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This 16 year old student turned his history of depression into a business that generated $40,000 within 5 months of launching

You’ve spent your spare hours building your store, creating designs for your products and even touched ‘boost post’ a couple of times on Facebook, albeit, without seeing huge results. It’s time to grow your sales, but you’re not quite sure how to improve your marketing.

Meet James Knappmann. A U.S. based 16 year old entrepreneur who built a successful clothing business, Inspirinqco,  generating $40,000 in revenue within just 5 months of launching with the help of Instagram influencers. I recently interviewed James to find out how he made his start-up a success and I’m excited to bring you the results!

We all have different reasons as to why we start our businesses, but what gave you the idea for yours?

I always wanted to create a clothing brand but never knew how to until I came across this video on Youtube from Shopify, showing how easy it is to create your own t-shirt business.

From reading your story, I understand that you suffered with depression throughout school. Do you think this gave you the motivation to make Inspirinqco a success and, on the flip side, has building your business helped with your depression?

Yes, it has. I feel that our story is what has made us so successful, because people love the meaning behind it. By this time my depression has improved to the point to where it is no more. I mostly think that it’s because of all my supportive friends and just all around how I see life differently now.
To help people that are in a similar situation, we donate 10% of all of our profits to – A charity that helps people suffering from depression.

The quality of designs can make or break a t-shirt business and it’s important that you get this right before launching your store. When it came to designing, what did you do?

I purchased a font with a commercial licence and created all of the designs myself. You don’t need to have a complex design to make cool shirts and there are lots of tutorials on Youtube to learn how to use graphics software.

Click here for tips on Creating or sourcing your product designs.

When looking for a print-on-demand service, what factors were important to you to finding the right supplier?

My deciding factors were the price, quality and the dispatch times.

What made you decide to use Shopify for your store, rather than any of the alternatives that are available?

Shopify is one of, if not, the largest website hosting platforms for e-commerce businesses which means that it has more of a selection when it comes to all of their apps, themes and experts.

Which Shopify apps have proven to be the most beneficial for you?

I would have to say Fishbowl. It has been able to help me grow my email list very fast compared to other email collecting widgets.

What marketing techniques have you found to be most successful?

By far, influencer marketing has worked the best for me. I use and I’d definitely recommend taking a look.

What tips would you offer to somebody who is currently creating their online store?

Keep everything simple and not too complex. That goes for your designs, social media & website layout. Design your products and website as if you were shopping at it.

If you’ve found this interview helpful (or even better, motivating!) register to our mailing list here to avoid missing out on the next one.

Check out Inpirinqco here.

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