View Full Version : I would like to open a boutique, but....

08-24-2008, 06:17 PM
I do not really know how to get my merchandise. I have been shopping at many boutiques, and I know that I have what it takes to run a boutique successfully, but I would like to know if anyone on here has a boutique and can tell how to get started.
I would like to sell clothes, designer jeans(seven, true religion, joe, paper denim, etc), jewelry, and handbags, and many other items that women like me and my friends purchase.

08-24-2008, 06:54 PM
Hi there. Please don't take this the wrong way, I am not hating but if you don;t know where to purchase your stock from you probably don't know exactly what it takes to run a sucessful shop. Stock is just the tip of the iceberg.

To find wholesalers you need to just sit with a pen and paper and the phone and be pre[ared to drive around. In the UK there is a magazine called The Trader which is a start - I'm sure there will be something like that in the US. Alternatively,get in teh car and go to your cities wholesale district and talk to the wholesalers. When I did this I found some were very rude and were unwilling to entertain me because I didn't want 200 neon mini skirts in size 4 (yes really) butsome were really helpful and sold me things in smaller quantities. Most wholesalers have a minimum order though - here its generally £500.

Don't be afraid to bargain with them though and watch the wholesale price you pay for things. For example when I was young and foolish I saw that the wholesalers were selling very fasionable sequined jackets for £15 and the shops were selling them for £30 so I bought 50 of them. However after factoring in all my costs (diesel, my time, utility bills, web hosting etc) my profit on those ugly jackets was about £0.02 each. Also don't let them bully you into buying things in massive bulk - you won't need or be able to sell 1000 of the same skirt in a boutique and storage costs money and the last thing you want is a permanent sale rail in your store.

You mention that you want to sell designer things - be very careful. These companies are very very select in who they want to distribute their goods (it keeps the prices high) and is a normal garment disctrict wholesaler has them they are likely to be fake. Its like LV bags - everyone knows you can go to chinatown and get them but do you really think LV would want they £1000 bags to be sold in backstreet shops? The same applies to designer wear. By all means contact the companies directly and see what their policies are but they will normally ask to see your business plan, a clientele profile, details of the area your shop is in and photographs of the shop before they will even consider letting you become a stockist.

Maybe is might be worth considering stocking lesser known designers - contact local fashion colleges and look on the web for designers. You will be guranteed fabulous stock that no other shop has. You could perhaps negotioate a sale or return deal so you don't have to lay out too much money at the start and as your shop grown in popularity you could introduce designer wear alongside your contemporary fashion.

ETA - I've just read what I've written and sorry for the essay and I hope I don't sound patronising - I really didn't mean it to be so. I wish you the best of luck!

08-24-2008, 07:07 PM
Thank you for your information, but when I read what I wrote I actually thought the same thing that you did regarding a business(not knowing where to get the needed items). I actually already have a business plan on a consigment-like store that will sell other peoples items, and I am also working with local designers and artist to have their items in the store. Oh yeah, I am also going to be selling department store overstock and whatnot. I have access to a few websites that will allow trade from China for some items, and they allow sample purchases to check for quality. I am aware of the minimum quanity thing, and I have saved enough money to run the business without profit for six months. I know that I am rambling, but I just wanted information about finding different vendors for a boutique. If you have specific vendors, names and numbers, or web addresses, I would appreciate that.