1. $5,000- Website

Yes, $5,000 for a website is wayyyyyy too much, but a few years ago, when I started, it was pretty standard… or maybe I was just taken for an extreme ride. Either way, I wouldn’t pay more than $1500 for a basic e-commerce website right now.

Shop around and NEGOTIATE. Every hipster and his dog is a website designer these days, so shop around. Send at least 100 emails off for quotes and don’t be afraid to tell your preferred designer you can get the work done somewhere else for much cheaper, they’ll always come crawling back.


  1. $2,500- Stock

I started with a small online store and branched out to a small market stall in a Sydney shopping centre to help with cashflow. $2,500 got me a few racks worth of stock. Pick your stock WISELY!!! You can’t afford to pick fugly stuff and then have to put it all on sale. Test a few pieces with your target market first (both friends and strangers) to see if you’re on the right track.


  1. $2000- Model, HMUA, photographer and studio hire

Why spend a shitload on a website if you’re going to populate it with dodgy AF images?

You can find some amazing models through Instagram, which will save you a huge amount of money in agency fees. If the girls are keen for work, they will have their email address in their bio. Send them a casual email explaining your brand and ask for their rates. You’ll be surprised how reasonable some of their rates are before they’ve been corrupted by agencies.

If you’re totally desperate, you can get the models to do their own make up, but I would always opt for professional make up and hair if possible. Opt for a student HMUA from a college for a better price.

A pro photographer is pretty crucial as well, however a pro camera is more crucial. If you can only afford one, I would opt for a great camera and take the pics yourself. Make sure you take a variety of e-commerce (studio) shots against a plain wall for website images as well as lifestyle shots (outside, with props etc) to use on social media and promo material.


  1. $500- Advertising spend

Be sure to leave a little in the kitty for some advertising spend. The easiest way to draw attention to your brand in the early days is to either put together some ads on Facebook and blast them out to your target market or pay an influencer who your target market is obsessed with, to advertise your product on their social media channels. Usually influencer promo will cost anywhere between $100 to $1 million (if you want Kylie Jenner to promo your stuff!)

Once again with this, NEGOTIATE. The influencer marketing industry is so unregulated and quite frankly dodgy that there is absolutely no consistency in rates. Come up with your own budget and don’t be afraid to negotiate with the influencer as they will more than likely say yes, don’t be intimidated by their Instagram profile, they are probably not making any more money than you are.

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