Free is not free for Me.
When I first started my business, I would give away free clothes to a small group of close friends. Hoping they'd wear them out to events to help get the brand seen (this was before any celeb hook ups). Instead though, maybe one person out of the group actually wore the clothes (and he still does). Some of them would take an initial picture in the clothes upon arrival & the clothes would never be seen again. I had one friend tell me "I wear your shirts to the gym to workout all the time". My problem with that is, I've always had plans on my brand becoming a high end brand & obviously my friends weren't receiving that message. You wouldn't wear new Ralph Lauren Polo shirts to the gym now would you? In fact. the average man only wears older tshirts & clothes that they don't care what happens to in the gym (not women, but that's another story). I then realized, the reason my friends could disregard my clothing so easily is because it had not come at a cost. Had their own hard earned money paid for the clothes, then it would actually mean something to them. So I made up my mind then not to just give away my hard work anymore. Now I watch to see who is actually wearing my clothes and for them, I don't mind throwing a free shirt their way here & there, because I appreciate the love. See you must remember, what I am giving away to you for free is not at all free for me. I spend countless hours coming up with creative ideas & designing these items...then I pay for shirts & printing cost. It's really not about getting money out of my friends but my thought is, if they like a shirt enough to actually pay for it then they'll respect the hard work it took to create & produce that shi.