Opening an Online Patch Store on Shopify? 10 Businesses to Inspire You

Patches have been around for decades, and they are not going away anytime soon. In fact, Gen Z has embraced patches more than their predecessors. This makes their popularity as a fashion accessory even greater than before. And patches are not just limited to clothing – you can use them to decorate bags, hats, and jackets. They’re the perfect way to express yourself andshow your personality through your clothing. They can even start conversations about causes that are meaningful to you. As such, starting an online patch store is a great way to earn extra income while doing something you love.

Considering how easy it is to set up a shop front on Shopify, there’s no excuse to get started! To inspire you, we’ve gathered 10 inspirational businesses that are successfully selling patches on Shopify. Hopefully, this list will give you the push you need to finally start your own patch business.

Online Patch Store - Range of Patches

Why Start a Patch Business?

Selling patches is a great idea for lots of reasons. They’re a popular niche product, they’re highly customizable, and they have a wide potential audience. But probably the most compelling reason why they’re such a handy starter product is how easy they are to ship!

Since they’re light and flat, they often cost the same to send as a regular letter with services like USPS. This is good news for both sellers and buyers. It keeps shipping costs low, making it easier for people to buy. When you’re ready to ship your unique patches, all you have to do is put them in an envelope, add the right amount of postage, and send them off just like any other letter.

This straightforward shipping process makes it so easy to get your patches to your customers, no matter where they are in the world. Your customers will love getting their fun, personalized items quickly and without paying a lot for delivery.

10 Patch Businesses Killing It On Shopify

If you always wanted to sell custom patches online, but didn’t think it was a viable business, look no further for inspiration than these 10 successful patch stores. They all started small and grew into profitable online patch companies, hosted by the world’s most popular e-commerce platform – Shopify.

1. Ellie Mac Embroidery

Online Patch Store: Ellie Mac

If you’re wondering how to sell custom patches to the high-end fashion crowd, then Ellie Mac is the brand to show you how it’s done. Run by a British artist and embroidery designer from a studio in Brighton, UK, this talented designer specializes in freehand machine-embroidered, limited-edition artworks and patches. Each piece sells for a premium price, thanks to the fact that Ellie herself draws, embroiders, washes, and cuts each design by hand.

They’re quickly becoming a collector favorite, selling worldwide, and attracting significant attention in the fashion industry. Ellie Mac Embroidery sets a high bar for online patch businesses. But Ellie’s success also proves that there is a growing market for more high-end, unique patches, and it’s not that difficult to tap into this demand.

2. Strange Ways

Strange Ways

Strange Ways is the best place to buy patches online if you like to support independent and small-scale creators. They focus on exclusive collaborations with artists and make a conscious effort to support LGBTQ+ artists, BIPOC creators, and products made in the USA.

Founded in 2014 by Alex Dakoulas, they have made a name for themselves in the alternative fashion accessories space. Born from his vision as a former designer for big names like Converse and Puma, Strange Ways specializes in a wide range of patches, pins, and other niche fashion accessories. Located in New Haven, Connecticut, their online patch store is perfect for anyone who wants to personalize their style in distinctive ways. By collaborating with over 100 independent artists and designers, Strange Ways has built up a vibrant and fresh collection that continues to grow every day.

3. Asilda Store

Online Patch Store: Asilda Store

Asilda Store brings a refreshing approach to personal style with its curated collection of iron-on patches, lapel pins, vinyl stickers, and more. It’s a place where you can find small, meaningful ways to express yourself and make your everyday clothing more personal. Their tagline is “Inspiration boost items for everyday wear”. They want to create more meaningful products in a world dominated by digital experiences.

Based in Seattle, Washington, Asilda Store values quality and creativity above all. Their patches are unique and uplifting, featuring nature themes and inspiring motifs.  Whether you’re looking to decorate your backpack, jacket, or laptop, Asilda Store has plenty of options to choose from. They’re doing their part in bringing back the trend of pins and patches to everyday wear, encouraging self-expression and embracing the real, physical world.

4. Rock and Band Patches

Rock and Band Patches

Rock Band Patches is an online patch store dedicated to music enthusiasts looking to show their love for their favorite bands through patches. They offer a wide selection of custom patches for clothing featuring iconic rock, punk, and heavy metal bands, along with other music-related merchandise such as poster flags, band T-shirts, and vinyl stickers.

With a focus on celebrating music culture, Rock Band Patches allows fans to personalize their clothing and gear. It signals their love and support for the artists they admire. They’re quickly becoming the go-to destination for band patches online. With their constantly expanding collection to boot, they’re sure to keep growing. Rock and Band Patches shows how cornering a niche market can result in a successful and purposeful business.

5. Stay Home Club

Stay Home Club

Stay Home Club is a cute and cozy brand that calls itself “A lifestyle brand for people with no life”. Marketed towards quiet introverts who also love alternative fashion, their beautiful, hand-drawn embroidered designs make the perfect statement patches for jackets, hats, or bags. Their quirky frog and animal patches, in particular, are fan favorites. They also sell pins, clothing, hats, and bags for ironic fashion lovers looking for a counterbalance to mainstream fashion.

Small but growing, Stay Home Club prides itself on creating a supportive community for the like-minded. Their customers can order patches online regardless of where they are in the world. They frequently collaborate with artists and musicians to create unique designs and products. This has cemented their place in the alternative fashion scene.

6. Patchers

Patchers

If you want to buy iron on patches online in the UK, Patchers is your go-to brand. This giant online patch store specializes in selling high-quality, embroidered patches for a wide variety of themes and interests. They have one of the most diverse collections of patches of any of the companies on this list. From pop culture references, animal themes and blood groups to rude patches, political statements and beyond, their patches are perfect for any type of self-expression. On top of their huge patch collection, they also sell a variety of enamel and metal pins for those who want to expand their collection.

As a business built almost exclusively on patches, Patchers is an impressive example of how popular and in-demand this form of self-expression has become. They are continuing to expand their wide range of patches all the time. As such, there’s a patch for every type of alternative fashion lover, no matter how niche their interests may be.

7. Punky Pins

Punky Pins

Despite the name, Punky Pins isn’t just about pins. They also have a fantastic collection of fun and unique patches. Launched in 2005 by Claire Whaite from a simple hobby with a child’s badge maker, it quickly evolved into a vibrant brand known for its witty pins, patches, and accessories that encourage self-expression and positivity. Cats and feminism are a running theme, but you can also find patches based on humorous phrases, risqué slogans, veganism, and more.

Punky Pins shows how a small idea can grow into a wildly successful online patch store. Their founder began her journey as a business owner selling home-made badges on MySpace and eBay, and now her company has a full-fledged online Shopify store that ships worldwide.

8. Ellu

Online Patch Store: Ellu

Ellu has a whopping 46 categories of patches on their site. This includes everything from astrology and dinosaurs to floral designs and food-related patches. Another UK-based company, Ellu was founded in 2015. They have grown into a popular brand for anyone looking to order patches online that are also affordable for smaller budgets. Since they sell their patches at a slightly lower price point than other companies, Ellu’s patches are perfect for those who want to customize their clothing without overspending.

In addition to selling patches, they have expanded their product line-up into jewelry, keyrings, bandanas, and other accessories that shoppers can use to express themselves. With their eclectic mix of designs, Ellu is thriving as a brand in the customizable fashion industry.

9. Clammy Heart

Clammy Heart

Clammy Heart is the best place to buy patches online if you like quirky fashion. They’re a bit different than other patch sellers – they make everything by hand from their Portland-based studio. Founder Penelope, an art graduate with a background in garment construction, digitizes all her designs and then uses her trusty embroidery machine to bring them to life. With a focus on cute and quirky designs, Clammy Heart offers patches featuring animals, fruits, butterflies and more. Sometimes, Penelope even takes commissions from customers for special designs.

Clammy Heart grew from a small Etsy store to a fully-fledged shopfront hosted on Shopify. Their designs even sell in brick-and-mortar Portland store Zucker Creme. To support the growth of her business, founder Penelope brought two other team members into her studio in 2017. Together with their three embroidery machines, the team has shipped over 16,000 orders!

10. Bear In Beads

Bear In Beads

Bear In Beads is another small business that started on marketplaces like eBay before growing enough to have their own online Shopify store. They currently sell a wide range of crafting accessories such as charms, beads, pins and both iron-on and sew-on patches. Their designs are cute and simple, aimed towards the crafting community. This means their patches are also slightly more affordable than other brands on this list at around £2.99 per patch. Their small business has a loyal fan base of crafting enthusiasts, who love being able to customize their craft projects without breaking the bank.

Start Your Own Online Patch Store

If this list has inspired you to get out there and start creating your own quirky and unique patches, then we’re here to help you get started! At The/Studio, we can help you design your own patch, with no minimum order quantity. This means you can create a few patches at a time and test them out in the market before committing to larger quantities. With our easy ordering system, all you have to do is upload your design, and our patch experts will transform it into a high-quality patch that you can proudly sell on your own online store.

Simply create an account and start designing today! Who knows, maybe your small business will one day be featured on a list like this.

FAQs

What is the best fabric for custom patches?

The best fabric for custom patches is twill, as it is durable and can hold intricate embroidery designs well. However, other options such as felt or nylon can also work well depending on the design and purpose of the patch.

How do I make my own patch?

To make your own patch, you will need digitizing software, a computerized embroidery machine, and the fabric of your choice. Alternatively, you can partner with a custom patch manufacturer like The/Studio. You simply upload your design and our experts will handle the rest!

How much does a patch cost?

Depending on the type of patch you want to create, they typically cost anywhere between $0.61 and $2.27 per patch. However, patches will sell for a much higher price depending on their design, quality, and demand in the market.

Are patches still in style?

Yes! Patches are more in style than ever. Gen Z in particular has embraced the trend of patches and uses them to personalize their clothing, hats, bags and more. Patches are also popular among professional organizations, sports teams, and military units as a way to showcase their logo or team identity.

What is a good patch size?

A good patch size usually ranges from 2 inches to 5 inches in diameter, depending on the amount of detail in the design and its intended purpose. It’s important to consider the placement of the patch and how it will look when attached to clothing or accessories. A larger patch may work well as a back patch on a jacket. A smaller one might be better suited for a hat or backpack.

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