tasks in real-time.

With a cost-effective Podza solution, e-commerce entrepreneurs can reach success in the print-on-demand business, increasing market share and generating more profit. This MPS product excludes manual work, decrease human errors, and frees up time for sales improvement.

podza hat print on demand

If you still wonder how to make money with a hat brand business on Amazon or attract more leads to your Shopify store, try to get inspired by other POD companies' examples. You may discover practical tips to help build a profitable online store. 

Acme Hat Co 

This company has become more than a simple caps and beanie seller. It helps thousands of new businesses to develop their brand from scratch. Together with a great assortment of white-label hats, Acme Hat Co provides a simple guide for startupers on how to succeed in trading customized products. 

With e-commerce software implementation, the company allows its clients to make small (6 per design) and large (72 for private labeling) minimum orders. The average production time is seven days, while larger amounts require 4-5 weeks. Custom snapbacks, beanies, embroidered hats, truckers, and baseball caps are the most popular items for online stores, corporate teams, and events.

Acme Hat Co earned a favorable reputation from customers worldwide, ensuring high-quality service, fair pricing, and timely delivery. 

Custom Shirts, Hats & Swag 

Elevate is another successful brand that may teach other entrepreneurs how to start a hat business online. It also has an overwhelming assortment of goods, including cloth, bags, accessories, drinkware, and other stuff for different occasions. The company regularly refreshes its listings and keeps clients loyal with new offerings.

The website ordering process can be an excellent example for those who create their own hat brand. Thus, Elevate buyers can choose the products' color, size, quantity, decoration method, and location. In the last stage of purchasing, they can upload the file with a personal design and add special requirements for the supplier.

Sketch Lab Co – San Diego 

Along with cloth apparel, this brand focuses on selling custom embroidery hats. Sketch Lab Co offers several ready-made designs for their headwear and doesn’t limit customers in order quantity. Thus, the company can work both in B2C and B2B models and sends goods within 24 hours.

You should keep a stock of ready-made hats for the exact shipping speed. Still, many business owners won’t consider such an approach cost-effective because the risk of overproduction and resource wasting is high enough.

How to Start a Print-on-Demand Business in 2023

Customization discovered new horizons for online sellers, providing thousands of ideas to satisfy the target audience with their product range. And the headwear industry is no different. While starting a hat business requires a lot of preparation and effort, it also can be incredibly rewarding. Follow this guide to use your resources more efficiently and write your name in the fashion history. Thorough market research, solid partnership, and the power of software integration are the best recommendations to start a hat business that generates profit.

July 18, 2023
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