okay guys here it is. My sister and I and a close friend have decided that we want to open a boutique. My question for my boutique owners is how do I get started? We would like to make our own clothes. This would be a bridal boutique. We have wonderful ideas for wedding dresses and accessories. So do we start off selling someone elses product or do we sketch ours and send them off to be made for us? Or do we make one or two originals and then have others made. We are kind of stuck on this part and need some serious advice. How does one start a boutique with their own fashion designs?
I'm not a boutique owner, but I am a tax professional that specializes in home based and small business start-up. I'm also quite resourceful and will share with you the links I found that you may find useful.
Just wanted to mention that some other issues you might want to consider are they type of business you plan to establish. If you visit my page, you can check out my blog posting on Business Structures. I'm not sure how much research and planning have already gone into your venture but you and your partners will want to consider forming a business plan and operating agreement, etc so that all involved parties will be clear on how the business will operate in terms of income and expenses.
Please also check out my website to see all the services I offer which include business plan writing, small business start-up, tax services, small business bookkeeping and much more.
Oh, by the way, let's continue to network. My second business is in the travel industry and I'm a Honeymoon and Spa Specialist. My travel website offers couples a chance to create a free online wedding registry where their guests can help pay for parts of the honeymoon and more.
Hi Tamela. I too am embarking on a quest to open a boutique. I am not a designer, but I am interested in carrying other designer lines. My biz plan is complete, however I cannot overcome the financing issues. My dream may be deferred until I can find creative ways to finance other than a traditional bank loan. Sorry, I digress.
Be careful with your sketches. Bridal is a very cut-throat business. I know of one big designer that just recently got sued for copying another bridal designer gowns. If you currently have sketches, I would suggest speaking with an Intellectual Property attorney about protecting your ideas.
Do you know where and how you go about getting your gowns made? Most bridal designers set-up shop in China. These are mostly your larger designers. Can you take on sewing your gowns on your own first? Or have you considered seeking out a seamtress/tailor who has experience with dressmaking, namely bridal?
I think making samples of own originals and taking custom orders is a great idea. When you have some samples, you can pull together a trunk show. Possibly partnering with a local business, or wedding reception facility in your area that would help you get potential customers.
Do you need brick and mortar right now to start off? You are at an advantage if you can start taking custom orders working from home, and them lauching your own boutique when there is a demand for your gowns, or marking your line to other boutiques around the U.S., which would require you displaying your goods at tradeshows. Or, as you suggested, you could sell other lines, and continue to build your private label in your own store. But, you will be in competition with other designer's merchandise. Just food for thought.
Sorry this response is so long!
p.s. Someone on the post mentioned VOWS. This is a great magazine that I subscribe to. It caters to people who own bridal boutiques.