For anyone with even a toenail dipped into the fashion industry, it’s clear that the whole sector is booming, with creative designers innovating at the top which high street brands and retailers are fast to react to the latest trends, often set through Instagram icons and trendsetters. Like any art, some items of clothing can age to become utter classics – a vintage of the era – thus selling for a great deal more than they were originally purchased for; you’ll want these items in your store if you decide to open one. This article guides you through the stages of opening your own style and fashion boutique store.
It’s all very well considering yourself the Carrie Bradshaw of your particulate friendship group, but when it comes to global fashion movements, even the most up-to-date person can be a couple of seconds off the pace of the front-runners in the industry. That said, you can never do too much research before investing in items of clothing, a single designer or a larger retailer or brand. The best places to look are in magazines and blogs such as this, where you’ll get insider scoops about the movements of the industry quicker than anywhere else.
Research isn’t just about the present, though – it’s also about seeing the trends that made it in the past, and looking into why that was the case. Discovering what, in your opinion, makes something timeless and priceless is something of a bounty when it comes to planning for your investment: after all, it’s the context through which you’ll be able to judge your purchases. Are trends a flash in the pan or something that’ll come to define a generation? It’s up to you to decide.
If you’re investing more than a few hundred bucks in your fashion business, it’s best to be keenly aware of your finances before taking the leap. In most people’s cases, this will mean taking stock of savings and looking into being issued a loan. Fashion selling is a simple case of buying in clothing for less than you sell it for: the initial purchases are what you’ll need to cash for. Once you’ve made some profit, you’ll be able to begin loan repayments with ease, and reinvest extra capital in other items of clothing.
The need for an initial injection of capital shouldn’t put off anyone with a less than exemplary credit history: Bonsai Finance detail some ways in which you can still be issued a favorable loan to kick off your business. Whether you need a loan or you’re able to front the initial start-up cash yourself, it’s imperative to keep accurate and up to date records of your spending and income so that you can plan ahead for setbacks and money flow issues that could cause you difficulties down the line.
Now you’re ready to buy in the items and styles that you’re most intrigued by and that you feel there’s a market for. You may have found local or regional producers, or factories abroad that make clothing for incredibly cheap prices. Whatever your particular bend, working some business-like wizardry in keeping the purchasing prices down will pay dividends in your working relationship with whoever you choose to partner with.
These kinds of things take time to develop, but striking a friendly yet professional tone with those you’re punching from – and knowing when to put your foot down – is a crucial step to making money out of your own style preferences. Don’t let a particular provider exercise power over you – make it clear that this won’t wash by referencing the fact you have multiple different locations from which you’re bringing clothes into your store.
Online or In-Store
Nowadays, fashion retailers or independent stores have a choice of where to sell their clothing: online, in a store, or in both the virtual and the physical realms. Much has been made of the ‘death of the high street’ in recent years as shoppers flock online to buy everything from food to furniture, but independent and unique fashion businesses are one of the types of business that nonetheless thrives in the store environment; people like to try on clothes, and to see the style collections that define what you’re offering.
In this sense, having a store might be in your best interests. To cut costs and make things a great deal simpler and more industrious though you may choose simply to sell online, where you’ll still experience a good deal of traffic and interest in your goods. It helps to have access to a studio space and some models to wear your clothes so that you are able to present the best images possible of your goods for consumers. Equally important in your marketing to get people on the site, and your web design that’ll persuade them to purchase goods. Think carefully before you make the decision as to how you’ll sell the fashion you have on offer.
Many independent fashion outlets make money, but to really get off the ground you’ll want to gain the sort of reputation that has people from across the country – and perhaps even the world – visiting your online store. A reputation is built upon many factors: the value of your goods and their relative quality; the brands and styles that you tend to sell; your customer service; and most of all the way in which you’d like to see your customers clothed.
When people visit a unique and personalized store, it’s because they trust in the fashion judgments you’ve made, or they find they’ve got a particular affinity with your style. By returning to shop with you, they’re looking for a combination of ‘more of the same’ and new items that push your defining boundaries a little further. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but it’s this sort of reputation building that’ll guarantee your success long into the future.
It’s never a bad time to trust in your style instincts and start a clothing or fashion store from a position of independence. If you’ve been considering such a move yourself, these tips should provide some guidance as to how to succeed in a lucrative industry.