In the 10 years I have been in the custom apparel and hat wear business, I can not remember how many people called asking for help in starting their hat wear line. All of them believed they had a great idea. Most of them had little or no money. And none of them had a clue what it takes to make it in one of the most competitive businesses in America. The first question these people asked was always “How much to make my own custom design hats?” And always, I told them, as gently as I could, there is a whole lot of other questions they should ask first, and cost is perhaps the last one of them. I have always given these people my honest opinions while trying my best to encourage them. This article sums up all the advice I have given over the years. Subsequent articles will address each of the following steps individually in greater detail.