"Wow! What you've done is so cool, you've inspire me to do the same thing!" I get this message a lot. I had 0 experience in retail, 0 experience in fashion, but I built a clothing brand from $1,200 to a 7 figure company. When I first started, I didn't have anyone to tell me where to order inventory from. I don't remember reading a "how to start a boutique for dummies" book. But it would have been nice. I want to help you get started by sharing with you a few things that I've learned along the way.
Let me tell you- no good thing comes easy. You have to put in the work! If you are not willing to invest your time, money and loose some sleep, you will not like owning your own business.
When I decided to open my store, I was working a comfortable 9-5 job. It paid the bills and we did just fine. Every night from 5 to late into the early morning hours, I researched. I read every blog about starting a boutique. I looked at every website and applied to be a retailer. I stalked Pinterest to find the trendiest items that fall. I stayed on facebook constantly studying ads and how to do them, how to target my audience, trying to decide who my target audience even was...
Which brings me to my point.
If you want to start a boutique, a restaurant, any business, you need to know who your ideal customer is. You may think that you just want to sell to anybody and everybody that sees your stuff. With 7 billion people in the world, throwing your product on the wall to see what sticks, will not work. You have to know who you're trying to reach, who you're trying to HELP.
My husband, business partner, better half is amazing at figuring out who a target audience is. His best friend, Jeremiah is a chiropractor. Jeremiah was trying to figure out how to structure his business as a Chiropractor. The first question Matt asked him was "well who is your target client?" Jeremiah responded, "preferably a female, ages 30-50 that earns high income." After you figure out who your ideal customer or client is, THEN, you can move forward with your business concept.
If it's a boutique you want to start. Write down what need you want to fill, who you want to help. Do you want to teach baby boomers how to implement trendy components into their wardrobe without embarrassing their children? Do you want to teach a young customer how to dress modestly, but cute at the same time? In our case, we wanted to help a client that was at least 2 years behind in trends, to stay trendy. Eventually after developing our own clothing brand our ideal customer turned into, a caring, compassionate, generous person that wants to help save women from life controlling situations.
When you want to change the world, where do you start?
You start with a product and an ideal consumer.
Owner and Founder, First Harvest & Milk + Honey Collection
This is only the first of the 5 blog series covering how to start your own boutique. Be sure to subscribe to our email at the top of this page to read next weeks blog!