How to start a clothing boutique
This blog post will suggest resources you will need to start a clothing boutique.
If you want to start a clothing boutique the first thing you may want to consider is whether you want your boutique to be online, a storefront or both.
We will look at these points along with some resources that are available to you:
- Do I want to open a clothing boutique online, brick and mortar or both?
- How much money do I need to start a boutique?
- Do I want to sell more than just clothing?
- How much work is involved in opening a boutique?
This blog post is really a summary. I learned most of my skills and attained much of my success from investing in The Boutique Hub courses and platform. All of the resources and private instruction you can ever need are offered to you. Use my link to try them out. If you can’t afford to make a lot of mistakes THIS is the resource you need.
Which option should I choose; online, brick and mortar or both?
Space is the key factor. Whether you start an online store or have a brick and mortar where people come in to shop, you are going to need space. Rents, lights, heating, cooling, air purification, air freshener, plumbing, cleaning are all to be taken into account.
If you already have a following online it might be wise to stay online. If you are in a town that has a natural flow of foot traffic a brick and mortar makes a lot of sense.
If you’d like to work with me to take a look at the demographics of your town to see if it will work you can book a 2 part consultation.
I chose to have both. I figure I would need to pay for warehouse space anyway so why not have a nice place for people to walk in and shop. I am the only boutique for miles where I have my store front. If you are in Raeford, NC or surrounding areas, stop in to sip and shop with us!
Ultimately you want to start small and not get in over your head. If you know that you will not be able to shoulder the financial responsibility of a store, inventory and full staff. Try online first and build up that following on Instagram and Tik Tok.
Money to start a clothing boutique
This really depends on where you live. If you live in a major city costs can run over 50K just to get your first pieces of clothing and fixtures in the door.
There is also the option of buying a turnkey boutique. Dozens of business owners opt to sell their business every year to retire or pivot to a new business. You can learn more about buying a turnkey business from this low cost course on Earth2. Sometimes they even GIVE you the business and allow you to make payments. Learn more about seller financing in this course.
If you don’t have saving you should reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce. They should have a list of business resources or a financial arm that will allow you to borrow money.
If you are in a city that has a redevelopment district there may also be funding that will allow you to open a business for free. I have friends in Alabama who were essentially given a whole building. Look into it!
The last option would be to take on a partner. If you and your bestie want to make it a go, agree on some terms, write them down. Have it notarized and split the costs to open. Running a business can be challenging for anyone. It’s best to take a look at responsibilities and worse case scenarios before both parties are blindsided.
Credit card interest rates have gone up significantly over the last few years. It’s not always the best option to use cards. If you have had stable employment and a good credit history it might be worth it to take out a personal loan with your bank or credit union.
Starting a business is seen as very risky and it’s unlikely that you will be approved easily by a bank.
Take time to consider your options.
Selling more than clothing
Offering more than clothing means different tagging systems, different storage systems and different levels of damage.
A broken candle could mean a customer gets hurt more easily. It could also mean more damages as people handle glass in your store. Shipping glass is an obvious consideration as well.
Think about offering accessories first before gift style items. Hats, socks, jewelry and smaller items are a safe investment. Shoes tend to sit longer. If you don’t have an online store that you know you can move more goods, stick to clothing and a few basic accessories the first year. It will take you a while to figure out your customer anyway. As they come in, be sure to ask what they would like to see in store.
Workload of a Boutique Owner
If you have the funding to hire a manager, do so!
You will have the boutique as your days and nights for at least a year. Even with a manager.
Think about these points:
Who will work the hours you are open?
Who will stock?
Who will clean?
Who will order clothes and tag them?
Who will be responsible for all of the operations and back end?
If the answer to all of these questions is you, don’t look for work life balance for a year at least.
People will tell you anything to sell a course or a product. I don’t care what you buy to help you. YOU WILL bust your hump opening and running a boutique.
I am available for consultations. I will tell you ALL about my journey and for $50 I am 100% sure it’s worth a chat if you are unsure.
*Affiliate links are used throughout this post.